Packers-Steelers Preseason Week 1 Dope Sheet

The Packers kick off their 87th NFL season with a preseason trip to Pittsburgh. Green Bay makes its first-ever appearance at Heinz Field, having not played in Pittsburgh since a 1998 trip to Three Rivers Stadium. Only three other teams (Giants, Seahawks and 49ers) have yet to play in the stadium since its opening in 2001. - Packers-Steelers Gameday Press Box Notes

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*Two years after he co-founded the Packers with Curly Lambeau, George Calhoun began writing a piece called The Dope Sheet, which served as the official press release and game program from 1921-24.

Honoring Calhoun, the first publicity director, the Packers are running this weekly feature as their release, which is being made available to fans exclusively on Packers.com.

A complete edition of the Dope Sheet will be available each week during the season in PDF format, located in the Packers.com Game Centers.

Here are some highlights from the Packers-Steelers Preseason Week 1 Dope Sheet:*

LET THE GAMES BEGIN

-The Packers kick off their 87th NFL season with a preseason trip to Pittsburgh. For the second straight season, Green Bay opens the preseason on the road.

-Head Coach Mike McCarthy begins his second year at the helm and has stressed all offseason the importance of a quick start to the 2007 season. The team struggled at times during the preseason in 2006 and opened the regular season 1-4.

-The Packers rebounded nicely to finish 8-8, missing the NFC's final playoff berth by mere percentage points. As healthy as it had been all year, Green Bay won all four of its December contests.

-By virtue of the team's four-game win streak to close the 2006 season last December, only Super Bowl champion Indianapolis (five wins) heads into the 2007 season with a longer winning streak.

-Green Bay makes its first-ever appearance at Heinz Field, having not played in Pittsburgh since a 1998 trip to Three Rivers Stadium. Only three other teams (Giants, Seahawks and 49ers) have yet to play in the stadium since its opening in 2001.

-After 15 practices since opening training camp July 28, including the 'Family Night' intra-squad scrimmage, the Packers finally line up against an opponent.

-Pittsburgh will be playing in its second game of the preseason. The Steelers defeated the Saints 20-7 in the Hall of Fame game Sunday night in Mike Tomlin's coaching debut. Pittsburgh produced 413 yards on offense while surrendering just 214 yards on defense.

McCARTHY RETURNS HOME

-McCarthy, the 14th head coach in Green Bay Packers history, returns to his hometown for the first time in his NFL career.

-Saturday marks the first time McCarthy will coach an NFL game in his native Pittsburgh. As an assistant coach with Kansas City, Green Bay, New Orleans and San Francisco, he faced the Steelers six times - each time at home.

-McCarthy first coached against the Steelers in 1993 when Pittsburgh traveled to Kansas City for the AFC Wild Card game. Serving as an offensive quality control assistant, McCarthy and the Chiefs defeated the Steelers 27-24 in overtime.

-McCarthy grew up one of five children in the Irish Catholic family of father Joe and mother Ellen in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Greenfield. His father was a longtime firefighter and police officer.

-He graduated from Bishop Boyle High School in Homestead, Pa., and later served on Paul Hackett's staff at the University of Pittsburgh for four seasons (1989-92).

-McCarthy will have over 20 family and friends in attendance Saturday.

SIMPLY THE BEST

-Two of the NFL's preeminent franchises square off Saturday night.

-The Packers and Steelers have combined for 16 world championships, including eight Super Bowl victories.

-Green Bay has a total of 21 Pro Football Hall of Famers, second most of any franchise. The 17 Steelers enshrined in Canton, Ohio, ranks fourth among NFL teams.

-It's not all about past glory for these two, however. Since the advent of free agency in 1993, the Packers own a share of the best W-L record in the NFL, with the Steelers not far behind in third.

A look at the most successful teams in the free-agency era:

Green Bay Packers (139-85-0) .621

Denver Broncos (139-85-0) .621

Pittsburgh Steelers (138-85-1) .618

New England Patriots (134-90-0) .598

Kansas City Chiefs (131-93-0 ) .585

Indianapolis Colts (125-99-0) .558

Philadelphia Eagles (124-99-1) .556

-The two teams first met in 1933, when the Packers soundly defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 47-0. They have since played 30 times, with the Packers holding an 18-13 all-time series advantage.

-Familiar preseason foes, the Packers and Steelers last met in 1996. The Packers hold a 14-9-2 advantage over the Steelers in preseason play.

THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:

Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers/Pirates:

All-time regular season: 18-13-0

All-time preseason: 14-9-2 (no postseason meetings)

All-time, in Pittsburgh: 9-6-0

Streaks: The Steelers have won six of the last eight regular season contests

Last meeting: Nov. 6, 2005, at Lambeau Field; Steelers won, 20-10

Last meeting, in Pittsburgh: Nov. 9, 1998, at Three Rivers Stadium; Steelers won, 27-20

Last meeting, preseason: Aug. 11, 1996, at Lambeau Field; Packers won, 24-17

COACHES CAPSULES

Mike McCarthy: 8-8-0, .500; second NFL season

Mike Tomlin: 0-0-0, first NFL season

Head to Head: First meeting

vs. Opponent: McCarthy 0-0 vs. Steelers; Tomlin 0-0 vs. Packers

MIKE McCARTHY...Begins second year as the Packers' 14th head coach.

-Was named Packers head coach on Jan. 12, 2006, his first head coaching job after 13 years as an NFL assistant.

-Led the Packers to an 8-8 finish and near playoff berth, losing a tiebreaker with the New York Giants, who also finished 8-8.

