View Full Version : Steelers’ Ward says he’d hit Bengals’ Rivers again

09-23-2009, 05:18 PM
Steelers’ Ward says he’d hit Bengals’ Rivers again
By JOE KAY, AP Sports Writer 1 hour, 9 minutes ago

CINCINNATI (AP)—Hines Ward(notes) says he’d lay another tough hit on Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers(notes), even if it means drawing a penalty.

The Pittsburgh Steelers leveled Rivers with a straight-up block from the side during a game last season, breaking the linebacker’s jaw and ending his season. Such blocks have since been banned under the league’s rules changes.

Hines and Rivers will face each other Sunday in Cincinnati for the first time since the hit. Rivers said on Wednesday that he hopes the rules change makes it safer for players. In Pittsburgh, Ward told reporters that if the same situation happens again, he’d hit Rivers again, even if it means getting a penalty.

09-23-2009, 05:46 PM
That a boy Ward!

09-23-2009, 05:52 PM
That's what I like to see. What the hell kind of rule is that anyway? Is there really such a thing as a "defenseless defender?" Isn't that kind of an oxymoron?

09-23-2009, 06:22 PM
I guess Hines is not on Rivers' Christmas card list.

09-23-2009, 08:30 PM
Ward: I'd do it again
By Joe Reedy • jreedy@enquirer.com • September 23, 2009

The anticipated war of words between Keith Rivers and Hines Ward turned out to be fairly one-sided.

While Bengals linebacker Rivers tried to distance himself from discussing what would be a season-ending Ward blind-side block last year, the Steelers receiver said he’d do the same thing again, even if it means being fined.

Since the Ward hit in Week 7 last year, the league adopted Rule 12-2-12, otherwise known as the Hines Ward rule. It eliminates blindside blocks to the head or neck area of an opponent.

But Ward says he thinks it’s safer to hit players up high instead of putting their knees at risk.

And as far as being a target on Sunday goes, Ward isn’t concerned.

“Each and every game I know I’m hunted. Each and every game I play in, I think they’re hunted, too,” Ward said to Pittsburgh reporters. “It’s not about me and Rivers; it’s about the Pittsburgh Steelers against Cincinnati, and we’ve just got to win on the road.”

After last year’s game, Rivers said of Ward: “You know, you reap what you sow. That’s what happens. What goes around, comes around. We’ll see what happens.”

On Wednesday, Rivers was more measured.

“It’s a new week and that happened almost a year ago,” he said. “It’s over with, it’s done with. I’ve moved on and I’m looking forward to finishing this season off and doing well. It’s in the past.”

Both the Steelers and Bengals enter Sunday’s game 1-1. They will renew a series recently marked by big hits, including Kimo von Oelhoffen’s on Carson Palmer in a 2005 season playoff game, which sidelined the quarterback.

Ward’s block was the first example on an NFL instructional video that explained the rules changes for players and media during training camp. Rivers says he has seen the play often and has not talked to Ward.

After last year’s game, Ward said he passed along his apologies to Chad Ochocinco, who forwarded them to Rivers.

On Wednesday, Rivers wanted no part of reliving the past or critiquing Ward.

“I’m not commenting on how he plays. All I know is how I play and I look forward to making plays,” River said. “It’s a heated rivalry, so whenever there’s a rivalry, there’s always a little jawing and talking going on.

“My eyes get big whenever I get the chance to get a good clean hit on anyone. It won’t be different from anyone else.”

Some players are against the new rule and worry about having to hit players lower to avoid a 15-yard penalty or a fine. The concern is they put the opposing players’ knees at risk.

“I’ll still hit him. I’ll just get fined,” Ward said. “I’d rather take a fine than try to end somebody’s career, so I’m not going to change. Me being the defensive guy, I’d rather get hit high than low. Because if I hit Rivers (low), I probably would have blown out his knee and he never would have played football again.”

“If I end his career, I will feel more worse as a player than hitting him up high. We have on shoulder pads, we have on helmets. That’s what they’re made for. But me going down low when he’s not watching and I blow his knee out? To me, that’s the sign of a dirty player.”

While Ward is not changing his style of play, others are following the rule, including Steelers linebacker James Harrison, the reigning defensive player of the year.

In the opener against Tennessee, Harrison went low on tight end Bo Scaife, who suffered a knee injury and has not practiced since.

“To be honest with you, I think they should really get rid of that rule, I believe you put a lot of guys at risk for being hurt,” Harrison said. “I think that’s one of the craziest rules that they ever implemented.”

Don’t expect Rivers to play differently or try and exact revenge on Sunday. That would be unlike him. Also don’t look for rookie Rey Maualuga to be the designated enforcer, either.

Both are more concerned about stopping Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ offense.

“If he goes out of his way to do things he’s not supposed to do, and plays with anger and regret, he’s going to play out of his game and make mistakes,” said Maualuga of Rivers. “I’m not going out of my way to hit him for something that he did that was right just because he was blocking for one of his guys. If he happens to have the ball in his hands, I’ll try to get the ball from him.”

Christian Snyder
09-23-2009, 08:38 PM
Stupid question:

What made Ward hate (hate may be a strong word?) Keith Rivers? :noidea:

09-23-2009, 09:06 PM
i dont think hines "hates" anyone! He goes out and plays the game the way it is suppose to , but maybe it is this quote “You know, you reap what you sow. That’s what happens. What goes around, comes around. We’ll see what happens.” from rivers :noidea:. But i think he doesnt hate rivers at all.

