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fordfixer
02-05-2009, 09:41 PM
Steelers, Cardinals arrive in Hawaii

By JAYMES SONG 59 minutes ago

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/art ... wD965OE6G0 (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iDqgIo3wpmfFDhOeR4yzD49Ia_gwD965OE6G0)

KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP) Physically drained and emotionally spent from their whirlwind week, Super Bowl champions Troy Polamalu, James Harrison and James Farrior participated in their first Pro Bowl practice Thursday.

The trio was jet-lagged, but couldn't hide the glow and smiles even as they tried to defrost from their frigid victory parade and recover from their gutty victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

"This is beautiful, man," Farrior said. "There's nowhere else I'd rather be."

The Steelers arrived late Wednesday. They first flew to Chicago for a brief stopover before spending seven more hours on a plane to Honolulu.

"I'm a little weary," said Farrior, making his second trip to Hawaii. "We had a long flight over here and we're just coming off the parade and Super Bowl, so everything has been hitting me all at one time.

"Now that I'm in Hawaii, I'm just going to relax and sit back."

Harrison appeared even more worn out than after his Super Bowl-record 100-yard interception return for a touchdown, a pivotal play in the win.

"After the game, it was the most physically and mentally exhausted that I've been in a game to date," he said. "I was up for 30 hours. I really couldn't get no sleep even though I was dead tired. When I finally got a chance, my body just gave up and I feel asleep."

Polamalu said he was looking forward to two things: sun and surf. But Steelers fans shouldn't worry about him joining the big-wave surfers on Oahu's North Shore.

"I'm a little-wave surfer. Tiny-wave surfer, actually," he said.

The only thing he didn't relish as much was all the reporters.

"I wasn't looking forward to talking to the media. I thought I got all that done last week," he said with a smile.

Sunday's Pro Bowl could be the last to feature players from the Super Bowl teams as the NFL experiments with moving the all-star game to a week before the title game, and away from the islands.

Despite missing two days of Pro Bowl workouts, both the Steelers and Cardinals didn't miss a step, except on one play.

With no defensive players around, Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald took a pitch from Washington running back Clinton Portis, then threw a 30-yard wobbler into the hands of teammate Anquan Boldin, who dropped it.

Otherwise they looked sharp. Warner zipped passes to the Cardinals receivers the way he's done all season, and to Carolina's Steve Smith. He also had no problems handing off to Minnesota's Adrian Peterson.

"All-star games are pretty simple," Polamalu said.

Warner almost broke a bigger sweat after practice. He spent time with reporters, autograph seeker and photographer before being escorted into the awaiting van.

The question that was asked repeatedly, and Warner answered each time politely: Would he return to the Cardinals?

It's a question Warner is asking himself. The ever-spiritual Warner said the answer is not his to make. He says it's up to God.

"I believe he brought me here for a purpose and he's accomplished some things with me in this game that I relish and enjoy," he said. "And I just know the time is getting closer. I feel him pulling me to do other things and take advantage of my career after football. The only question is to make sure it's the right time."

Warner will turn 38 before next season and has proven he can still play, leading his third team to the Super Bowl.

"I don't want to get out too early and want to regret it. I don't want to hang on too long and regret that side either," he said.

He said all the early indications are the Cardinals want him back.

"If I play, I don't want it to be anywhere else other than Arizona. If I play, I want to be back with the Cardinals," he said.

Physically, Warner feels fine.

"There's no question I could play for a couple more years at a very high level. That's not going to be the determining factor," he said.

His teammates are lobbying for him to return.

"It's all about if he wants to come back," Fitzgerald said. "To have a guy of his personality and character in our locker room builds camaraderie and makes us a heck of a better football team."

While the loss still stings, Warner said he's already moved on and just wants to reflect and enjoy the season as a whole. He calls it a "special, special year," where no one believed in the Cardinals.

"This is a great way to finish off a special season," Warner said. "This is kind of like icing on the cake for all of us. To do what we did all year long and then come out here and celebrate, is great."