By Teresa Varley
The Steelers definitely have a rarity on their hands with two starting wide receivers who have won Super Bowl MVP honors. And it’s something that they are proud of.
Santonio Holmes was the MVP of Super Bowl XLIII, while Hines Ward won the honor for Super Bowl XL.
“That’s the coolest thing ever in football,” said Holmes. “I have been thinking about that lately and I am pretty sure Hines is. The last couple of times we saw each other we talked about it. We were saying nobody can ever take that away from us, we are Super Bowl MVPs.
“I can also see how special it is to him that his younger understudy, who worked so hard to get somewhere, never did a lot of complaining, but set out to do what he wanted to do.”
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The Super Bowl celebration continued for guard Chris Kemoeatu when a luau was held in his honor in his home state of Hawaii.
“They are excited for me,” said Kemoeatu of the reaction back in Hawaii. “Just to have one of the local boys to be in the Super Bowl they are all excited about it. It’s rare to have someone from the Islands play in the Super Bowl.
“They always taught us from the time we are kids that when you go out there you are not just representing yourself, but also your family and friends and community. They are always proud, not just because we won the Super Bowl but we are role models for the kids.”
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Fellow offensive guard Darnell Stapleton was also honored recently when “Darnell Stapleton Day” was held at Hudson Valley Community College. Stapleton started his college career there, before moving on to Rutgers.
Stapleton’s No. 63 college jersey was retired as a part of the day.
"I feel honored that they would do this for me,” said Stapleton. “I think that they would do the same thing for anybody who came through the program and had the same success that I've had.”
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Trai Essex is hoping that now that he has re-signed with the Steelers he can get to work on the other thing he wants to accomplish this off-season, earning a starting spot on the offensive line.
Essex can play both tackle and guard and plans on making it a battle this year.
“I’m coming in with the mindset that I’m going to compete my tail off,” said Essex. “I’m going to make the decision very hard. I’m going to make it hard for them not to start me.”
Essex feels his ability to play either guard or tackle can give him more of a chance to win a spot.
“I competed for the starting job (at guard) last year,” said Essex. “I gave it my best. I just have to try harder this year.
“I’m happy to be staying in Pittsburgh. This is my home. I feel I have a chance to do something special with the offensive line this year.”
~ You gotta love how these 2 guys really don't get that much hype from the NFL yet they both have been Superbowl MVP's..you got to give Hines credit for mentoring Holmes into what he is today..to bounce back this season after that drug stop was huge and hopefully he has grown off the field as well.Now let's hope they can work some magic and bring Sweed up to that level.