The Pittsburgh Steelers are still licking their wounds following a loss to Green Bay on Sunday night in Super Bowl XLV, but at least Pittsburgh got one good piece of news in the wake of the team’s second loss in eight Super Bowls: receiver Hines Ward has no plans on retiring.
There was speculation Ward would retire if he won his third Super Bowl ring. But that obviously wasn’t the case. The 34-year-old could well have been the game’s MVP had Pittsburgh rallied. Ward played one of his best games of the season and looked anything but past his prime in catching seven passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. Those were his most receiving yards since going over 100 in a win against the Bengals on Dec. 12. Ward also became just the sixth player in NFL receiver with at least 10 touchdown catches in postseason play.
“I’ll be back,” Ward said after the Steelers’ 31-25 loss. “I’m not going anywhere.”
As good as Ward was on Sunday, his role is likely to shrink next season with the emergence of Mike Wallace and rookies Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.
Meanwhile, the Steelers opened at 10/1 on Bodog to win Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis next February. They are behind only Green Bay (the favorite)_and New England. Pittsburgh’s main offseason priorities likely will be re-signing nose tackle Casey Hampton and linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent. The team likely will slap the franchise tag on Woodley at worst, although the players’ union says the franchise tag can’t be used right now with no CBA in place. The owners disagree.
Pittsburgh also could look to upgrade its offensive line as QB Ben Roethlisberger was one of the most sacked QBs in the league in 2011.
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