Starting strong, but a long way to go
Thursday, September 27, 2007
By Teresa Varley
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The Steelers 3-0 start does not come as a surprise to the players, who feel the team has a good mix of talent as well as a belief in what they are doing.
“We are pretty good on offense, we are pretty good on defense,” said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. “Special teams are doing well. We believe in the system. The head coach is letting the coordinators coordinate and the players believe in that. I think the coordinators are doing a great job of getting us ready and it’s paying off.”
Wide receiver Hines Ward knows that there is a long way to go, though, and thinks that the team will continue to grow.
“We haven’t played our best ball yet,” said Ward. “We still have a lot of room to grow. Players are still developing and trying to get that rapport with one another. You want to reach your peak toward the end of the year.
“We’re trying not to look at the big picture. We’re trying to divide the season into quarters. Right now we’re at the quarter turn and we’re 3-0 right now. It would feel great to be 4-0.”
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His stats might not be eye-catching through three-games but that doesn’t mean that Casey Hampton hasn’t made a huge impact on the defense so far.
Hampton has recorded eight tackles with four of them solo stops, but has been a menacing force for the defense.
“Casey has been an immovable force. He has been very disruptive,” said head coach Mike Tomlin. “Of course, some of the success that surrounds us from a run stopping standpoint starts in the middle with him. He is a very good football player. We expect him to do more of the same this weekend regardless of who is going against. He is capable of doing that, we feel he is that good and that is the standard of expectation that we have for him.”
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Ward sat out of practice on Wednesday with a knee sprain, but is still hoping he will be able to play Sunday in Arizona.
“It’s day to day,” said Ward. “Today it feels better, tomorrow I’ll do some exercise. I’m rehabbing 24/7, I’m trying to do all I can. I don’t like to miss ball games. I’ll work my tail off and we’ll see. It’s just a day to day injury now.”
Ward suffered the injury in the third quarter against the 49ers.
“I took a hit and the guy landed on it,” said Ward. “I tried to walk it off and came back on the next play and got hit again. Those two plays were definitely probably the hardest I’ve been hit in a while.”