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DB IKE TAYLOR

Ike Taylor vs. Larry Fitzgerald may be the most important matchup of Super Bowl XLIII.

Fitzgerald has embarked on an historical postseason, already racking up more than 400 yards and five scores, and he's been especially dangerous on deep patterns in one-on-one coverage.

Taylor, who ranked fifth on the team with 65 tackles and usually draws the opponent's best receiver, doesn't have to shut Fitzgerald down, but he can't let him torch the Steelers for momentum-turning plays.

Taylor has been very good in the playoffs with three pass breakups.

RB WILLIE PARKER

Parker's been here before, and he left a lasting impression in Super Bowl XL with a 75-yard touchdown run against Seattle. Pittsburgh doesn't have many home-run threats, and Parker's speed makes him just that.

After an off regular season in which in rushed for 791 yards — Parker rushed for 1,200 or more yards from 2005-2007 — he broke through in the divisional round against San Diego with 146 yards and a pair of TDs.

Parker won't be facing a defense as good as the Baltimore one the Steelers faced two weeks ago, but the Cards did shut down Carolina's run game.

LB JAMES HARRISON

Just look at the guy's mug. He looks like a man who was cut multiple times before he made it as an NFL player (including once by the Ravens. Imagine that defense with Harrison lined up next to Ray Lewis).

Harrison's stats were ridiculous in the regular season. He racked up 101 tackles, piled up 16 sacks and forced seven fumbles while picking off one pass (despite sitting out the season finale). With numbers like that, he was an easy choice as defensive player of the year.

Harrison could make life miserable for Kurt Warner, who isn't exactly nimble and is prone to turnovers.

Players to watch