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?
Haters gonna hate. Robert Kraft knows that, and he's not going to hold a grudge because of it. But he won't forget, either.
The New England Patriots owner appeared on the latest episode of HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" for an interview with Andrea Kremer that aired Tuesday night, and he was as candid as any member of the organization has been throughout the Deflategate saga.
“I really don’t hold grudges,” Kraft admitted in the interview, per WEEI. “I mean, I remember everything, but I move on . . . Envy and jealousy are incurable diseases. The haters still hate. And I understand it, and we’ll do our best to keep them in that position.”
And while Kraft isn't holding grudges, he still recognizes the negative impact the controversy left on Tom Brady's pristine reputation.
“He’s just not the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL,” Kraft began. “He’s an amazing human being. And is genuine. And as nice as everybody thinks he is, he’s nicer. And to see anyone attack him as an individual or his integrity. And that just wasn’t fair.”
Will Martellus Bennett be back with the Patriots next season?
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says it's "a real possibility" Bennett leaves given the asking price and potential offers.
Less than an hour later, the unrestricted free agent sent out a tweet responding to speculation about his future.
Bennett, who will 30 years old in March, had seven touchdowns in 19 games in his first season with the New England Patriots.