-Spent six seasons as an offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints (2000-04) and San Francisco 49ers (2005).

-Began his coaching career as a college assistant at Fort Hays State (1987-88) and at the University of Pittsburgh (1989-92) before breaking into the NFL as a quality control assistant with the Chiefs in 1993.

MIKE TOMLIN...Begins first year as the Steelers' 16th head coach.

-Makes his coaching debut in front of Pittsburgh fans against the Packers in the Aug. 11 preseason contest.

-Spent the 2006 season in Minnesota as the team's defensive coordinator, helping the Vikings defense rank No. 1 against the run. Previously was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive backs coach from 2001-05.

-Has 13 years of coaching experience, including seven at the NFL?level.

THE PACKERS-STEELERS SERIES

-The Packers and Steelers meet for the 26th time in the preseason, with Green Bay holding a 14-9-2 advantage.

-Saturday marks Green Bay's first trip to Heinz Field.

-The Packers lead the all-time regular-season series with an 18-13 edge. Green Bay holds a 2-2 record against the Steelers during the Brett Favre era.

-Green Bay won the first 12 contests between the two teams from 1933-'46.

-Pittsburgh played its first-ever road game in the NFL at City Stadium on Oct. 15, 1933, a 47-0 Packers victory.

-Brett Favre started his first career game against the Steelers on Sept. 27, 1992, at Lambeau Field. The Packers won, 17-3, while Favre completed 14 of 19 passes (73.7 percent) for 210 yards and two touchdowns, including a 76-yard strike to Sterling Sharpe.?He finished the game with a 144.6 quarterback rating.

{sportsad300}NOTABLE CONNECTIONS

Several Packers coaches have ties to the Pittsburgh area...Head Coach Mike McCarthy grew up in Greenfield, a neighboorhood just outside of downtown, and is making his first appearance in Pittsburgh as an NFL coach. He also coached at the University of Pittsburgh for four seasons...Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin spent four years coaching at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa. ...Quarterbacks coach Tom Clements, who was born in McKees Rocks, Pa., an area on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, served as quarterbacks coach for the Steelers for three seasons under Bill Cowher (2001-03)...Tight ends coach Ben McAdoo, a Homer City, Pa., native, graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and coached at the University of Pittsburgh as an offensive assistant in 2003...Assistant special teams coach Shawn Slocum was a graduate assistant for the defense at the University of Pittsburgh in 1990...Kurt Schottenheimer, the team's secondary coach, was born in McDonald, Pa. ...Several Packers and Steelers coaches have worked together in the past...Schottenheimer and Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians both served together with the Kansas City Cheifs (1989-92)...Slocum and Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau worked together with the Cincinnati Bengals (1987-91), while McAdoo and Pittsburgh special teams coach Bob Ligashesky were on the 2003 University of Pittsburgh staff...McCarthy and Steelers running backs coach Amos Jones served on the University of Pittsburgh's 1992 staff...McCarthy and Steelers offensive line coach Larry Zierlein both started their coaching career at Fort Hays State (Kan.),?McCarthy in 1987 and Zierlein in 1970...Among the players, Packers running back Noah Herron was originally drafted by the Steelers in 2005 in the seventh round. He opened the 2005 season on the active roster and played in two games before he was waived. Herron was re-signed to the Steelers' practice squad, where he spent eight weeks before signing with Green Bay in Week 13...Steelers running back Najeh Davenport was a fourth-round pick by Green Bay in 2002 and played in 39 games for the franchise before signing with Pittsburgh in 2006...Packers P.R. intern Sam Kasan hails from Pittsburgh, Pa., and spent the past two seasons as a member of the Steelers' P.R. staff.

INDIVIDUALLY VS. PITTSBURGH

Favre is 2-2 against the Steelers. In those four contests Favre has completed 79 of 125 passes (.632) for 959 yards and four touchdowns. He started his first career game against the Steelers on Sept. 27, 1992, at Lambeau Field and has since gone on to start the next 236 under center for the Packers...Wide receiver Donald Driver caught five passes for 64 yards (12.8 avg.) in his only game against the Steelers (Nov. 6, 2005). In that same game, linebacker Nick Barnett recorded a game-high 13 tackles (nine solo) while defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila recorded a sack and three tackles (two solo).

LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON

Nov. 6, 2005, Lambeau Field, Steelers won 20-10

-Troy Polamalu's 77-yard touchdown return of Favre's fumble set the stage for Pittsburgh's 20-10 win over the Packers.

-Polamalu's TD return came in the first half, when Green Bay trailed 6-3 and was about to forge ahead as the team had the ball at the Pittsburgh 3-yard line.

-Green Bay held the Steelers without a single third-down conversion, allowed just two field goals and a 20-yard TD drive.

-The Packers finally punched it in when Samkon Gado (26 carries, 62 yards) scored his first career TD to pull Green Bay within three points, 13-10, with 7:26 left in the third quarter.

-Duce Staley (15 carries, 76 yards) scored from 3-yards out with 6:16 left in the game to round out the scoring.

LAST MEETING, PRESEASON

August 11, 1996, Lambeau Field, Packers won 24-17

-The Packers held on to a 24-17 victory over Pittsburgh thanks in part to Desmond Howard's 77-yard punt return TD.

-Green Bay opened the scoring in the first quarter after Favre found Keith Jackson in the end zone from 36-yards out.

-After a Steelers field goal, Doug Pederson connected with Antonio Freeman on a 64-yard touchdown with 59 seconds left in the half.

-Howard's touchdown gave the Pack a 21-14 lead with 42 seconds left in the third quarter, and Green Bay held on for the win.

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