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fordfixer
01-22-2009, 02:28 AM
Steelers Notebook: Ward says he won't miss Super Bowl
Thursday, January 22, 2009
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09022/943593-66.stm

Hines Ward treated the questions yesterday as if he were boring down on an unsuspecting safety.

He will play in the Super Bowl. It was not a prediction but a blood oath.

"I have two weeks to prepare for the Super Bowl and I won't miss the Super Bowl," Ward told wave after wave of similar questions.

His coach agreed with him.

"Hines is going to play," Mike Tomlin stated after practice. "It's going to be miserable between now and next Sunday, but he'll be there. He did a little bit today."

Ward has a slight MCL sprain in his right knee, from the first quarter of the AFC championship game. He played briefly into the second quarter, then left for good. He said he could have finished the game, and that he could play if another game were scheduled this Sunday.

"Things feel good," Ward said. "The MRI came out pretty good; where I sprained it at was in a good place and it's a great place to heal.

"I have all this week off. Just going through the game plans and getting prepared mentally. Next week I'll go out there and get ready to practice."

His quarterback also was emphatic on the subject.

"If anybody asks me about Hines Ward, it's ridiculous. I expect him to be out there if we play tomorrow," Ben Roethlisberger said.

Fly away butterflies

Roethlisberger hopes the nerves disappear and his passing touch returns in his second Super Bowl. His play in Super Bowl XL was not exemplary with two interceptions, no touchdown passes and a 22.6 passer rating.

The Steelers won, which soothed those stats, but he knew something was different because the increased "nerves" he has before a game never disappeared as they usually do after the opening kickoff.

"They never went away," Roethlisberger said yesterday. "It was crazy because if I do get nervous for a game they usually go away after the first play. For the Super Bowl it never went away. I think my play really showed it."

Roethlisberger did complete a 37-yard touchdown pass to Ward that set up a touchdown, and he scored from a yard out on a run and dive around left end in his first Super Bowl.

He thinks this one might be different as far as the butterflies.

"I hope so. I think the biggest thing is this is my fifth year. That was my second year and everything was still kind of a big whirlwind. Hopefully, being five years in and more of a veteran will help."

Easy answer

Roethlisberger, on how to deal with friends who want Super Bowl tickets: "All of my friends ask for them and I just tell them no."

On the sideline

A large group of players watched practice yesterday rather than participate in it.

Those who did not practice were Roethlisberger (back), Ward, center Justin Hartwig (knee), running back Mewelde Moore (ankle), tackle Max Starks (knee), linebacker Lawrence Timmons (ill) and linebacker Patrick Bailey (hamstring). Others were given the day off: running back Willie Parker, defensive end Aaron Smith and cornerback Deshea Townsend.

The Cardinals had only two players who did not practice: running back J.J. Arrington (knee) and defensive end Travis LaBoy (biceps). Punter Ben Graham (groin) and defensive end Antonio Smith (knee) were limited in practice, but wide receiver Anquan Boldin went through a full practice despite his hamstring injury.

SUPER BOWL XLIII STEELERS vs. CARDINALS I FEB. 1 l TAMPA, FLA.

First published on January 22, 2009 at 12:00 am

frankthetank1
01-22-2009, 08:33 AM
thats good news about hines of course i dont expect any less

RuthlessBurgher
01-22-2009, 01:36 PM
I doubt that the sprained ligaments in his right knee will be a major issue for him. He is actually missing ligaments in his left knee. It is somewhat odd how a torn ACL puts a player out for the season, while Ward doesn't even have an ACL in his left knee.