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mesaSteeler
11-30-2009, 06:11 AM
Ward's outburst only hinders Steelers' focus down stretch
Nov. 30, 2009
By Clark Judge
CBSSports.com Senior Writer
http://www.cbssports.com/print/nfl/story/12593228/wards-outburst-only-hinders-steelers-focus-down-stretch

BALTIMORE -- The Pittsburgh Steelers have bigger problems than a three-game losing streak. Wide receiver Hines Ward has all but questioned the team's decision to sit Ben Roethlisberger for Sunday's 20-17 overtime loss to Baltimore, suggesting the team needed him to win a critical game.

Big Ben might be questioned for being inactive, but the decision wasn't his to make. (AP)
Big Ben might be questioned for being inactive, but the decision wasn't his to make. (AP)
The team needed him all right, but Roethlisberger had a good excuse for missing the game: Coaches wouldn't let him play. And they wouldn't let him play because the team's neurosurgeon suggested it, citing post-concussion symptoms that Roethlisberger experienced in last week's practices.

So Big Ben sat. The Steelers lost. And Hines Ward isn't happy.

All of which I understand. Now it's time someone tells Ward to button up. Hines Ward is paid to catch passes, and he's good at it. Very good. He's not paid to offer amateur advice on concussions -- especially other people's concussions -- and it's high time Mike Tomlin, Roethlisberger or his teammates clue him in.

Because now, more than ever, the Pittsburgh Steelers need to pull together for a stretch drive that could put them in the playoffs. But if they have Ward publicly questioning his own quarterback -- the quarterback who, by the way, delivered Pittsburgh two Super Bowls in the last four years -- they're in trouble.

After Sunday's loss, Ward insists he wasn't interested in engaging in "a war of words" with Roethlisberger, wasn't dividing the team and wasn't questioning his manhood. But the more he tried to explain himself the more you wondered what exactly he was trying to say, especially after Ward pointed out that he played through concussions and lived to talk about it.

"We needed him out there," he said of Roethlisberger. "We wanted him. This is a big game."

I understand that, too. But I also understand it's only a game. We're talking about someone's career here, someone who suffered four concussions since 2006, and, I'm sorry, I defer to the experts -- not Hines Ward. So does Tomlin, telling Roethlisberger on Saturday that he wasn't playing and that backup Dennis Dixon -- a guy who had thrown one pass in his pro career -- would take his place.

"It's simply this," Tomlin said. "He passed neurological tests throughout the week that we gave him repeatedly. He had headaches with exertion, which is a symptom of post-concussion deals. It persisted throughout the week. We didn't feel comfortable allowing him to play."

Sounds simple to me. So Roethlisberger sat down, Dixon played and the Steelers took Baltimore into overtime -- losing when an interception produced a game-winning field goal. Maybe some people blame Dixon for the loss, but I'm not one of them. Given the circumstances, he played -- and the Steelers played -- far better than I imagined, taking the Ravens to the mat in a game Baltimore absolutely, positively had to win.

But what good feelings there might have been were mitigated by Ward's comments, and it's time Tomlin sits down for a heart-to-heart with his receiver. Ward is one of the veteran leaders of the Steelers, and he should be frustrated with a loss that drops the defending Super Bowl champions two games behind division leader Cincinnati and casts doubt over their playoff future.

But let's be real here: Tomlin didn't have a choice. He should not have played Roethlisberger. Ward's complaint, he said, was that Tomlin didn't tell him ... or some of his teammates ... until Saturday, calling it "a shocker," but big deal. So he didn't tell them. His first concern is the health of one of his players, not a division within the locker room Roethlisberger's benching might produce.

Steelers-Ravens links

Recap: Ravens 20, Steelers 17 (OT)

Steelers list Big Ben as emergency QB

Postgame report: Steelers | Ravens
Community

Thread: Steelers-Ravens game thread

Thread: Ravens lose the war

Thread: What a game!

Thread: Is this the best rivalry?

Boards: NFL | Steelers | Ravens

"Maybe Hines was uninformed," Tomlin said. "I didn't give him a detailed explanation that went down into the decision-making in terms of what Dr. [Joseph] Maroon [the team neurosurgeon] suggested. In response to that, I will give him that information. I will give our football team that information. At the time that the information came down I was more concerned about getting Dennis ready to play."

As I said, Dixon did OK. He threw a touchdown pass. He ran for another score. And he wasn't sacked. So he threw a fatal interception. It happens, especially against Baltimore. Get over it.

Now it's time for Pittsburgh to get its act together for the next month, and that can happen if Hines Ward is along for the ride. He promises he will be, and I don't question the guy. What I do question is why he'd ever wonder what Ben Roethlisberger is doing on the sidelines after suffering a concussion -- especially after everything the NFL has been through the last couple of weeks.

