Steelers Notebook: Holmgren puts Super Bowl in past

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Seattle coach Mike Holmgren apparently has gotten over his team's loss to the Steelers in Super Bowl XL. It took awhile.

Holmgren criticized the officiating in that game for a long time after the Steelers grabbed the Lombardi Trophy with a 21-10 victory.

The teams will meet for the first time Sunday in Heinz Field since that game, Feb. 5, 2006.

"I bump into people on the street, and they will talk about it," Holmgren said yesterday, "and I say, 'Listen, it really is time for us to move on.'

"We played the game, Pittsburgh won. Getting to the Super Bowl is special and, hopefully, we can get back there one day. It really is time to move on."

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was asked on a media conference call to Seattle about the "Super Bowl rematch."

"Wow, they are still talking about that?" he answered.

Cautious approach

Receiver Hines Ward, encouraged with the progress his sprained right knee has made, had another MRI yesterday to help him determine whether to play Sunday.

"It's day to day and today's a good day," coach Mike Tomlin said yesterday. "We'll go from there, but he's questionable to say the least at this point."

Ward missed only his fourth game in a 10-year career in the 21-14 loss to Arizona.

"I'm going to get another MRI and see where I'm at," Ward said at lunchtime. "It feels good. I've never been a guy to give percentages. I'm not 100 percent, I know that. I'm close.

"I think our policy is if I can go out and practice Friday, we'll go from there. So, it's still day to day. So far, so good. I'm way ahead of schedule."

Ward had just finished a hard 30 minutes on a Stairmaster.

"I'm very positive of my rehab and where it's going," he said.

Roethlisberger said he'd like to see Ward on the field Sunday.

"Shoot, it's Hines Ward. He's a leader, he's a competitor, a blocker, he's a catcher. He does so much. He means a lot to this offense. I'm hoping he'll be back. I ask him every five minutes if he is going to be back. He doesn't know yet. I hope he's back."

The Steelers have the sixth weekend of the NFL season off after they play the Seahawks. Then, after a game in Denver, they play their three division opponents on consecutive weekends.

Ward wants to make sure he is healthy for those games, another reason for a second MRI in two weeks.

"Just to be precautious," he said.

"If I'm going to try to make it this week, I want to make sure that there's nothing going on inside there. That way I can be safe at mind and being on the field and knowing I can make cuts and stuff."

Ward does not have an ACL in his left knee. He called his right knee, his good one.

"I'm kind of in a dilemma where, do you risk going out there not at 100 percent knowing you have the bye week and after the bye week you have three division games? ... I still have to be smart. I think that stretch of games is going to be big for this team as far as where we want to go as far as the postseason."

Injury report

Roethlisberger went through a limited practice yesterday but said his right foot, stepped on during the second quarter Sunday at Arizona, will be fine.

"It's OK. It's a little sore. It's coming along. The black and blue is going out."

Those who missed practice yesterday besides Ward were nose tackle Casey Hampton (thigh), safety Troy Polamalu, cornerback Bryant McFadden (high ankle sprain) and linebacker Clint Kriewaldt (illness).

The injury report lists Polamalu's problem as an "abdomen." He said yesterday some cartilage pulled off his rib cage.

Polamalu, Hampton and Kriewaldt all are expected to play against Seattle.

Quick hits

The Steelers have not allowed a touchdown in the first half of games this season and have allowed only two field goals, both by San Francisco in the first quarter. ... They do not play a team after the Seahawks that has a winning record at the moment until Dec. 9 when they play at New England. ... Running back Jamaal Branch was cut from the practice squad, and running back Justin Vincent of LSU was added. ... The game against Seattle is the third in a row against an NFC opponent. The Steelers beat San Francisco and lost to Arizona. They last played three NFC teams in a row in 2003, when they played four and went 1-3.


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