Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Flozell Adams got an double dose of "old home" feelings when the 13th-year pro traveled to his first Super Bowl.
When Adams arrived for the team flight Monday, the rest of the Pittsburgh offensive linemen were wearing No. 76 Michigan State jerseys, a tribute to the five-time Pro Bowl tackle who went to the Big Ten school.
"It's special to bring back the throwbacks, for all the guys to wear them," said Adams, who after the team's arrival in Texas was wearing one of the green jerseys. "I'm grateful for it. ... I had no clue until 8:30 this morning they were doing this."
Adams' first Super Bowl is being played at Cowboys Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. He played his first 12 seasons for Dallas before being released last April, a month before his 35th birthday.
"I lived here for 12 years, it feels like home. I've been everywhere in Dallas," Adams said. "It's only been seven or eight months. It's not like it's been a couple of years, so it's still home."
The Cowboys drafted Adams in the second round of the 1998 draft, after their three Super Bowl titles in a four-year span in the first half of the 1990s. He started 178 of his 182 games in Dallas and was part of only one playoff victory. He signed a six-year contract before the 2008 season when he could have been a free agent for the first time, then was cut two years later.
"I wasn't crying or anything like that, or like boohooing," he said. "I'm like OK, well, that's it, so it's time to move on."
Adams, the left tackle in Dallas, started at right tackle for Pittsburgh, who lost Willie Colon to a torn Achilles' tendon last summer.
So Adams changed teams and positions.
"I just asked a lot of questions ... Studied film after we had our normal sessions and went over plays, the whole shebang, like I was a rookie," he said. "I wasn't mad or anything. I just took it in stride and knew that's what I need to do to succeed in the transition."
LOOSE WITHOUT EXPERIENCE: Green Bay receiver Greg Jennings isn't worried about the edge in Super Bowl experience for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Green Bay is playing in its first Super Bowl since 1998, a year after the Packers' last championship. The Steelers are in their third Super Bowl in six seasons.
"We' don't look at it as a disadvantage," Jennings said the Packers arrived in Texas. "Obviously, they're fortunate enough to have guys with the experience of this, the week and what it entails. At the same time, we have a lot of young guys who haven't been in this position, so we don't really know any better."
A Pro Bowl pick this season for the first time, after 76 catches for 1,265 yards and 12 touchdowns, Jennings described the Packers as loose despite their inexperience in Super Bowls.
"Not knowing what to expect, there isn't that stress factor," Jennings said. "Hopefully on Sunday, we're loose and we come out and play the way we've always been playing."
BUTLER'S PACK: The No. 4 that Caron Butler wears for the Dallas Mavericks is no coincidence. He grew up in Wisconsin as a fan of Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers.
Butler was a teenager working in a fast food restaurant when Favre led Green Bay to its last Super Bowl title 14 years ago. This time, he will be there in person watching the Packers play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Cowboys Stadium — not too far from the Mavericks' home arena in downtown Dallas.
He is a big fan of the current Green Bay quarterback.
"You look at Aaron Rodgers and you look at Brett Favre, and you see the same charisma and confidence," said Butler, who spends the offseason with his family in Wisconsin. "Aaron Rodgers is a head above the pack. We are going to see two of the best quarterbacks in the league face off at Cowboys Stadium, but Rodgers is coming out on top."
Butler, a two-time NBA All-Star, is expected to miss the rest of the basketball season because of a torn tendon in his right knee.
SUPER SOCCER: Before Fox begins its Super Bowl coverage on Sunday, the network is going to highlight another brand of football on another of its channels.
Fox Soccer Channel will air live coverage of the English Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool on Sunday morning, complete with pregame and postgame shows that will originate from the Fox NFL Sunday studio set in Los Angeles.