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Ward says he'll be back next season

ARLINGTON, Texas — After a turn-back-the-clock game that ended with a disappointing outcome Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward said he has no plans to retire.

“I'll be back,” Ward said after the Steelers' 31-25 loss to the Green Bay in Super Bowl XLV. “I'm not going anywhere.”

Ward, 34, played one of his best games of the season and looked anything but aging in catching seven passes for 78 yards and a touchdown.

Those were his most receiving yards since going over 100 in a win against the Bengals on Dec. 12. Ward also became just the sixth player in NFL receiver with at least 10 touchdown catches in postseason play

Ward, the MVP of Super Bowl XL, took no consolation in individual accolades or the fight the Steelers showed while climbing back from an 18-point deficit.

“That locker room was pretty bad,” Ward said. “It's sad to see guys like (right tackle) Flozell Adams and stuff like that.”

The Steelers had a chance to win the game at the end after getting the back with two minutes, seven left in the game.

They would have had the ball at their own 26-yard line but an unnecessary roughness call on special teams captain Keyaron Fox cost them 13 yards. The Steelers never mounted a serious drive and turned the ball over on downs.

“I had a feeling we were going to do it again,” Ward said of another late Steelers comeback. “But we should have never been in that situation. We felt like whoever had the ball last was going to win the game. We just came up short and hats off to (the) Green Bay Packers.”

MAC ATTACK

Central Michigan was well represented in the Super Bowl — better represented, in fact, than the past BCS champions.

Four players from the Mid-American Conference school, including Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, were on the Steelers' or Packers' 53-man rosters.

Brown, Green Bay outside linebacker Frank Zombo and Packers cornerback Josh Gordy all played for Central Michigan last season. Green Bay defensive end Cullen Jenkins is also a Central Michigan product.

Auburn, Alabama and Florida — winners of the past three BCS championships — had just three players combined on the teams' 53-man rosters.

The MAC had 13 players on the two Super Bowl participants, including Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (Miami of Ohio) and Packers Pro Bowl receiver Greg Jennings (Western Michigan).

LOCAL TIES

Penn State and West Virginia had three players in tonight's game, including Steelers safety Ryan Mundy.
Mundy, a Woodland Hills High graduate, played three seasons at Michigan before finishing his career at West Virginia.

Penn State was represented by one former player on each team, punter Jeremy Kapinos (Steelers) and tight end Andrew Quarless (Packers).

SMITH, WORILDS DON'T DRESS

There were no surprises among the Steelers' players who didn't dress for the Super Bowl.

Among the inactives: defensive end Aaron Smith (triceps), outside linebacker Jason Worilds, cornerback

Crezdon Butler, running back Jonathan Dwyer, offensive tackle Chris Scott, guard Dorian Brooks, defensive tackle Steve McLendon and Charlie Batch (third quarterback).

INJURY SIDELINES PACKERS LINEBACKER

Packers outside linebacker Erik Walden, who had 12 tackles in the NFC Championship Game, did not play against the Steelers.

Zombo replaced him.

Also not dressing for the Packers were Gordy, cornerback Brandon Underwood, offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Evan Dietrich-Smith, fullback Quinn Johnson, running back Dimitri Nance and Graham Harrell (third quarterback).

EXTRA POINTS

Hines Ward has caught at least one pass in 17 postseason games, tying John Stallworth for the longest streak in Steelers history. … The NFC has won the Super Bowl coin toss 14 consecutive times. ... Eleven players have scored for the Packers during the postseason, establishing a new NFL record.

Photo Galleries

Super Bowl XLV

Super Bowl XLV

Super Bowl XLV is Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers at Cowboy's Stadium in Arlington, TX February 6, 2011.

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