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Enough talking, time to play the game

Posted Sep 8, 2011

Since they began practicing this past Sunday in preparation for this week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens the questions haven’t stopped. How big a rivalry is it? What’s it like to open against an AFC North foe like the Ravens? And so on, and so on.

Now, it’s time for the questions to stop. It’s time for the talking to stop. Players are just ready to play.

Wide receiver Hines Ward’s locker has been surrounded by the media all week. Now, he is just ready to play.

“Friday is time to focus in on a great week of preparation,” said Ward. “There has been enough talking. Come Friday it’s starting to be game time and you mentally prepare for the game. Anything you say now, talk is cheap. It’s the first game, we are looking forward to it, they are looking forward to it, and it’s going to be a good game.”

There hasn’t been much new coming from either side during the week and trash talking never happened as the two veteran teams know better. Now, there is just one thing left to do. Play the game.

“It’s about getting there,” said Brett Keisel. “Any time you play these guys everyone wants to know about the rivalry, the hatred. It gets to this point and you are ready to get your first regular season game going. As it is we play the Baltimore Ravens week one in Baltimore, a hostile place to play.

“It’s getting to that point where it’s like let’s just go play this game and see what’s up.”

 * * *

The Steelers offensive line will have their hands full this week with a tough Ravens defense, including nose tackle Haloti Ngata who can give linemen fits.

“I always try to bring my best against him,” said tackle Willie Colon. “There is no doubt he is probably one of, if not the best, defensive tackles in the NFL. For us it’s about flat out getting after them. They are going to bring it and we have to match their intensity and physicality.

“You have to understand the type of animal that is in front of you. If you are not prepared he is going to show you up. You have to bring the same mental conditioning he is going to bring. It’s going to make a good battle. He has been doing it for a while, that defense has been doing it for a while, like ours has. It’s going to be a good game.”

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