It is pretty clear Mike Wallace has taken over the #1 receiver spot for Hines Ward in Pittsburgh, but regardless of what you think about Ward personally, he is a money player.
A lot of people wondered out loud why when the Steelers needed a 4th down conversion to keep their hope of being Super Bowl champions alive that pass went to Wallace instead of Ward.
Here is what Ward had to say:
“I’m thinking deja vu, here we go again,” said Ward, who caught seven passes for 78 yards and one touchdown in the game. “Two minutes, let’s go down there. I really felt like I was in a zone, that anything that came my way it was going to get caught no matter what. I didn’t get an opportunity. I would like to have gotten opportunities [on the final series] but it didn’t happen.”
I don’t necessarily disagree with him even though when the Steelers drove the length of the field to beat the Arizona Cardinals it was Santonio Holmes making crucial catches including the game winning one.
It is the quarterback job to throw to the open man, without looking at the tape it is hard to say if Ward was available to make any plays on the final drive, but as a competitor and someone who has made big plays in the past it is hard to fault him for wanted the ball.
Since he has media protection people will take the comments as someone who just wanted to make a play (which is all I believe he is saying), of course if this was a different receiver the words would be twisted, but that is another story for another time.
When the Steelers look back at this Super Bowl they are going to be sick to their stomach. It is one thing to lose, but it is another thing to continually shoot yourself in the foot, still have a chance to win and not execute. That is a bitter pill to swallow.