"It's tough," he said of Roethlisberger's situation. "You don't want to jeopardize your future. It's a toss-up: You either play and jeopardize your future, or you sit out and worry about the big picture.

"Ben had a concussion. He's been in an accident. I can't judge another man. But I've played with a concussion before. I think everybody [has]. It's unfortunate they decided to hold him out. The frustrating part is we didn't know until Saturday, but we came in here and fought our tails off.

"This is the biggest game of the year. We lost and kinda dug ourselves a hole. Me being a competitor I just wish we would've had all our weapons out there. Fortunately, Dennis came in and did well, but we just fell short. It's frustrating."

I'll tell you what's frustrating: The Steelers have Roethlisberger ready to play next weekend, and we're wondering -- or Ward is wondering -- why he didn't play Sunday. Forget about it, OK? And look what's ahead.

The Steelers' next two games are against Oakland at home and in Cleveland -- both of which they should win. Then they have Green Bay and Baltimore at home, and based on what I saw Monday there is no reason to believe they shouldn't beat the Ravens. Then it's a season finale in Miami.

I see that schedule, and I see a team that can make a run like its 2005 finish, but only if they stay together. Hines Ward is going to have to trust his head coach here. Then he's going to have to shut up. The Pittsburgh Steelers have a chance if they don't pull apart.

"We will not go gently," Tomlin promised. "We will unleash hell here in December because we have to. We won't go into a shell. We'll go into attack mode because that's what is required."

No, what's required is going into attack mode with everyone moving forward. And, yes, Hines Ward, I'm talking about you. Forget about Roethlisberger and start worrying about Oakland. And Cleveland. And Green Bay.

mulldog24
11-30-2009, 07:54 AM
Sounds like we may have some internal issues bruin, but one thing about it winning cures everything. If we get a few wins then things will be better in steeler country. Go steelers!!!!

madtowndrunkard
11-30-2009, 09:02 AM
"Hinders focus" .....lol Are you kidding me?

First of all if our team loses focus over his comments then we are nothing more then the Bengals or Raiders.

Secondly our issues have existed all season....we aren't loosing focus....we never had it. We are trying to find focus. You have to put that on the coaching staff. Players commented about how soft training camp and preseason was this year....I think they called it "camp powder puff" or something like that. As they say, you play how you practice. Ward is a leader on this team, maybe he needed to send a message to the coaches and to Ben. This is not the first time we've heard about the issues regarding Ben and his teammates. It's been well documented that Ben is not well liked. We still won 2 SB's so I don't see any of this as an issue that is keeping us from winning. Hines Ward is the toughest SOB I've ever seen on the offensive side of the ball. He's a leader, he's well liked, he has more experience then most on our team, and he just happens to be one of THE very best at his position. He's earned the right to open his mouth. Hopefully this lights a fire under Ben's arse. This is not the first time Ben's toughness, focus, and work ethic have been questioned.

I want to add that I don't think Ben is the reason we are losing. I really don't think Ward thinks that either. Ben is among the best QB's in the league. I think the issue is Tomlin has decided to put our fate solely in Ben's hands. Our play calling has made it very clear we are going to win or lose with Ben throwing the ball. Our run game has become nothing more then a "decoy" or a breather for our WRs. If that is the direction we are going then Ben has to be perfect...he's being asked to carry the team by the coaching staff, so the other players are obviously going to expect him to get it done.

Shoes
11-30-2009, 09:19 AM
"Hinders focus" .....lol Are you kidding me?

First of all if our team loses focus over his comments then we are nothing more then the Bengals or Raiders.

Secondly our issues have existed all season....we aren't loosing focus....we never had it. We are trying to find focus. You have to put that on the coaching staff. Players commented about how soft training camp and preseason was this year....I think they called it "camp powder puff" or something like that. As they say, you play how you practice. Ward is a leader on this team, maybe he needed to send a message to the coaches and to Ben. This is not the first time we've heard about the issues regarding Ben and his teammates. It's been well documented that Ben is not well liked. We still won 2 SB's so I don't see any of this as an issue that is keeping us from winning. Hines Ward is the toughest SOB I've ever seen on the offensive side of the ball. He's a leader, he's well liked, he has more experience then most on our team, and he just happens to be one of THE very best at his position. He's earned the right to open his mouth. Hopefully this lights a fire under Ben's arse. This is not the first time Ben's toughness, focus, and work ethic have been questioned.

