Hines Ward Press Conference Transcript Thursday Super Bowl XLV


Hines Ward Press Conference Transcript Thursday February 3rd Super Bowl XLV

QUOTES FROM PITTSBURGH STEELERS PRESS CONFERENCE

WIDE RECEIVER HINES WARD

(on how he’s played at such a high level for so long) “To still be here at such a high level after 13 years, it seems like every Super Bowl I’ve got a different counterpoint opposite me. I just remember Randel-El in Super Bowl XL throwing me the ball, and then Santonio Holmes in XLIII catching that ball in the end zone. I was just ecstatic for all of them, and here I am still plugging along at it. I know one day, eventually, they’ll replace me but you know, I don’t look at that. It’s not what they do, it’s what I do. If I starts to find signs that I’m falling off, or I’m not getting open against guys that I think I should get open, I’ll walk away from the game easily. But I have a great appreciation for Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Emanuel Sanders making play for us. When they make a good play, I’m their biggest cheerleader, and it inspires me to make sure I want to go out there and put my head in the pile and make a play as well.”

(on how the Steelers stay on top) “It starts at the top with the Rooney family. They have a unique way of doing things their way. They’re not big on free agency. We’re not going to go out and sign the marquee free agent, we like to build from within. They’re not big on change with coaches, only three coaches (in the last four decades). They’ve always done it the Rooney way, keep the veteran guys, the core guys, together, deal within the draft and lead that way. And over the years, that’s why you’ve seen, year after year, the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs and now, here we are trying to win our 7th Super Bowl as an organization.”

(on the special feeling of coming to the Super Bowl) “You get a greater appreciation for being in this position. I’m getting messages from guys around the league about how envious they are. It’s hard enough to win one. To be in the position to get a chance to win another one would be a special feeling not only for our organization and our fans, but for a lot of guys on this team.”

(on the try for a third in six years) “Every team is different. This year is a special team because of what we had to overcome. To start the season off without our starting quarterback, a bunch of people thought we were done. 1-3, or 0-4. It’s been hard on a lot of guys but we’re a close knit group and here we are representing the AFC in the Super Bowls.”

(on this year’s obstacles) “With Ben’s suspension it was tough, but when he came back we embraced him like a big brother and went from there. With James Harrison’s fine, you know, $100,000, we all chipped in, every put in twenty bucks to help. But you know when it affects one player, it affects everybody, but that what makes you a closer team.”

(on being the “villain” in the minds of some media and fans) “We’re trying to go out and win the Super Bowl. Villain or no villain, we still have to play the game. And what a great feeling if we can find a way to win this game and win our third Super Bowl in six years.”

(on whether America sees Packers QB Aaron Rodgers as “good” and Steelers QB Ben Roethslisberger as “evil”) “I don’t know why, all of a sudden, he’s the evil one, what makes him so evil. It’s just a story. At the end of the day we still have to play the game. You may not see Ben up there statistically with all the other quarterbacks in the league, but you can’t knock what he’s done. If Ben was to retire after this game, just looking at his record, his record speaks for itself and there’s a lot of quarterbacks out there who’d love to be in the position he’s in. To win his third Super Bowl under, what, 28, 29 years old? That’s a remarkable feat.”

(on the contention by some Jets players that the game would have been better if they were in it) “It’s all stories. To win the Super Bowl for six times in our franchise history with a chance for seven, how ironic that we’re here in Dallas to do it. That’s a great story in itself. We deserve to be here, we earned the right to be here. We beat Baltimore at home, we beat the Jets, those were the best two teams that made it. We deserve to be here, so we’re not going to apologize.”

(on the difficulty of playing in a stadium they’ve never played in) “It is. Media Day Tuesday was the first time for a lot of guys to see the stadium. 100,000 people in the stands for the game, that’ll be the biggest crowd that I’ve ever been a part of

except maybe in college. We’re excited, it’s the Super Bowl, ain’t nothing like that opening kickoff and seeing all those (camera) flashes. That’s how you know you’re in the Super Bowl.”

(on prep for this Super Bowl versus others) “This year, I get more enjoyment out of it. Super Bowl XLIII, for two weeks I was doing nothing but rehab. This time I can sit back, enjoy it with my teammates, have fun. But at the same time you still have to prepare, because you still have to play the game, so I don’t get caught up with it. If we win this game, we can go celebrate all year long until this collective bargaining agreement gets signed. And if there is no season, we’ll be Super Bowl champs for two years.”

(on taking his receivers out for dinner tonight) “Tonight, I’m taking our receivers out for dinner, just to get their whole perspective on the Super Bowl, to see where they’re at. I’m kind of excited to hear their stories and see kind of how they’re feeling, cause I remember how I felt (at his first Super Bowl.) I thought it would be kind of unique for all the wideouts to get together and break bread and eat together, sit around at the table and talk about our experience before our families get in tomorrow.”

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