Hines Ward: Live from Detroit

Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward addressed the media Monday at Ford Field in Detroit, site of Super Bowl XL.

HINES WARD

On the atmosphere of the press conference:
"You finally realize that you are in the Super Bowl, being here having all the media. This is what it is all about, and it's a great feeling."

On the green Notre Dame jersey he is wearing and who came up with idea to wear them:
"Joey Porter actually did, he bought some guys some jerseys and today is Jerome Bettis Day. That is all Jerome asked for was the opportunity to get to the Super Bowl and what better way to represent him than to wear this Notre Dame jersey and give him that one day."

On how many players wore the jersey:
"I know that all the defensive guys, and there are a couple of offensive guys, but I think that Jerome was pretty happy and pretty shocked that we came out and everybody was wearing his jersey. But like I said, we brought him back home and for us we want to try to win it all. We are not just happy to be here, we want to win the Super Bowl."

On the comparisons to Lynn Swan and John Stallworth and if making the Super Bowl validates his career:
"This solidifies a lot of people's careers; you are based on what you have done in the Super Bowl. Those guys had the opportunity to win four Super Bowls, and getting this opportunity is a dream come true for me. This is something that I have always dreamed about since I was a little kid and come this Sunday I will get that opportunity."

On the advice that Bill Cowher has given the team having been to a previous Super Bowl:
"He has given us some advice as far as like that the halftime show will be a little longer than in the regular season, and for the pregame we will be out there for a while. The day of the Super Bowl is a long day, and he wanted to tell guys not to get over excited, because you still have 50 minutes to an hour wait before the game starts. So he has given (us) his past experiences when he took the team to the Super Bowl the last time they were there and advice like that."

On if all the focus is on Jerome Bettis and if that is good for the rest of the team:
"I think so. It took all of us collectively as a group to get him to this point. We are all a team and I think that Jerome understands that and realizes that and what better way to finish your career where it all started. I don't think that it could have been written any better, as far as the storyline, the plot, the happy ending and we are a game away from giving him that happy ending."

On if Joey Porter has been more chatty and up tempo than normal this week:
"Nah, Joey is Joey. He is not going to change, he is not going to be more trash talking or less. He is always going to go out and be the same guy that he is and I am glad to have him on our team."

On the type of things that Joey Porter says to get the guys pumped up:
"He just gets everyone going. He is a leader on the team and what he says everyone just follows. He gets guys motors going and like I said he is one of our main hype guys, he gets everyone hyped."

On the limited media availability of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger so far and if it is smart to shield a young quarterback as long as possible:
"I don't know. I don't really get into that. I mean you guys are going to catch him eventually so he can't run from you guys, but this is what it is all about. Making the Super Bowl, you are going to have more media requests. For him, it can be overwhelming, but it is overwhelming for me to look at all you guys here wanting to ask me questions, but this is what it is all about, so I am pretty sure that Ben is excited about this week."

On the Seahawks and what he has seen so far of them:
"They are the NFC Champions. They have been playing consistent football all year long. The disrespect back there about who is favored or not, we didn't pick the favorites, that's what the odds makers did. For us, they feel like they are disrespected. We feel like we were disrespected so it's about both teams respecting one another. We know they have a great team, there is no question about it. For us, we just have to go out and play another flawless game because that is what it is going to take to win the Super Bowl."

On what type of dimensions Antwaan Randle El adds to the offense and how he helps the receivers:
"He is just a threat every time he gets the ball in his hands. He has been patiently going out and making plays when getting the opportunity. Antwaan has done everything we have asked him to do. As long as we continue to do that then we will all just go out there and make plays."

On the progression of Ben Roethlisberger over the past two years:
"Initially we did not know what to expect out of him. He kind of got thrown into the fire and it is kind of hard to really see and envision what a rookie can do, because not too many rookie quarterbacks can come into the league like he did and win ball games like he did. So having that poise, that presence, that pocket control awareness, he is just going out there and making plays and now it is kind of like night and day from last year in the postseason. I think last year he put a lot of pressure on himself, where he felt like he had to go out there and win ball games, whereas this year it has totally been a team effort. He is going out there just relying on his team, trusting his teammates to go out there and make plays, and like I try to tell him, I just try to tell him you're the captain and just let us work the ship, just steer us in the right direction."

On being the home team on the road and the strong Pittsburgh following:
"We don't think of it as we are the home team, because this is not our home. Everywhere we go it is special seeing the ‘Terrible Towels' waving everywhere, so there is no question being four hours away I am pretty sure Steelers fans got their hands on some tickets and its going to have that home field atmosphere. For us we have to continue just playing like we're doing, like we are on the road, and go out and continue playing like we have been doing in the playoffs."

On what he thinks the week will hold with all the demands for his time:
"Just taking it all in stride, but yet understand the reason why we are here and don't get caught up into the hoopla. We still have one game left, and it's an important game. We are happy to be here, but we want to go out and win this ballgame. That is our whole goal and that is how we are treating it, as a business trip. All the accomplishments that we have done through the playoffs, they mean nothing if we don't go out here and win this Super Bowl."

On if being the favorite in the game will effect the team's preparation:
"I don't think that it's really going to change as far as being the favorite, because we don't feel like we are the favorites. We are not going to change our way of thought, we are still a team playing with desperation because if we lose it's all over with and we understand that and we have been on that mentally since the last four games of the year. We knew if we lost a ballgame, all this would not even be possible and that is what we are going to take into the Super Bowl."

On what is more satisfying making a great catch or making a great block:
"Whatever it takes to win the ball game, as long as I help my team win this game. Catching the ball, making a block, it doesn't really matter to me."


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