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GBMelBlount
08-23-2008, 07:07 AM
Steelers' Ward says players must do too much

Hines Ward jokes with Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin during the final afternoon summer camp workout at St. Vincent College. Ward would like to see the NFL lighten the players' workout load.

The Steelers' first teams will get their most extensive look tonight when they play the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis. That's fine with Hines Ward, but he thinks somewhere along the line the NFL should reduce the amount of football its players must endure, either in the preseason or the offseason.

"It's long, monotonous, especially with OTAs," said Ward, entering his 11th NFL season. "You do all those OTAs, why not cut back on the preseason games?"

Organized team activities, or OTAs for short, are those voluntary practices and meetings each NFL team now conducts throughout the spring, usually from late April through early June. Each team is permitted 14 OTAs, plus a five-practice required minicamp spread over three days.

With all the spring workouts, Ward believes the players no longer need four preseason games to get ready for the regular season. He says three would be perfect.

"Either cut back on the preseason games or cut back on OTAs," Ward suggested.

Ward is aware that in order to reduce the number of preseason games, the owners would need to make up the revenue some other way. Since he does not advocate lengthening the season from its current 16 games, he says the alternative is to scale back what the players do in the spring.

"They say the OTAs are voluntary," Ward said. "But, really, they're mandatory. You can say it's voluntary if you want, but it doesn't look good when you're not here. So many big people make a big deal if a guy's not here. If you make such a big deal about it, it's ... voluntary! It should be every guy's choice if he wants to come back."

It was pointed out to Ward that both Troy Polamalu and Casey Hampton skipped the spring drills except for the required minicamp.

"Yeah, but if Troy, Casey, myself, Ben, Willie all stay away, now it becomes a problem," Ward said. "To me, it's mandatory. The preseason starts in April or May and goes all the way to now. Now it gets kind of monotonous; you see the same old plays, you run the same offense. I get tired going against Deshea. I've been going against Deshea for 11 years from May on out."

When Ward and cornerback Deshea Townsend joined the Steelers as draft picks in 1998, there wasn't so much football.

"You didn't have as many OTAs,'' Ward said. "When I was a rookie, we had a rookie minicamp and a smaller minicamp. You didn't see the veteran guys until the first week of June for a four-five-day camp. That's the way it used to be."

Having said that, Ward believes coach Mike Tomlin takes care of his older veterans better than do some other coaches, including Cleveland's Romeo Crennel. Defensive end Orpheus Roye, signed by the Steelers last week after he was released early this year by the Browns, told Ward that Tomlin goes easier on his veterans.

"He said their coach beat them up in training camp and, by time they got to the season, in the fourth quarters they were beat up, physically and mentally drained," Ward said. "Coach Tomlin has been good about it.

"Camp was good. He didn't really cut back, but some of the veteran guys he let off some days. He's been looking out for, I guess, those 30 and above. It's the same football. Myself, Potsie [James Farrior], James [Harrison], Deshea -- we've been running the same plays since day one, there's no need to grind through it. We've been in this league so long, I think we know what it takes to be mentally tough. It's the young guys, those are the guys he really pushes."

Ward said he is looking forward to the extended play he and his fellow first-teams will see tonight in Minnesota.

"It's probably the best preparation we're going to get before the regular season. You want to get the guys going on a 10- or 12 play drive. If I have my clothes on, I'm ready to play. I don't want to come out of the game. But you have to be smart about it."

By that he meant not pushing the first-teamers to the extent they are exposed to injury more than necessary. The Steelers saw what can occur in the preseason when backup quarterback Charlie Batch's right collarbone was broken in the first preseason game.

"Charlie's a quality backup who has been around. That could easily have been me or Ben or anybody who plays a vital role on this team.

"If two starting guys get hurt on your team, that can cause a different outcome for your season. Imagine if we lose Ben or Troy in the preseason, the state of the Steelers probably would go a little crazy. So you have to be smart in situations. You do have to take precautions. You don't want to overwork your guys in games that don't really count."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08236/906494-66.stm

Saturday, August 23, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana/Post-Gazette

Galax Steeler
08-23-2008, 07:24 AM
Nice read I am not a football player but they do go through alot considering all the training and preseason schedule they really have to be in shape to go through all of that.

stillers4me
08-23-2008, 08:33 AM
I think Hines is right about this one. And I'm glad he gave Tomlin some credit for having a smarter plan for training camp and pre season games this year. (Troy is fine, folks.) We all saw what happened last year as one vet after another went down. (and gave Crennel a little blast, too!)

