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Old 11-24-2011, 08:49 AM   #1
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Default Beaver County Times Home Sports Local Sports With milestones approaching

With milestones approaching, Steelers thinking of the bigger picture

Posted: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 11:45 pm | Updated: 4:01 am, Thu Nov 24, 2011.

By Mike Bires mbires@timesonline.com | 0 comments

PITTSBURGH — All-star recognition and personal milestones await several Steelers. But their ultimate mission transcends individual achievement.

That was Bruce Arians’ message when the Steelers’ offense met with their coordinator in their Wednesday morning meeting.

“Like Coach (Arians) said, if you’re on a team that’s not doing good record-wise and you’re not a Super Bowl contender, then you’re fighting for Pro Bowls,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “But if you’re a Super Bowl contender, you shouldn’t even care about the Pro Bowls. It should be more about Super Bowls.

“We have a locker room full of guys who care more about Super Bowls. That’s what’s most important ... sacrificing whatever it might be for the betterment of the team.”

Roethlisberger brought up Arians’ message when asked about Hines Ward’s role for the homestretch of the regular season.

Ward, the Steelers’ all-time leading receiver, lost his starting job in the Nov. 13 win in Cincinnati. Other than games he’s missed due to injury, that marked the first time since the 2000 opener that Ward missed a start.

Ward needs only 19 receptions to become the eighth player in NFL history with 1,000 in a career. But with Antonio Brown playing so well, Arians and coach Mike Tomlin decided to start him along with Mike Wallace.

“On this team, there are a lot of great players who have an opportunity to put up big numbers and stats,” Roethlisberger said. “As Coach (Arians) touched on, for us to be a true Super Bowl contender, people have to put their own personal goals and Pro Bowl things and things like that on the back shelf for the betterment of the team. I think Hines has done that.”

Ward, a 14th-year pro, has taken his demotion in stride. He hopes he can catch 19 more passes this season — “I want that,” he said. But he contends he won’t throw a tantrum if he doesn’t get many more chances to ... which could happen since Jerricho Cotchery and Emmanuel Sanders also figure to get their share of snaps in the wide receiver rotation.

“It’s bigger than me,” Ward said. “It’s about the team.”

Last year, four Steelers were named to the Pro Bowl — linebacker James Harrison, safety Troy Polamalu, defensive end Brett Keisel and center Maurkice Pouncey.

If the 7-3 Steelers keep winning, they could wind up with at least four Pro Bowlers again. Certainly Roethlisberger, Wallace and linebacker LaMarr Woodley are also worthy candidates.

“We definitely want to get to those places,” Wallace, who’s fourth in the NFL in receiving yards. “You’re always going to think about those things, just naturally, because being a player, you want to be the best you can be.

“It’s all about the team, really. At the end of the day, all we’re really trying to do is get back to the Super Bowl. But as long as you’re doing what you need to do for the team, you can get where you want to go (with individual awards).”

While Roethlisberger said he didn’t need Arians to remind him of the ultimate prize, he believed it was still good for the offense.

“It was good, because it was an offensive meeting and we have a lot of young guys on offense who can put up huge numbers,” Roethlisberger said. “It was a good message for all of us ... for some guys to re-remember those things and for some guys to think about it.”


Ben Roethlisberger -- Needs 1,123 passing yards to reach 4,000 for the second time in his career. He's the only QB in Steelers' history to reach the 4,000-yard plateau. He threw for 4,328 in 2009.

Hines Ward -- Needs 19 catches to become the eighth receiver in NFL history for reach 1,000 in a career. Also needs 30 receiving yards to become the 19th receiver to rack up 12,000 in a career.

Mike Wallace -- Needs 477 receiving yards to break Yancey Thigpen's single-season record of 1,398.

Antonio Brown -- Needs 374 receiving yards to achieve his pre-season prediction of 1,000 yards this year.

Rashard Mendenhall - Needs 483 rushing yards to surpass 1,000 for the third straight year.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: Beaver County Times Home Sports Local Sports With milestones approaching

I really hope that Ward replaces Brown or Wallace during any blowouts. Ben needs to feed Ward the ball to get him those 19 receptions and 30 yards.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: Beaver County Times Home Sports Local Sports With milestones approaching

Yeah, I think he will get the receptions and yards...
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