I want to add that I don't think Ben is the reason we are losing. I really don't think Ward thinks that either. Ben is among the best QB's in the league. I think the issue is Tomlin has decided to put our fate solely in Ben's hands. Our play calling has made it very clear we are going to win or lose with Ben throwing the ball. Our run game has become nothing more then a "decoy" or a breather for our WRs. If that is the direction we are going then Ben has to be perfect...he's being asked to carry the team by the coaching staff, so the other players are obviously going to expect him to get it done.

"Camp Power Puff"......"you play as you practice"........ .then you say "Hines Ward is the toughest SOB I've ever seen on the offensive side of the ball". Hines is the one player who practiced least on the team this year......and last year. Your mission seems to be nothing more than pissing and moaning......

PalmerSteel
11-30-2009, 09:23 AM
we have been beat up with injuries. we all know hines wears his emotions on his sleeve and he did this interview probably on the same day he found out ben wasnt playing. thats the competitiveness in him. he wants ben in there no matter what. they ALL know its sink or swim time. if they win out, like we can, and we make playoffs. if they blame it on injuries and ALL players dont step up their game, then we sink and start planning for next year.

revefsreleets
11-30-2009, 09:30 AM
Mountain out of a mole hill....

MACH1
11-30-2009, 10:40 AM
Since when does Ward override the Dr.s opinion. It was the Dr. that sat Ben, not Ben or the coaches.

casteeler
11-30-2009, 12:12 PM
hines ward aside for a moment the steelers took their normal offensive game plan and threw it in the garbage. The steelers are succsesful because they play a passing game that includes miller over the middle ,hines ward running short routes with yards after the catch and santonio using his speed to burn the D for big chunks. With that said one of the three were executed last night so it wasn't ben but Dennis dixon however the entire team is built on this offense and dixon should have played bens' passing playbook.You can't expect the offense to play the Oregon Ducks offense but you can expect dixon to play steeler football with a little dixon mixed in.As soon as ben returns arians needs to make dennis dixon a weapon in the steeler offense because that 35 yard run nullified by a bogus holding call not to mention that T.D run.

madtowndrunkard
11-30-2009, 12:13 PM
"Camp Power Puff"......"you play as you practice"........ .then you say "Hines Ward is the toughest SOB I've ever seen on the offensive side of the ball". Hines is the one player who practiced least on the team this year......and last year. Your mission seems to be nothing more than pissing and moaning......


Hines Ward is having one of his best seasons of his career.

I think you just have a hard on for me so you'll argue with anything I say no matter what it is. I wasn't whining btw...just sticking to facts.

Shoes
11-30-2009, 12:26 PM
Hines Ward is having one of his best seasons of his career.

I think you just have a hard on for me so you'll argue with anything I say no matter what it is. I wasn't whining btw...just sticking to facts.


Remember your the guy who said "OUR SEASON IS OVER" that is the fact.... you've carried that BS into every post you made. If it's over go watch Hockey.

madtowndrunkard
11-30-2009, 12:42 PM
Remember your the guy who said "OUR SEASON IS OVER" that is the fact.... you've carried that BS into every post you made. If it's over go watch Hockey.


BS huh? :rofl:


Sorry, while your title may be "Cheerleader" I thought Rooney got rid of cheerleaders? I'm sure you are very cute in your skirt

.....I'm just a fan who wants my team to win but can also take an honest look at were we are.

If we some how make the playoffs it will take help from others and a total turn around in what our team is doing right now. We've lost 3 straight....two of the three teams are not good teams. The chiefs loss was down right embarrassing. Pretend all want if that is what makes you feel better, but don't tell me how to be a fan.

fansince'76
11-30-2009, 12:45 PM
Why do some people think nonstop pissing and moaning is somehow being "objective" and "telling it like it is?"

SteelCityMom
11-30-2009, 01:03 PM
"Hinders focus" .....lol Are you kidding me?

First of all if our team loses focus over his comments then we are nothing more then the Bengals or Raiders.

Agree 100% with this. I think this is being blown up more in the media than anywhere else.

Secondly our issues have existed all season....we aren't loosing focus....we never had it. We are trying to find focus. You have to put that on the coaching staff. Players commented about how soft training camp and preseason was this year....I think they called it "camp powder puff" or something like that. As they say, you play how you practice. Ward is a leader on this team, maybe he needed to send a message to the coaches and to Ben. This is not the first time we've heard about the issues regarding Ben and his teammates. It's been well documented that Ben is not well liked. We still won 2 SB's so I don't see any of this as an issue that is keeping us from winning. Hines Ward is the toughest SOB I've ever seen on the offensive side of the ball. He's a leader, he's well liked, he has more experience then most on our team, and he just happens to be one of THE very best at his position. He's earned the right to open his mouth. Hopefully this lights a fire under Ben's arse. This is not the first time Ben's toughness, focus, and work ethic have been questioned.