09-23-2009, 09:14 PM
Stupid question:

What made Ward hate (hate may be a strong word?) Keith Rivers? :noidea:

I dont think there is hate, its more of a media trying to make it into something.

09-23-2009, 09:39 PM
Stupid question:

What made Ward hate (hate may be a strong word?) Keith Rivers? :noidea:

Not to fret, young padawan. Hines hates every opponent equally. :chuckle::tt02:

T Bradshaw
09-24-2009, 02:12 AM
NFL is becoming like flag football

too many stupid rules and just too much crap, the worst is if your finger touches a WR after 5 yards you are penalized, too many soft stupid rules

Roger Goodall has ruined this league

Galax Steeler
09-24-2009, 03:35 AM
I bet that Rivers will have his head on a swivel this week. Ward meant every word of what he said and I believe that he would do it again. I want to see the Bengals scatter this week when Ward comes at them.

09-24-2009, 09:21 AM
Stupid question:

What made Ward hate (hate may be a strong word?) Keith Rivers? :noidea:

He was not dressed in black and gold. :wink02:

09-24-2009, 03:00 PM
And that is why I love Hines.

09-24-2009, 08:05 PM
Ward: 'I know I'm hunted. I hunt, too.'
By: Mike Bires -
Beaver County Times

Thursday September 24, 2009 01:02 PM

PITTSBURGH — Hines Ward plans on playing Sunday without worry that Keith Rivers is out to hurt him.

When the Steelers meet the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, Ward and Rivers will be on the field for first time since last Oct. 19.

That’s the day that Rivers, a highly-regarded rookie linebacker, saw his first pro season come to an abrupt, violent end. He suffered a broken jaw after he was drilled by Ward, a prolific pass catcher who’s also regarded as the NFL’s best blocking wide receiver.

“If he’s worried about me, he’s not worried about the 10 other guys (on our offense) and his responsibilities,” Ward said Wednesday before practice. “If I get the ball, I’m sure he’ll try to take a shot at me. But if that same play happens again, I’ll take my shot again.”

Ward fractured Rivers’ jaw on the fourth play of last year’s 38-10 romp over the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. On a first-down play from the Cincinnati 43-yard line, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a short pass to tight end Matt Spaeth. As Spaeth ran toward the sideline, Rivers was in hot pursuit.

But as he honed in on Spaeth, Rivers was drilled by Ward.

Rivers, the ninth overall pick of the ’08 draft, never saw or knew what hit him.

“I put a pretty good hit on him and unfortunately his jaw got broke,” Ward said. “I didn’t say, ‘I’m trying to break this guy’s jaw.’ It’s unfortunate it happened. But it’s just part of football. You get hit. Every player who’s ever put on a uniform has got hit before. It’s not because someone was trying to hurt him.”

Shortly after his jaw was broken, Rivers suggested that he would seek revenge on Ward.

“You reap what you sow,” Rivers said then.

On Wednesday, however, Rivers downplayed the incident with the Cincinnati media.

“It’s over with. It’s done with,” he said. “I really don’t have much to say about it. I just want to have a good game, make some plays and get a W.”

Ward had plenty to say about his hit on Rivers, but for the most part, defended his actions and took exception to the bad rap he got for being a dirty player.

In the spring when the NFL changed its rules on crack-back blocks, the new legislation was dubbed “The Hines Ward Rule.”

The new rule states that a blind-side blocker cannot use his helmet, forearm or shoulder when hitting a defender in the head or neck.

Ward, however, said he’d rather hit a player high than low where there would be a risk of a defender suffering a serious leg injury.

“When the rule came out, it was like they were singling me out for being a dirty guy,” Ward said. “But throughout the past two weeks, I’ve seen hits like that (in other games), but they haven’t been called. It is a rule, but I’m not going to change the way I play.

“Defensive guys would rather get hit high than low,” Ward added. “It’s an unwritten rule, a code around the league. The Brett Favre incident, when he hit the guy low, I would never try to do that.”

Favre, quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, was fined $10,000 for an illegal, below-the-knees crack-back block on Houston defensive back Eugene Wilson in a preseason game.

“Each and every game I’ve played in, I know I’m hunted,” Ward said. “Each and every game, I hunt, too. It’s football. So it’s not about me and Rivers. It’s about the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals.”

09-25-2009, 02:59 AM
NFL is becoming like flag football

too many stupid rules and just too much crap, the worst is if your finger touches a WR after 5 yards you are penalized, too many soft stupid rules

Roger Goodall has ruined this league

Maybe Hines should put a hit on him.....:rulez: Stupid new rules!!!

09-25-2009, 05:40 AM
And that is why I love Hines.

That's why we ALL love Hines!! Hit or be hit, he always gets up smiling!! :helmet:

Christian Snyder
09-25-2009, 07:32 AM
Not to fret, young padawan. Hines hates every opponent equally. :chuckle::tt02::chuckle::laughing:

09-25-2009, 07:35 AM
Hines is a football player in the finest sense of the word. He plays the game like it should be played and YES he will take your head off if you give him the opportunity...as it should be.

09-25-2009, 08:16 PM
I hope he cleans someone's clock Sunday.