Yes, it's true the Pittsburgh Steelers -- the team dubbed "old, slow and ... over" by critics during an uneven opening month -- are alone in first place in the AFC North.
And yes, Tomlin doesn't want to talk about it. Not before Halloween and certainly not with New England (5-1) coming to town on Sunday.
"Oh gosh, it's October," Tomlin said Tuesday. "We're just trying to win week to week and keep pace with the elite."
Pittsburgh (5-2) is a half-game ahead of Baltimore (4-2) and Cincinnati (4-2).
Tomlin declined to take a guess on whether Ward will play.
"I won't be surprised about anything that Hines is capable of," Tomlin said, "particularly from a health standpoint."
Nose tackle Casey Hampton, who has missed three straight games, could be back though the team will be without linebacker James Harrison (fractured orbital bone), nose tackle Chris Hoke (stinger) and guard Doug Legursky (dislocated toe).
"That is a function of them just whacking people and being way out in front," Tomlin said. "So if you come in and you think they are the 32nd best defense in football you are kidding yourself. They are whacking people pretty good. People are throwing the ball every down and they accumulate some yards, it is insignificant."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press