This I do not agree with. I don't care how long you've played for a team or how good you are, I don't think that gives you the right to speak out the way Hines did against Ben...especially when none of this was Ben's decision to make. Ben begged Tomlin to let him play, and Tomlin said no because of what the doctors told him. Plain and simple.

Shoes
11-30-2009, 01:27 PM
BS huh? :rofl:


Sorry, while your title may be "Cheerleader" I thought Rooney got rid of cheerleaders? I'm sure you are very cute in your skirt

.....I'm just a fan who wants my team to win but can also take an honest look at were we are.

If we some how make the playoffs it will take help from others and a total turn around in what our team is doing right now. We've lost 3 straight....two of the three teams are not good teams. The chiefs loss was down right embarrassing. Pretend all want if that is what makes you feel better, but don't tell me how to be a fan.

I've played enough football and lived enough life to know that living in a negative world promotes losers and quitters.....no pretending there. No one is saying you can't take an honest look at your team and point out areas of improvement, but you have proclaimed "Our season is over"........and that sounds like a quitter to me.

stlrtruck
11-30-2009, 01:27 PM
Here's some advice WARD (as much as I love you as a player), SHUT UP AND DO YOUR JOB!!!

Let the coaches coach and you as a player, play!

Shoes
11-30-2009, 03:00 PM
http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/6210/ward-clarifies-statements-towards-big-ben

Pittsburgh Steelers receiver and team captain Hines Ward went on ESPN's SportsCenter Monday morning to clarify statements he made about starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
[+] EnlargeRoethlisberger
AP Photo/Gail BurtonPittsburgh lost Sunday night without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the lineup.

Ward vented his frustrations in a pre-game interview with NBC and also after the game to the media about Roethlisberger (concussion) being pulled from Sunday's starting lineup. The Steelers (6-5) lost 20-17 in overtime to the Baltimore Ravens (6-5) with backup Dennis Dixon under center.

"Iím not going to question Benís toughness; the guy came back from a motorcycle incident [in 2006] and played that whole year," Ward said. "So me questioning his toughness, that was never the case. It wasn't me calling Ben out.

"It was just me frustrated, because I knew what type of game Baltimore was going to be not having No. 7 out there and having our backs against the wall."

The Steelers deemed Roethlisberger fit to return and he practiced all week with the first team. Roethlisberger suffered exercise-induced headaches late in the week and was pulled the day before Pittsburgh's biggest game of the season.

Ward told NBC over the weekend that the locker room was divided about the decision.

"During the week, there was no indication that he wasnít going to play in this game," Ward said Monday. "I was just frustrated not having him in there. One thing about Ben, heís a winner. And we like to surround ourselves with winners."

Ward says he will speak to Roethlisberger Monday to iron things out.

The Steelers need to get hot fast or will miss a chance to defend their title in the postseason. Pittsburgh has another big game against the Oakland Raiders (3-8).

"Right now we just got to worry about Oakland and try to get better," Ward said. "But the whole situation I think kind of got blown out of proportion. It was just all frustration."

revefsreleets
11-30-2009, 03:03 PM
Wait, didn't you read what the other nitwit said in the other thread?

The Steelers PLANNED on starting DD all week...they KNEW he wasn't going to play....

jev7452
11-30-2009, 03:12 PM
all of this is ridiculous.. they had his live interview on sportscenter this morning and its so obvious that anything he may have said got blown WAY out of proportion.. the games over, we lost, bring on sunday!

stlrtruck
11-30-2009, 03:35 PM
all of this is ridiculous.. they had his live interview on sportscenter this morning and its so obvious that anything he may have said got blown WAY out of proportion.. the games over, we lost, bring on sunday!

It can't get here fast enough.

steel striker
11-30-2009, 04:17 PM
Like usual the media blows everything out of control and, I'm not worried about our locker room. What those guys did last year speaks for itself and, the guys are just frustrated about losing the three games. Now there is not any wiggle room for anymore losses to any team.

SteelersMongol
11-30-2009, 08:01 PM
:blah:

Shellshock
11-30-2009, 09:58 PM
His comment also shows that the team may find Ben a oneway fvck.

Shellshock
11-30-2009, 10:19 PM
Ward still should keep his mouth shut. He would be nothing without Ben.

augustashark
11-30-2009, 10:51 PM
Ward still should keep his mouth shut. He would be nothing without Ben.

You are so right! Hey pm me cause I have a property in detriot I think you may like. Thanks.:coffee: