The biggest concern I have right now following the loss to the Ravens is the potential loss of the Steelers locker room. The interview Hines Ward gave to Bob Costas was a questionable one. Ward was clearly frustrated during the interview and said so after the game. Ward wants to win, but could have said so with different words. Costas is a master at getting people to say things they don\’t want to say, it is his job. We do not know how Ward was prepped before the interview as well. What we do know is that it clearly appeared as if Ward threw Ben Roethlisberger under the bus.
Ward claimed after the game that the team did not know until Saturday that Dixon would be starting instead of Roethlisberger. Perhaps head coach Mike Tomlin didn\’t do a good enough job getting the word out. He probably did it on purpose to keep loose lips from telling the Ravens and the media, but word got out any how. Secret information always usually leaks if more than one person knows about it. I understand why Tomlin did this, but do not agree with it. It caused the team to be confused and uninformed. They were of course split, because many probably didn\’t know the facts and still don\’t.
It is a fragile time right now in the Steelers 2009 season. Their playoff chances are still respectable and the schedule is favorable for a run. None of this matters going forward if Tomlin has a lost locker room. Step one will be to get Ward, Roethlisberger and the other veterans on the same page and get the air cleared. I would expect Ward to offer up some what of an apology as well. There is not one player I want on my team more than Ward, but sometimes words used in wanting to win are used as weapons and can make you lose respect. I have a feeling Ward will correct this problem and the team will go forward.
Below is the video interview of Hines Ward with Bob Costas on NBC Football Night in America:
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Hines Ward spoke with Hannah Storm this morning on SportsCenter about the controversy swirling around his comments to Bob Costas.