But here it comes.......drum roll, please........

"HInes is whining again". :yap:

Texasteel
08-23-2008, 09:25 AM
I've thought for a long time that there were to many games, pre-season probable should be cut down if you want 16 games during the season.
But if you do that it cuts down on the revenue that pays for all these big contract. Its a catch 22 I guess.

xfl2001fan
08-23-2008, 09:28 AM
Crennel has been taking it easier on veterans this season than in seasons past. Scheduled days off and such.

Alva Lord
08-23-2008, 10:09 AM
Nice read I am not a football player but they do go through alot considering all the training and preseason schedule they really have to be in shape to go through all of that.
So what? Hines needs to be reminded that he gets paid tens of millions of dollars to play a game. Hines isn't happy unless he's whining about something.

stillers4me
08-23-2008, 10:47 AM
So what? Hines needs to be reminded that he gets paid tens of millions of dollars to play a game. Hines isn't happy unless he's whining about something.

right on cue........ :chuckle:

steeltheone
08-23-2008, 10:57 AM
From what i've heard from reports from training camp, Ward does not even participate in alot of the drills and practices the other players do.

xfl2001fan
08-23-2008, 11:01 AM
Why not, just to have some fun with it...

Can't have whines without Hines!

Couldn't resist, no matter how terribly un-funny that was.

stillers4me
08-23-2008, 11:13 AM
He's referred to as Whines Hard in rival forums.

Get it......Hines Ward........Whines Hard.

ba da bum.......... :coffee:

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-23-2008, 11:19 AM
He's referred to as Whines Hard in rival forums.

Get it......Hines Ward........Whines Hard.

ba da bum.......... :coffee:
Thanks.....I'm here all week. Try the Veal!!! :hatsoff:

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-23-2008, 11:23 AM
Honestly, whether they make millions or not its a tough game, the toll on the body is unbelievable and any break that players can get should be appreciated.

Playing D-line on sundays is likened to taking a 10 yard run at your garage door 30 or 40 times. Do that 16 weeks in a row for pay and I bet you wouldnt want to do it for another 8 weeks of "voluntary " practice.

stillers4me
08-23-2008, 11:31 AM
Honestly, whether they make millions or not its a tough game, the toll on the body is unbelievable and any break that players can get should be appreciated.

Playing D-line on sundays is likened to taking a 10 yard run at your garage door 30 or 40 times. Do that 16 weeks in a row for pay and I bet you wouldnt want to do it for another 8 weeks of "voluntary " practice.

I agree with you and Hines. Another young football player got lucky last night. He found out he is not going to be paralyzed for the rest of his life after breaking his neck in a meaningless preseason game. THAT'S why they are paid those astronomical amounts of money to make even more astronomical amounts of money for their franchises. It could all be over in one play.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-23-2008, 11:42 AM
I agree with you and Hines. Another young football player got lucky last night. He found out he is not going to be paralyzed for the rest of his life after breaking his neck in a meaningless preseason game. THAT'S why they are paid those astronomical amounts of money to make even more astronomical amounts of money for their franchises. It could all be over in one play.

Actually, they get those astronomical salaries because fans like us will pay billions a year in ticket, concessions, NFL Sunday Ticket, NFL Merchandise and watch it all on TV. The players get approx 65% of that.

Coal Miners and Crab Fishermen have much more risky professions, but the arguement that they should stop whining and do what they are told because of the $$ is still a dumb arguement.

Nothing like getting paralyzed in a preseason game because the league needs more revenue. :banging: BTW it sounds like the kid is gonna be OK.

STEELAMANIA
08-23-2008, 12:03 PM
Ward is getting soft?????? Cmon Ward, earn your salary, football is year round now.

Alva Lord
08-23-2008, 12:13 PM
I agree with you and Hines. Another young football player got lucky last night. He found out he is not going to be paralyzed for the rest of his life after breaking his neck in a meaningless preseason game. THAT'S why they are paid those astronomical amounts of money to make even more astronomical amounts of money for their franchises. It could all be over in one play.
So what? They know the risk they're taking by choosing to play pro football. If they don't like the risks involved then choose something else to do.

Texasteel
08-23-2008, 12:31 PM
So what? They know the risk they're taking by choosing to play pro football. If they don't like the risks involved then choose something else to do.

