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Old 12-14-2010, 06:17 AM   #1
A Son of Martha

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Default Ward keeps his eyes on the prize

View From The Press Box

Ward keeps his eyes on the prize

December 12th, 2010

Just when it looks like it is time to start shoveling dirt on the career that should one day land Hines Ward in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the veteran wideout beats Father Time's press coverage.

Ward caught eight passes for 114 yards in the Steelers’ 23-7 win Sunday against the Bengals. He made a spectacular 29-yard grab of a Ben Roethlisberger pass on second-and-Erie (actually 30) late in the third quarter.

He blocked as ferociously as ever -- and looked anything like the player who whiffed on a goal-line block last week in Baltimore and caught just one pass for 13 yards against the Ravens.

“People say I’m getting old or whatever,” said Ward, who turns 35 in March. “Talk to me if I get three rings.”

It will indeed be worth talking to the player who has been targeted by quote-seeking reporters as much as he has been by quarterbacks through the years if the Steelers win a seventh Lombardi Trophy.

Last spring Ward said during a speaking engagement at North Hills High School that he would retire if he won a third Super Bowl title.

When asked after the Steelers stayed on course for a No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs if he might call it a career should his team be the last one standing in February, Ward smiled.

“You never know,” he said.

His 13th NFL season has been both trying and rewarding.

Ward had his streak of consecutive games with at least one catch snapped at 189 when a concussion knocked him out of a 39-26 loss to the Patriots.

He is one pace for a little less than 800 receiving yards but the Steelers look poised to make a run at the Super Bowl.

And Ward has embraced the youth movement that the Steelers are undergoing at wide receiver, helping rookies such as Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown while also dispensing his wisdom to second-year man and emerging star Mike Wallace.

“I’m not tripping on my stats are anything,” said Ward, the only player in Steelers history with over 11,000 receiving yards. “We’re winning ball games and statistically I may be down but I look at it as me opening it up for others guys, and we’re starting to complement each other. My goal is to win a Super Bowl.”
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