By Teresa Varley
Wide receiver Hines Ward will be in his 12th year when the 2009 season kicks off, and he has no plans of packing it in.
"People always ask how long I want to play," said Ward. "It won't be until the day I feel like I can't get open or be productive. I have got enough out of football with this great organization so that the day I lose it, I will walk away from the game. I don't see that any time soon. I am looking forward to training camp and getting back at it."
The Steelers defense found plenty of success this season and much of that can be credited to the bond the players have.
"We are a tight group of guys," said linebacker James Harrison. "We probably spend more time around each other than the other 31 teams do with their guys. We feel like the guy that we are playing next to is our brother. You want to play for your brother. You don't want to let your brother down, your team down, your coaches down or your city down."
And one thing is certain, when called upon at the end of Super Bowl XLIII to stop the Cardinals and protect the 27-23 lead the NFL's number one defense certainly didn't let anyone down.
"That's definitely the situation you want," said Harrison of the defense being on the field at the end of the game. "There were plays before that where we put ourselves in that situation. The offense came through for us and we came through at the end and had the chance to seal the game."
Ward, the Super Bowl XL MVP, is happy to be a two-time Super Bowl Champion, but he is also happy fellow wideout Santonio Holmes, who was the MVP of Super Bowl XLIII.
"I have seen him work day-to-day putting in the time and effort," said Ward. "His life is going to change. Regardless of what happens you can't take that away from him. I don't know of too many teams in the league that can say they have two Super Bowl MVPs as starting wideouts on their team."