I knew the risk of my profession when I started. So if I fall 50 stories onto a concrete street thats just to bad. The hell with me, right. :banging:

Alva Lord
08-23-2008, 12:33 PM
Honestly, whether they make millions or not its a tough game, the toll on the body is unbelievable and any break that players can get should be appreciated.

Playing D-line on sundays is likened to taking a 10 yard run at your garage door 30 or 40 times. Do that 16 weeks in a row for pay and I bet you wouldnt want to do it for another 8 weeks of "voluntary " practice.
Cry me a river. What about the fact that "they chose" to play pro football don't you understand? Pre season or not, no one forced them into the lifestyle. They chose that lifestyle knowing the risks involved because first and foremost, they see dollar signs. Millions of them. Apparently the monetary rewards far outweigh the physical risks for most players. Otherwise they wouldn't do it.

Hines Ward can kiss my royal arse. He's being paid tens of millions of dollars, guaranteed I might add, to play a game. That game involves the possibility that he may get injured. I won't feel sorry for him if he does because he'll still be filthy rich, sitting at home and whining that the eight video screens in his customized Humvee aren't big enough.

Alva Lord
08-23-2008, 12:36 PM
I knew the risk of my profession when I started. So if I fall 50 stories onto a concrete street thats just to bad. The hell with me, right. :banging:
I wouldn't say to hell with you, but I would say that if that is what you chose to do then you willingly take the consequences that come with the territory.

Texasteel
08-23-2008, 12:40 PM
I wouldn't say to hell with you, but I would say that if that is what you chose to do then you willingly take the consequences that come with the territory.

Some day you are going to need some concern, and heart felt compassion from someone. When you do I hope you don't run into you clone.

xfl2001fan
08-23-2008, 12:42 PM
I don't think I've heard that one before. (The whole Whines Hard).

They choose to play a game. So I find it hard to sympathize with guys who make more in one contract than I will likely see over my lifetime. Then again, I sympathize more with the players than I do with the coaches/owners who make their money off of the players...who all make their money off of my hard earned dollars.

stillers4me
08-23-2008, 12:54 PM
Cry me a river. What about the fact that "they chose" to play pro football don't you understand? Pre season or not, no one forced them into the lifestyle. They chose that lifestyle knowing the risks involved because first and foremost, they see dollar signs. Millions of them. Apparently the monetary rewards far outweigh the physical risks for most players. Otherwise they wouldn't do it.

Hines Ward can kiss my royal arse. He's being paid tens of millions of dollars, guaranteed I might add, to play a game. That game involves the possibility that he may get injured. I won't feel sorry for him if he does because he'll still be filthy rich, sitting at home and whining that the eight video screens in his customized Humvee aren't big enough.

So one and done in the playoffs is ok with you while half our starters are on the bench with season ending injuries? :doh:

Hines isn't "whining" about the physical load on himself as much as he is stating that there are long term disadvantages to working that hard early in the season. Those million dollar bodies have to hold through sixteen extremely physical games plus the post season play.

xfl2001fan
08-23-2008, 01:24 PM
I didn't take it that he was whining...but I actually respect the guy as a football player. I'd listen to him before I would most other players because he plays the game the way it's meant to be played.

wvsportsman
08-23-2008, 02:12 PM
So what? Hines needs to be reminded that he gets paid tens of millions of dollars to play a game. Hines isn't happy unless he's whining about something.

Hines doesn't need to be reminded of anything! He knows what he's being paid for and show it come game time, the man gives better than %100 every game for 11 years. It sounded to me he was saying they need to be smart with the vets to better the chance of them being healthy and not worn out for regualr season.
I'd say he's a leader:applaudit:! not a whiner..

Elvis
08-23-2008, 02:32 PM
I love Hines but there is times when he does whine a litte.

That being said, I think there is too many OTA's. If not for the preseason games, how are the teams gonna know who they want to keep on their 53 man roster? Do away with so many preseason games, maybe down to 2 and have more players on your roster... like 65 or so.

Just a though:noidea:

lilyoder6
08-23-2008, 02:38 PM
he whines a lil bit about it but not sdo much to be a full blown baby.. ur going to have to have so many pratices and ota's to stay an elite team b/c if not the teams can pass u by..

xfl2001fan
08-23-2008, 02:49 PM
I'm trying to figure out why (if there's a salary cap) that teams are required to a 53 man roster. Why not let teams have more. I understand that Pre-Cap days, it was a way of helping keep smaller markets slightly competitive...but if a team wants a few more role players on their team...why not?

X-Terminator
08-23-2008, 02:53 PM
Cry me a river. What about the fact that "they chose" to play pro football don't you understand? Pre season or not, no one forced them into the lifestyle. They chose that lifestyle knowing the risks involved because first and foremost, they see dollar signs. Millions of them. Apparently the monetary rewards far outweigh the physical risks for most players. Otherwise they wouldn't do it.

Hines Ward can kiss my royal arse. He's being paid tens of millions of dollars, guaranteed I might add, to play a game. That game involves the possibility that he may get injured. I won't feel sorry for him if he does because he'll still be filthy rich, sitting at home and whining that the eight video screens in his customized Humvee aren't big enough.

There have been times in the past when you could accuse Hines of whining. This isn't one of them.

If you think it's easy for someone over 30 to endure that much physical and mental strain without complaint, then I'd like to see you suit up and go at it hard for 5.5 months (6.5 if you make it to the SB), then come back and tell me how you feel. On top of that, they train all during the offseason in order to get their bodies in shape to play those 5.5-6.5 months of "pain-free" football that you and some others in this thread apparently think is no big deal to handle. I am over 30 and take martial arts, and while is isn't as physically demanding as getting hit 20-30 times a week for 6 months, it still takes a physical toll on my body, especially because I'm over 30. My body can't handle what it could 10 years ago, it's as simple as that, so I have to pace myself. That is all Hines is really saying here.

HometownGal
08-23-2008, 03:01 PM
Hyuk, hyuk, hyuk.

http://www.shannonandrod.com/bergen/M02.gif

Alva Lord
08-24-2008, 09:19 AM
So one and done in the playoffs is ok with you while half our starters are on the bench with season ending injuries? :doh:
What?! Dumb question. Where did I sat that? How do you conclude that nonsense from my posts?

Hines isn't "whining" about the physical load on himself as much as he is stating that there are long term disadvantages to working that hard early in the season. Those million dollar bodies have to hold through sixteen extremely physical games plus the post season play.
Excuse me for not caring! There are also long term disadvantages to being a soldier or working in coal mines year round, but those men and women risk their lives yet they don't make 1/1000th of what Ward makes to play a game. Maybe Ward ought to keep things in perspective before he opens his filthy rich mouth.

X-Terminator
08-24-2008, 01:54 PM
What?! Dumb question. Where did I sat that? How do you conclude that nonsense from my posts?


Excuse me for not caring! There are also long term disadvantages to being a soldier or working in coal mines year round, but those men and women risk their lives yet they don't make 1/1000th of what Ward makes to play a game. Maybe Ward ought to keep things in perspective before he opens his filthy rich mouth.

Ah, so this vitriol toward Hines is because he makes millions of dollars? Gotcha.

So because he makes that money, in your mind, he should just shut up and not speak up about anything? When did he forfeit that right?

Alva Lord
08-24-2008, 01:58 PM
Ah, so this vitriol toward Hines is because he makes millions of dollars? Gotcha.

So because Hines makes millions, in your mind, he should just shut up and not speak out against anything?
No. It's you either completely ignoring or not understanding the intent of the subject matter. Get it now?

X-Terminator
08-24-2008, 02:01 PM
No. It's you either completely ignoring or not understanding the intent of the subject matter. Get it now?

Oh, I understand the intent of the subject matter quite well, which means evidently you did not read my previous post in this thread where I actually talked about the intent of the subject matter and why Hines spoke out.

Nah, keep talking down to me like I'm stupid. You aren't the first one who's done that.

Alva Lord
08-24-2008, 02:03 PM
Nah, keep talking down to me like I'm stupid. You aren't the first one who's done that.
That's obvious. Have a nice day.

X-Terminator
08-24-2008, 02:05 PM
That's obvious. Have a nice day.

Yep, that pretty much says that you didn't read it.

YOU have a nice day.

Alva Lord
08-24-2008, 02:29 PM
Yep, that pretty much says that you didn't read it.

YOU have a nice day.
Oh I read it, alright. My response was apropos.

X-Terminator
08-24-2008, 03:03 PM
Oh I read it, alright. My response was apropos.

Look dude, do you want to discuss this like civilized adults or keep going round and round? All I did was ask a question, because I like to challenge people's opinions. It wasn't supposed to be condescending and didn't deserve the response I got. I get that way too many times on this board, and quite honestly I'm sick of it. I never complain or get angry whenever someone challenges things I post - I just answer them as honestly as I can.

fansince'76
08-24-2008, 03:34 PM
Please chill, folks. Thanks.