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Steelers Notebook: Ward focused on opener against Ravens

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward has one thing on his mind these days. Baltimore.

 

"That's all I think about," he said. "The preseason is good but my mind is focused on one team, that's Baltimore."

 

The Steelers open the season Sept. 11 against the Ravens in Baltimore. The two AFC North Division rivals have met in the postseason two of the past three years, and the Steelers won both games at Heinz Field on their way to the Super Bowl -- in the divisional round last season and in the AFC championship in the 2008 season.

 

"They would schedule us in Baltimore for the first game," Ward said. "It'll be an exciting way to start the season off. It's a divisional game so it's very important for us.

 

"I know their fans will be hyped up for the game. I call it the lion's den because when you go down there there's just a mob of fans who hate Pittsburgh, and what better way than to try to go down there and start their season off the wrong way with a loss."

 

The Steelers and Ravens did not play until the fourth game of the 2010 season and Baltimore won, 14-7, at Heinz Field in the final game of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger 's four-game suspension. The Steelers returned the favor, winning Dec. 5 in Baltimore, 13-10. They then beat the Ravens, 31-24, in the postseason, coming back from a 21-7 halftime deficit.

 

Ward sees it coming down to those two again in the division.

 

"They're always the competition. Every year it's going to come down to Baltimore and us in the AFC North. When you play Baltimore, you get in the weight room a little longer, you stay a little extra after practice because you know it's going to be a physical ballgame."

 

 

 

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11228/1167599-66.stm#ixzz1VC80JC2W

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It's August 16th and I'm looking toward this game. Now I'm not totally pumped up because it's too far away but I'm watching the preseason games wondering "Can this Ravens Team win opening day?"

I looking for the matchups, the strengths and weaknesses.

 

Right now, with little to go on but one meaningless preseason game, neither team looked like a super bowl contender. Neither looks like they can open the season on a dominant run.

But we know better.

Both teams will look different and ready to go all out opening day.

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Steve Spurrier's Redskin teams routinely went undefeated in the preseason, at time crushing opponents. Two seperate Dallas Cowboy Super Bowl teams in the 90s had losing preseason records, one of which I believe went winless.

 

The preseason means absolutely nothing. It's impossible to tell what a team is capable of in the preseason. This team is good even if they start out 2-2, we could still end up 12-4! We play the Steelers and Jets in the first 4 games. Everyone knows this team gets rolling in November and December.

 

And we get to play the NFC West, we're very fortunate for that. We get 8 wins for just the Bengals, Browns, and NFC West! lol lol lol lol

 

If we beat TN and Jax like we should, there's 10 wins. Now we just need to upset a team or two and we're rolling!

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