Bills Wall of Famer Steve Tasker will be part of the CBS telecast of Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday as he handles duties on the Colts sideline during the game. Spending the week in Miami in preparation for the big game, Tasker caught up with a couple of former teammates that will be coaching Sunday.
Colts assistant offensive line coach Pete Metzelaars and quarterbacks coach Frank Reich will be up in the coaches' booth on Super Bowl Sunday.
Prior to the game however, are all the media obligations during the week, and Tasker, who was witness to the madness, said you would have thought that Reich was the starting quarterback for Indianapolis Sunday.
"Frank was the center of attention a little bit at media day on Wednesday," said Tasker. "He probably works closer with Peyton (Manning) than any other coach, so a lot of media members were surrounding him. I think Frank figured he'd have his share of questions knowing how much time he spends with Peyton. He handled it well."
Tasker spent time with his former Bills teammates earlier in the week before the weekly schedule really ramped up and doesn't sense that Metzelaars and Reich are devoting much thought to things like potentially winning Super Bowl rings as coaches after not being able to as players.
"They've moved on and now as coaches they have other things going on," Tasker said. "They don't put it in perspective with what it's like as a player and how that might differ from winning one as a coach. I think as coaches they're thinking it's the best thing that could happen. They're doing really well and they're part of a great organization and they have great players. I think they're loving it."
Metzelaars already has a Super Bowl ring as he was on the Colts staff during their title run in 2006. But if Indianapolis wins on Sunday it will be the first for Reich.
"Everybody expects them to play well, but they don't know what's going to happen," said Tasker. "They do feel good about what they're doing though, that's for sure."
As for who has the edge and where in Sunday's game Tasker believes if Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney is limited by his ankle injury it'll be a big help to the Saints.
"The Colts are going to be pretty hamstrung if Freeney is out of the game," Tasker said. "All of a sudden the Saints' tackles are better because the Colts' pass rush isn't as good and that makes Drew Brees better. If Drew Brees is on his feet and can throw the football they're going to have some guys open. I think the Saints can score with these guys if they can keep Brees off the ground. If Freeney's out of the lineup they'll have a greater chance of doing that."
However, Tasker believes that the Colts are going to score their share of points as well.
"The Saints are going to play good defense for a while, until Peyton figures them out," said Tasker. "There's no question that the Colts are going to score points. You just know they're going to and it's going to be up to Brees to keep up with Manning. You can count on that Saints defense making a play though."
Tasker believes the defense that makes the most timely big play could swing the balance of this game, be it an interception return for a touchdown or a pick in the red zone to thwart a scoring chance. When it comes to special teams Tasker is split, feeling both sides have key advantages in a couple of the skill position areas.
"I think the Saints have the edge in special teams just because of their return game. The Colts have some coverage guys, but Reggie (Bush) is a home-run hitter and can make people miss and go. I like the Saints better than the Colts in the return game. But I like (Matt) Stover on the kicking end of things for Indy. The Hartley kid is cool, but he hasn't been there before. Stover has kicked in the Super Bowl."
Whichever way Super Bowl XLIV falls Tasker envisions a high-scoring affair.
"These offenses are not going to be stopped for four quarters," he said.