Staff writer SAN DIEGO — He knows the Super Bowl well, maybe better than anyone on his team. But he doesn’t have a winner’s ring, and most of his teammates don’t either.Denver Broncos reserve defensive tackle Mike Lodish will make his fifth Super Bowl appearance in his eight-year career when the AFC champions take on the Green Bay Packers at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday.”It’s a great feeling all together,” said Lodish, who played in four NFL championship games with the Buffalo Bills. “It is pretty much the same, pretty much structured the same way. The only thing that is different from the other four is it is here in San Diego this time.”The Bills advanced to the Super Bowl four consecutive years and lost each time during the 1990-93 seasons.Lodish came close to capturing a ring in Super Bowl XXV in 1991, his first championship game. The favored Bills were upset by the New York Giants 20-19 as Scott Norwood’s last-second field goal attempt sailed wide right.”That loss hurt me most,” Lodish said. “In the second one against the Redskins, I felt we got manhandled. In the last two games against the Cowboys, we beat ourselves. We turned the ball over nine times in two games. You can’t do that.”Lodish was signed by the Broncos before the 1995 season as an unrestricted free agent. He served as a full-time starter in 1996, but lost his starting job to Keith Traylor this season. He has played 52 games, including three postseason appearances, while racking up 48 tackles for the Broncos.During the lead-up to this Super Bowl, however, his contribution has been his leadership more than his performance.The schedule during this week is very tough for the players and coaches, especially for those who are experiencing their first Super Bowl. They have to attend a press conference every morning where they are surrounded by hundreds of media people and repeatedly forced to answer the same questions over and over again. After the stressful media sessions, they have a practice and a team meeting before they finally are free to go out and have a little fun.”This is very overwhelming,” Lodish said. “So I told my teammates, ‘Enjoy the media and enjoy the spotlight. Then try to focus on the game plan and do the things you need to do during the game.’ They have to learn to focus in and focus out.”Don Beebe, Lodish’s former teammate with the Bills who now plays for the Packers, won his first championship in his fifth attempt when Green Bay clinched its third Super Bowl title last year. Will the same thing happen to Lodish with the Broncos, one of the three teams which hold an 0-4 record in the Super Bowl?”We have a very good chance to win all the games we are in and we’re in the best condition,” Lodish said. “I feel we have a very good chance to win this game.”
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