Hines Ward was officially listed as questionable going into last Sunday's game against the Patriots.
Maybe if the Steelers were playing a team with a better secondary, his status would have been upgraded.
Ward told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he essentially didn't suit up because the Steelers didn't think he was needed to "exploit the Patriots' secondary" -- something they easily did without him.
"I probably could have forced it and played but we have some great wideouts," Ward said. "I wasn't really concerned. And against the Patriots, we felt we could exploit their secondary. That wasn't the same secondary that we played against a year ago . . . without having James Sanders, and Brandon Merriweather wasn't back there and they let Leigh Bodden go. We kind of liked our matchups. So there was no need for me to try to force it and go."
Very well, Hines. The Patriots surely made you and the Steelers pay for taking them for granted.
Oh, wait, they didn't.
What's interesting is how opposing wide receivers like Ward remember former members of the Pats secondary deemed by the Pats as not good enough for them anymore. Judging by Ward's comments, though, it appears that perhaps Bill Belichick, Nick Caserio, and the rest of the front office underrated their former players. Maybe they were in better hands last year than they are now with the likes of Antwaun Molden, Sergio Brown, and Phillip Adams on the field.
Who woulda' thought?