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lamberts-lost-tooth
12-20-2008, 09:34 AM
Ward sees Titans game bearing fruit
By John Harris, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sunday's game between the Steelers and Tennessee Titans pits arguably the two best teams in the AFC, with the conference's top seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs on the line.

Steelers receiver Hines Ward wouldn't mind facing the Titans again a month from now in the AFC Championship Game for the right to play in Super Bowl XLIII.

"I think we can learn from it, grow from it," Ward said. "They are the barometer. We can gain a lot (from) this game."

The 12-2 Titans play host to the 11-3 Steelers at 1 p.m. Sunday at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. Steelers wins over the Titans this week and Cleveland Browns in the season finale would guarantee Heinz Field as the site for the team's AFC playoff games.

"Tennessee has the best record in the NFL and we kind of control our own destiny," Ward said. "It's definitely a big game in the sense of trying to get the easiest path to the Super Bowl with the No. 1 seed and having home-field advantage.

"Who knows? We might play this game again. Either down in Tennessee, or up here in Pittsburgh."

While the primary goal remains to win, Ward believes the Steelers can also utilize the matchup Sunday against Tennessee to their advantage if the teams survive the playoff minefield and meet for the conference title.

"I think guys can really take a lot from certain situations and certain things," Ward said.

While playing at home doesn't guarantee victory in the postseason the Steelers won Super Bowl XL without playing a home playoff game Ward said he'd like to take his chances at Heinz Field.

"Not speaking for the team, the first seed, it really doesn't matter," Ward said. "I think it's great that we have the (first-round) bye we get one opportunity to play a home game. I would love to get the home-field, but it's not the end of the world."

Playing on the road, Ward believes, brings the players closer together. That's why he feels confident about how the Steelers will perform against the Titans.

The Steelers have won five consecutive road games.

"It's hard to continue to win games on the road. It's not going to be an easy test," said Ward, who leads the Steelers in receptions (68), receiving yards (864) and touchdowns (six).

On the road, Ward said, it's "your team against the world." In the team hotel, the Steelers "like to fantasize about a tight-knit group going to battle."

"They are the No. 1 team in the AFC," Ward said of the challenge facing the Steelers. "We get the opportunity to go down there and try to stack another win."

Note: Defensive end Brett Keisel, who returned to practice this week after missing three games with a knee injury, is considered a gametime decision. Tackle Marvel Smith (back) will miss his 10th consecutive game.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_603756.html

SteelCityKing
12-20-2008, 03:52 PM
Hines is a man of many beautiful words. i love him as a person and as a player. i thikn right there is the reason why he is held in such high regard and when he retires, he's Hall of Fame bound. for his records, numbers, and his attitude.

he says "i don't speak for the team." but he sure is the voice of it. if not, actions speak louder than words. smiling all the time seems to be a constant action of his and that carries over to his team's attitude and persona.

nothing but love for Ward. =)

SteelCityKing
12-20-2008, 04:03 PM
absolutely right. He's not just HOF bound because of his numbers, but his attitude represents what the NFL should be.

he is a straight up poster child for everything right in the NFL. they should give out awards for that every year. haha!

Stlrs4Life
12-20-2008, 07:39 PM
Pretty good read, Hines is spot on.

SteelCityKing
12-20-2008, 07:43 PM
Numbers? I dont think its the numbers that get him in. Since when do people talk about Hines Ward's numbers? Its going to be his attitude and uniqueness (meaning his toughness, being great at blocking, etc)

i meant his numbers within the team. the records he holds and the records he's going to break in the coming games. overall, he's a STELLAR player and he deserves all the great things coming home to him. =)