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lamberts-lost-tooth
10-21-2008, 06:12 AM
Nothing dirty about Ward's rugged play
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


So the Cincinnati Bengals want a piece of Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward when the teams play again Nov. 20?

Please.

They had better get in line.

It is a very long line.

Baltimore Ravens safety Rod Woodson threatened to get even with Ward after his nose was bloodied by a Ward block in 2001. Ravens linebacker Bart Scott threatened to kill Ward after he was flattened by a Ward hit in '07. Cleveland Browns cornerback Daven Holly called the Ward block that left him with a concussion last season "a heinous act." Ravens cornerback Chris McAllister used a vulgar term to describe Ward in '04 for no other reason than, well, Ward is Ward.

Now, along come the Bengals after Ward's hard-but-clean block knocked rookie linebacker Keith Rivers out for the season with a broken jaw Sunday.

"Too bad he can't hit someone face up," Bengals safety Chinedum Ndukwe said. "It's the type of guy he is. He's a blind-side guy. That's all right. We play them again."

That didn't bother Ward in the slightest. "They all hate me in the division," he said yesterday. "I don't worry about someone trying to take me out. I don't even think about it. I know they're going to try to hit me hard any chance they get. That's why I always try to hit them hard first."

But this bothered Ward greatly: "I hate that they're saying I'm a dirty player when I didn't do anything wrong. How can it be a dirty play when I don't get penalized? How can it be a dirty play when all I'm doing is playing football and trying to help my teammate get extra yards?"

Those are good questions.

There are a lot of ways to describe Ward. I like Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's version: "Hines plays the game the way it's supposed to be played. ... He's a football player first and a wide receiver second." Ward prefers former Ravens coach Brian Billick's description: " 'I hate the S.O.B., but I'd love to have him on my team.' "

But Ward a dirty player?

Sorry, I just don't see it.

Of all of Ward's many vicious blocks, the only one I can remember coming late and drawing a penalty was his hit on the Browns' Holly last season. Just about everything he does -- though unusually violent for a receiver -- is within the rules.

Of course, that didn't stop the NFL from fining Ward for "unnecessary roughness" on plays that weren't penalized in games against Jacksonville and Baltimore earlier this season. He doesn't think he'll be fined for the hit on Rivers, but who knows? If the league does fine him, it will stink of hypocrisy. That block is the type of brutal hit that makes the NFL game so popular. Rivers was sent flying; his feet must have been 10 feet off the turf. It's the type of play the league surely will market and sell on its 2008 Greatest Hits video.

"It was shoulder to shoulder," Ward said. "If I was a dirty player, I would have gone low on him. I easily could have taken out his leg. But my intentions weren't to hurt him. I just wanted to block him. I can't help that he broke his jaw when he hit the ground. I feel sorry that it was broken, but I don't feel sorry for what I did.

"No one ever sent me an apology note when I was hurt. Two years ago against Cleveland, Sean Jones hurt my knee with what I thought was a bad hit. Last year, [San Francisco's] Patrick Willis hit me directly on my knee. No one felt sorry for me ...

"I'm a 200-pound wide receiver. [Rivers] is a first-round linebacker out of USC. If I were him, I wouldn't want people talking about me being blocked like that. I'd be embarrassed about it."

Lost in the controversy surrounding Ward's big hit and fines is the fact he's having another superb season. He caught his fifth touchdown pass in the 38-10 victory against the Bengals, taking a cheap hit from safety Dexter Jackson long after he scored. Ward bounced up and grinned in Jackson's face as the officials called Jackson for a personal foul. "I knew that hit was coming," Ward said, shrugging.

Ward didn't take it personally.

"I hardly ever allow it to become personal," he said. "I can only think of one or two times in my career when I lost my cool and allowed it to be personal. I caught a touchdown pass in Seattle and spiked the ball in front of [Ken] Lucas. He had been grabbing me and talking all game. That was personal. After I hit [Earl] Little in Cleveland [in 2001], I stood over him because he called me a 'Chinaman [bleep]' a few plays earlier. I said to him, 'How do you like that from a Chinaman [bleep]?' I know I shouldn't have done it and I deserved that fine.

"But these fines this year? I didn't do anything wrong. I just played football."

And if the opponents disagree?

"If I'm in their head and they're worried about me, I figure I've won already," Ward said.

In the game against the Ravens last season when Ward drilled Scott, he also sent All-Pro safety Ed Reed flying with a block. "The next few plays, all he cared about was getting back at me," Ward said. "He didn't care about his responsibilities. That's not helping his team. That's helping my team."

I'm thinking Ward will be ready for the Giants' best shots Sunday and the Washington Redskins' the next week and the Bengals', Ravens' and Browns' down the road.

Certainly, they had better be ready for his best.

"I'm not going to allow this silly [stuff] to change the way I play," Ward said.

Nor should he.

Tomlin's point is worth repeating one more time:

Hines plays the game the way it's supposed to be played
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08295/921512-87.stm

stillers4me
10-21-2008, 06:38 AM
Thank God Hines is a Steeler!! :tt02:

DACEB
10-21-2008, 07:07 AM
Ffin' pansies, all of 'em!!

Blocks like that are praised and highlighted on STs, yet when it's Ward it's dirty. Hines is right, they should all be ashamed of themselves.

SCSTILLER
10-21-2008, 07:25 AM
AAWWW, the defensive players are upset that they are getting a taste of their own medicine.

I could understand being ticked off if Ward whined and cried after he was knocked on his @$$, but he doesn't. He gets up, smiles, and goes back to the huddle!

Keep on 'em Hines!

Texasteel
10-21-2008, 08:12 AM
Personal Foul, unnecessary whining.

Half the distance to shut the hell up.

stlrtruck
10-21-2008, 09:51 AM
I would like to reiterate to anyone and everyone, especially the players and the commissioner..

THIS IS FOOTBALL it is a CONTACT SPORT!!!

SteelersMongol
10-21-2008, 10:34 AM
After I hit [Earl] Little in Cleveland [in 2001], I stood over him because he called me a 'Chinaman [bleep]' a few plays earlier. I said to him, 'How do you like that from a Chinaman [bleep]?' I know I shouldn't have done it and I deserved that fine.


So that's the story behind that famous Hines picture, huh? Stupid Clowns.

klick81
10-21-2008, 11:00 AM
And this is why I love the fact that Hines is on our team:



In the game against the Ravens last season when Ward drilled Scott, he also sent All-Pro safety Ed Reed flying with a block. "The next few plays, all he cared about was getting back at me," Ward said. "He didn't care about his responsibilities. That's not helping his team. That's helping my team."


These are facets of the game that cannot be attributed to anyone's stats, but affect the game just as much as anything else. Great job Hines.

SuzyPeppercorn
10-21-2008, 11:02 AM
i want ward to play for the steelers until i die. he is seriously the best.

i hope his personality rubs off onto all the young receivers the steelers have.

klick81
10-21-2008, 11:02 AM
So that's the story behind that famous Hines picture, huh? Stupid Clowns.

Wait...i thought that was agains the Bungles???

Edit:

This one:

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b272/klick81/untitled.jpg

Edman
10-21-2008, 11:32 AM
Hines Ward is an old school football player in a pansies league that glorifies showboating WR's and softies. The Defenders don't like him (and in some cases, hate his guts) because nobody likes to get a dose of their own medicine. Hines is a physical WR who is tough as nails. He's been doing this stuff for years. I don't know why people are acting like its a new thing. Oh wait, it's a WR.

Bart Scott just couldn't stop bragging about his blindside hit on Ben, when he said it could've been worse, that just teared it for me. It was so fun to see him get knocked on his ass last year. Now he's a whining B*tch like all the others.

Nobody can deny the impact Hines brings to this Steelers team. Not for fantasy stats, he's a great all around WR who plays the whole field. I hope he's here until retirement.

steelpride12
10-21-2008, 01:02 PM
Goodell knew if he would have fined Ward for a third time, Pittsburgh would have got out the Torches and Picks.

MasterOfPuppets
10-21-2008, 01:12 PM
"Too bad he can't hit someone face up," Bengals safety Chinedum Ndukwe said. "It's the type of guy he is. He's a blind-side guy. That's all right. We play them again."stupid bunghole.......doesn't he realize he has to get on the field with ward again this year ??? :chuckle:

Dino 6 Rings
10-21-2008, 01:19 PM
I Love the Attitude that Mike Tomlin has brought to our team. Its as if, he has made us More Intense after Cowher. Is that even possible?

Its starting to feel that way.

Keep hitting people Hines! Keep knocking the snot out of people!

jasonhightower
10-21-2008, 02:00 PM
I love it! Any chance moving Hines to Safety at the end of his career just so he can "jack some fools up?"

rbryan
10-21-2008, 02:19 PM
Not the worst idea I ever heard for sure. HW is already the last boyscout when it comes to old school WR play. Why not throw it all the way back to when that was the norm. They could try it a few plays just for kicks.

Steelersfan4life0655
10-21-2008, 04:51 PM
thats why i have a ward jersey. it's all beat up and looks old school just like him and what beating up he does on the field to other teams:tt02:

Blitzburgh_Fever
10-21-2008, 04:58 PM
Move Hines to Safety for a few plays this Sunday when we get up ahead. I'm sure he'd love a few shots at Plaxico.

Preacher
10-21-2008, 05:07 PM
I love it! Any chance moving Hines to Safety at the end of his career just so he can "jack some fools up?"

You know...

In a pinch... once Hines is the third receiver... Hmmm....

Texasteel
10-21-2008, 05:19 PM
You know...

In a pinch... once Hines is the third receiver... Hmmm....

And I bet he would have that same smile on his face.

jjpro11
10-21-2008, 06:13 PM
i am astonished people out there are upset with that block. rivers was ahead of the ball carrier for Christ sake. he was right in the middle of the play, ready to knock moore out of bounds.. moore was able to pick up and extra couple yards because of that block. people saying rivers was out of the play just sound delusional and are speaking with blatant bias. for the first time ever, defenders are the ones taking the hits.. and they are crying like babies because of it.

steelin games
10-21-2008, 06:27 PM
This is a question that was asked to Vic Ketchman on Jaguars.com. This is the best answer I have seen to what type of player we have in Ward. This is why I love putting on my Hines Ward jersey on game day!!!!!



Kevin from Orange Park, FL
Whatís your reaction to Hines Ward breaking rookie LB Keith Riversí jaw? I, for one, think Hines Ward is a dirty player. Seems to me most games he purposely stirs up trouble and takes cheap hits.

Vic: Iíve watched the hit up close and in slow motion several times. Iíve even stopped the action at the point of impact. The block is clearly made with his right shoulder and there are no signs of using the helmet as a weapon. Wardís feet are on the ground and he is in no way guilty of launching. At first I thought the block might be unnecessary but, on further review, it clearly springs the ball-carrier around the corner and denies Rivers the ability to make the tackle. Dirty? Whatís dirty about it? There was no flag thrown. Fine him? They should pin a medal on him. In my time covering this game, I have seen head-hunting defensive backs try to cripple defenseless receivers. I saw Jack Tatum and George Atkinson target Lynn Swann; head-shot him repeatedly and even attack him from behind and karate chop him in the back of the neck. I saw Tatum cripple Daryl Stingley for life in a preseason game. I saw Thom Darden hit a receiver over the middle so hard I thought the guy was dead. I remember seeing Jaguars cornerback Dave Thomas crush Jerry Rice in a preseason game and celebrate as though it was the play that won the Super Bowl. In the preseason? How about the launch job on Anquan Boldin a few weeks ago? Well, finally, a wide receiver has come along who has decided to hit back. Ward is striking a blow for all the defenseless receivers over the years whoíve been targeted by defensive players with an intent to punish. All of a sudden, the hunters have become the hunted. I think everyone in the league is waiting to see what the league does about the Rivers hit. Itís going to define what the game has become and where itís going.

Steeldude
10-21-2008, 06:29 PM
"Too bad he can't hit someone face up," Bengals safety Chinedum Ndukwe said. "It's the type of guy he is. He's a blind-side guy. That's all right. We play them again."

then all pass rushers in the NFL better stop sacking QBs from their blind side.

like DBs don't come across the middle hitting receivers. Chinedum Ndukwe should be extremely embarrassed for making such a comment.

jasonhightower
10-22-2008, 11:22 AM
Vic: Iíve watched the hit up close and in slow motion several times. Iíve even stopped the action at the point of impact. The block is clearly made with his right shoulder and there are no signs of using the helmet as a weapon. Wardís feet are on the ground and he is in no way guilty of launching. At first I thought the block might be unnecessary but, on further review, it clearly springs the ball-carrier around the corner and denies Rivers the ability to make the tackle. Dirty? Whatís dirty about it? There was no flag thrown. Fine him? They should pin a medal on him. In my time covering this game, I have seen head-hunting defensive backs try to cripple defenseless receivers. I saw Jack Tatum and George Atkinson target Lynn Swann; head-shot him repeatedly and even attack him from behind and karate chop him in the back of the neck. I saw Tatum cripple Daryl Stingley for life in a preseason game. I saw Thom Darden hit a receiver over the middle so hard I thought the guy was dead. I remember seeing Jaguars cornerback Dave Thomas crush Jerry Rice in a preseason game and celebrate as though it was the play that won the Super Bowl. In the preseason? How about the launch job on Anquan Boldin a few weeks ago? Well, finally, a wide receiver has come along who has decided to hit back. Ward is striking a blow for all the defenseless receivers over the years whoíve been targeted by defensive players with an intent to punish. All of a sudden, the hunters have become the hunted. I think everyone in the league is waiting to see what the league does about the Rivers hit. Itís going to define what the game has become and where itís going.

I don't think anyone could of made a better point than Vic.

lilyoder6
10-22-2008, 11:27 AM
that was a good response by vic... it stupid that def players are bitching about what watd is doing, when they do it all the time.. what panzy's they are

Hines4ever
10-22-2008, 11:50 AM
Personal Foul, unnecessary whining.

Half the distance to shut the hell up.

:rofl: