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View Full Version : Ward has look of a rookie at minicamp .....


DIESELMAN
05-13-2006, 06:48 PM
May 13, 2006
CBS SportsLine.com wire reports:

PITTSBURGH -- Somebody watching a Pittsburgh Steelers practice for the first time Saturday might have thought Hines Ward was a new player, not the Super Bowl MVP.

For coaches to readily identify new or unfamiliar players, it is common for an NFL rookie's last name to be written on a piece of tape attached to the front of his helmet.

So why was Ward's name taped above his face mask during the first day of the team's three-day minicamp?

The four-time Pro Bowl receiver plans to wear his name on his helmet during practice until the season starts, if only to make the statement that last year is over and the Steelers must start anew if they want to win the Super Bowl. Again.

"I'm not taking that tape off until I make the team," Ward said. "That's my new motivation. We got all that old out of the way. This is how I did it when I first got here, and I'm recommitting myself."

The Steelers' two practices had a different feel to them, and not only because they are three months removed from winning the franchise's first Super Bowl title in 26 years.

For the first time in 10 years, Jerome Bettis wasn't around. One of the most productive and influential players in franchise history retired minutes after the 21-10 Super Bowl victory over Seattle on Feb. 5, and his absence was apparent.

While part of Bettis' locker space is being filled by rookie receiver Willie Reid, Bettis' No. 36 was nowhere to be found.

The Steelers have officially retired only one number, the No. 70 of 1950s-era lineman Ernie Stautner, but they have traditionally kept from handing out such numbers as 12 (Terry Bradshaw), 32 (Franco Harris), 58 (Jack Lambert), 59 (Jack Ham) and 75 (Joe Greene). Bettis' No. 36 now seems destined to be included on that list.

It was obvious to Ben Roethlisberger that Bettis was gone -- it was one of the quietest practices the quarterback could remember.

"You don't hear anybody yelling right now, do you?" Roethlisberger said, laughing. "It's one of those things where you lose a great friend out of this locker room, me in particular, a guy who's a leader. We'll have guys step up for a leadership role and will try to raise the bar and push the young guys, but you still miss him, obviously."

Ward said the Steelers won't have to look far for a replacement. Roethlisberger emerged as a leader during the eight-game winning streak that carried the Steelers to the Super Bowl, and Ward expects him to grow into that role even more this season.

Ward also hopes Roethlisberger's ever-expanding influence also leads the Steelers to open up the offense more to play to the quarterback's strengths. Roethlisberger's throwing was primarily responsible for the AFC road playoff victories at Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Denver that got Pittsburgh into the Super Bowl.
Once the season ended, offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said he expected the passing game to further expand this season. Coach Bill Cowher said the Steelers moved up in the draft to take wide receiver Santonio Holmes in the first round primarily to give Roethlisberger and the passing game yet another asset.

Roethlisberger knows the Steelers will never abandon the running game, especially after a brief flirtation with a pass-heavy offense led to a 6-10 record with Tommy Maddox at quarterback in 2003. But Roethlisberger wants the passing game to be at least equally important to the running game, not subservient to it.

"Every day I kind of say something to Coach Cowher jokingly, hoping he'll take me serious," Roethlisberger said. "I just hope that every year they gain more confidence in me and we go out and are a more balanced offense, maybe more dangerous. Hopefully they see that we can pass and win if we have to."

Holmes stood out in his first practice, stretching out twice to make difficult catches that quickly caught Roethlisberger's attention. Holmes has less time to impress than the other rookies; because of an NFL-NCAA agreement, he cannot take part in the three weeks of post-minicamp coaching sessions because his Ohio State class won't graduate until mid-June.

As a result, Holmes can't work out again with the Steelers after this weekend until training camp starts in late July.

"Coach told me, 'Make your mistakes right now, so you can learn from all those things when we watch film,"' Holmes said. "'Get your mistakes out of the way now."'

Suitanim
05-13-2006, 06:55 PM
Ladies and gentleman, remember that "void" of leadership we've been worried about, and have been forced to hear fans from other teams annoyingly talk about?

That vacancy has been filled.

Black@Gold Forever32
05-13-2006, 06:58 PM
I'm glad to read that Holmes stood out today. I got into a heated arguement at a bar last night about the Steelers repeating as Super Bowl Champs. I live in Bears and Colts country. So they all were telling me that the Steelers won't repeat since we lost Randle El and how important he was to our offense. I told them El won't be as missed as some think. El had 35 catches and a TD as a reciever. I'm sure Wilson can put up them numbers or better as our number two. Throw in Holmes in the mix as well and El won't be missed at all from a reciever standpoint.

The trick plays that we used El for will be missed. But how many of them plays do we really run in a season. Not that much to really have an effect on our offense in my mind. El will be missed a punt returner. But Willie Reid was a great punt returner in college and has the natural skills for returns.

I'm glad to hear the goods news from the first practices. Here We Steelers Here We Go.

tony hipchest
05-13-2006, 07:02 PM
you gotta love-

hines re dedication and leadership
bens confidence
hines vote of confidence to his qb
the foundation being laid for all the new comers
reaffirming how important bettis was to the team. it sucks hes gone.

tony hipchest
05-13-2006, 07:06 PM
Ladies and gentleman, remember that "void" of leadership we've been worried about, and have been forced to hear fans from other teams annoyingly talk about?

That vacancy has been filled.

and we have yet to hear from porter (other than pretty much calling chad johnson a clown)

the steelers have had leadership to spare since last season (especially with the emergance of ben, and the veterans more than willing to hand the leadership role over to him) theres a reason hines and quiet ones like hampton and farrior have been voted team mvp over and over.

Midnightwriter07
05-13-2006, 07:10 PM
No offense to a former Steeler whom i liked, but EL will not be missed for his receiving skils and we will most remember him for that pass he threw in the SuperBowl period. The 35 catches and 1 TD i think will not be a problem in making up and i do think that Holmes will be an upgrade, along with Wilson to that position. I also think that Washington and Morgan along with Reid will make us a much better receiving core. The trick plays will come in some fashion i am sure when they want to use them. The only thinkg we may have lost from last year doesnt come from a production standpoint.... it will be Bettis's leadership and the fact of everyone having that one person to look up to and look for when you need that one player to speak up for the team to get everyone else motivated. Ben, Ward, Troy, Hartings, Faneca, Hampton, Townsend, Staley, Farrior, Porter, Haggins, Smith... it will eventually go to a few of these guys to take on that role.. I have no idea where people think we will lose anything as far as production is concerned.. That is absurd.

Black@Gold Forever32
05-13-2006, 07:14 PM
Steelers have plenty of leaders on both offense and defense. On offense Hines Ward and Alan Faneca are looked up as leaders. But I to me if your QB isn't a leader then your team in trouble. Ben has proved in his young career that he has the qualities to be a leader. He became more a leader last year and I see him taking much more leadership on this year.

On defense Big Casey, Joey Porter and James Farrior all are leaders in their own way. Yea Bus and Kimo will be missed since they were great leaders but the Steelers will be fine in the leadership department.

tony hipchest
05-13-2006, 07:21 PM
I have no idea where people think we will lose anything as far as production is concerned.. That is absurd. its the same people who thought that the production of el, wilson, and miller could no way replace p. burress. 3 to replace 1 has been a proven effective method. humes, duce, and haynes can replace bettis' production, and he took ben under his wings to teach him how to be a leader. this is bens team despite the overabundance of leadership. if ben ever goes down there will be a long line of players to fill his leadership role. other than that, the production on the field should be an upgrade especially with ben, heath, and willie being the young core of the offense (3 years or less experience yet they all seem like seasonned vets).

clevestinks
05-13-2006, 07:27 PM
Pumped and ready to go, well thats me. But it sounds like Ward is set and ready also. Let go! Hines is taking over.

Black@Gold Forever32
05-13-2006, 07:29 PM
Tony exactly and totally agree. I got into a heated arguement last night at a bar about the loss of El. But I was arguing mostly with Bears and Colts fans and they don't really see that El didn't have the big of impact on our offense. They just see the ESPN highlights and they overrate El's importance. I brought up the fact last night that people thought the Steelers would be in trouble this past year since we lost Plax. Yea we sure missed Plax all the way to a Super Bowl title.

Wilson will be fine as the number two. Holme's speed and his solid route running skills will allow him to have some impact as a rookie. I always take it slow with rookies and don't expect to much. But I wouldn't be suprised if Holmes makes alot of big plays this year. As for the trick plays. Who knows what Whiz will cookup? Anyways to make up for the few trick plays we did run with El. How about just let your young franchise QB throw more. Ben will have his thumb fully healthy. I would like to see Ben challenge for Terry Bradshaw's single season TD record. I think Ben could do it if given the chance.

Midnightwriter07
05-13-2006, 07:43 PM
I think all the palyers should put that name on some tape and put it on... i like that .

Suitanim
05-13-2006, 07:44 PM
We have a great situation in camp at WR. Ward is saying "Game on", so that should drive all the vets to work hard, and, if that doesn't work, Holmes should light a fire under Wilson and Morgan.

clevestinks
05-13-2006, 07:44 PM
I think all the palyers should put that name on some tape and put it on... i like that .
I like it also, but in this case it really makes Ward stick out, and everyone is taking notice!

Black@Gold Forever32
05-13-2006, 07:56 PM
We have a great situation in camp at WR. Ward is saying "Game on", so that should drive all the vets to work hard, and, if that doesn't work, Holmes should light a fire under Wilson and Morgan.

I don't see Morgan making the team. Hines Ward, Cedric Wilson, Santonio Holmes, Willie Reid, Nate Washington and Sean Morey I think will be the 6 recievers to make the final roster. Steelers won't carry more then that. I just don't see Reid being cut since he was a third round pick and is a punt returner. Morey will make it due to his importance on special teams. Nate Washington might be cut and Morgan might make it. But Washington made it last year and the coaches are high on him. So Morgan might be the odd man out. Even though Morgan did very well as a kick returner and as a fourth reciever last year.

But your right the Steelers have a great situation going into camp. I can't wait.

tony hipchest
05-13-2006, 08:00 PM
I don't see Morgan making the team. Hines Ward, Cedric Wilson, Santonio Holmes, Willie Reid, Nate Washington and Sean Morey I think will be the 6 recievers to make the final roster. Steelers won't carry more then that. I just don't see Reid being cut since he was a third round pick and is a punt returner. Morey will make it due to his importance on special teams. Nate Washington might be cut and Morgan might make it. But Washington made it last year and the coaches are high on him. So Morgan might be the odd man out. Even though Morgan did very well as a kick returner and as a fourth reciever last year.

But your right the Steelers have a great situation going into camp. I can't wait. that 5th spot seems tailor made for humes. the only knock on him has been a broken leg and arm. freak accidents if you ask me. bones heal back stronger than before. that he has battled back from those injuries shows me he has heart to fight and earn a roster spot.

Suitanim
05-13-2006, 08:36 PM
I don't see Morgan making the team. Hines Ward, Cedric Wilson, Santonio Holmes, Willie Reid, Nate Washington and Sean Morey I think will be the 6 recievers to make the final roster. Steelers won't carry more then that. I just don't see Reid being cut since he was a third round pick and is a punt returner. Morey will make it due to his importance on special teams. Nate Washington might be cut and Morgan might make it. But Washington made it last year and the coaches are high on him. So Morgan might be the odd man out. Even though Morgan did very well as a kick returner and as a fourth reciever last year.

But your right the Steelers have a great situation going into camp. I can't wait.

I've never been a Morgan fan..he sucked in Cleveland, and he's had his fair share of dropped balls in the B&G. Reid in no way shape or form is a definite keeper. Last year we took Fred Gibson (A pick I liked) in the 3rd round, and he's out of football as far as I know.

It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out, but there's definitely some talent at the position.

tony hipchest
05-13-2006, 08:42 PM
reid will make the team. gibson (4th rounder) was a "sexy" pick cause he somewhat matched plax's dimensions. (in a year when everyone insisted we needed 1 player to replace plax). unfortunately for him a f.a. from tiffin (n. washington) proved to be better.

melroseplace
05-13-2006, 08:49 PM
great article, there was no doubt in my mind that there would be a lack of leadership this year but I'm glad Hines has the right mindset

BlitzburghRockCity
05-13-2006, 10:59 PM
"I'm not taking that tape off until I make the team," Ward said. "That's my new motivation. We got all that old out of the way. This is how I did it when I first got here, and I'm recommitting myself."

Damn we are the luckiest fans in the world to have this type of player on our team !!!!

clevestinks
05-14-2006, 07:42 AM
Damn we are the luckiest fans in the world to have this type of player on our team !!!!
Yes we are BBRC, Yes we are! :bouncy:

Black@Gold Forever32
05-14-2006, 09:54 AM
I've never been a Morgan fan..he sucked in Cleveland, and he's had his fair share of dropped balls in the B&G. Reid in no way shape or form is a definite keeper. Last year we took Fred Gibson (A pick I liked) in the 3rd round, and he's out of football as far as I know.

It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out, but there's definitely some talent at the position.

Gibson was drafted in the 4th round not 3rd. Sorry but I don't see a 3rd rounder being cut not unless Reid is just flat out terrible. Plus Reid can punt return.

BB2W
05-14-2006, 10:20 AM
That's awesome... a cool statement to make by a veteran. :cool:

STEEL-MAN
05-14-2006, 12:10 PM
I like Ward's mind set especially after a SB win. Holmes will soon make us forget ARE or EL or what ever his name was...Reid is here to be special on special teams. Can't say I've ever been more excited about the Steeler, let me check nope 35 years I never been been more excited. I'm most excited about BC learning how to win the big game don't be surprised if he gets the Steelers back there 5 out the next 10 years. GO STEELERS! :bouncy: Ugly is the word for :boxing: teams playing the Steelers this year...:boxing:

SteelShooter
05-14-2006, 03:28 PM
WoW! This completely confirms up some comments we were all posting a few weeks ago!

- Remembering the Superbowl victory to a point, and then putting it behind them and focusing on the "one game at a time" concept. The 2005 season is nothing more than beautiful history now.

The only thing that is important is to focus on the next game. Hines seems to really be focusing right now. The name on the front of his helmet and his refusal to take it off until he "makes the Team;" that is leadership. That is focus. That is the mark of a professional! I know P-Burgh is not a traditional "throw money at the players Team." But, the FO is getting their money's worth out of Hines. Congrats to him again on his lucrative contract from last year......and congrats to the FO and Bill's Staff on making the right decision to spend a little "Sumpin-sumpin" on this gifted, multi-talented NFL professional!

Hines ...................he just does it "Right."
:thmbup:

hardwork
05-14-2006, 06:03 PM
May 13, 2006
CBS SportsLine.com wire reports:

PITTSBURGH -- Somebody watching a Pittsburgh Steelers practice for the first time Saturday might have thought Hines Ward was a new player, not the Super Bowl MVP.

For coaches to readily identify new or unfamiliar players, it is common for an NFL rookie's last name to be written on a piece of tape attached to the front of his helmet.

So why was Ward's name taped above his face mask during the first day of the team's three-day minicamp?

The four-time Pro Bowl receiver plans to wear his name on his helmet during practice until the season starts, if only to make the statement that last year is over and the Steelers must start anew if they want to win the Super Bowl. Again.

"I'm not taking that tape off until I make the team," Ward said.

What a bunch a phoney baloney. Get over yourself Ward.

HburgXL06
05-14-2006, 06:09 PM
What a bunch a phoney baloney. Get over yourself Ward.

How do you see that as him being full of himself? If a patriots player did this you'd be the first to brag to us about the symbolism and how it would work so well for the team this year.

BuFu

tony hipchest
05-14-2006, 08:35 PM
What a bunch a phoney baloney. Get over yourself Ward. atleast he didnt need to fake a stroke to show true grit and pull a team around him.

hardwork
05-14-2006, 09:53 PM
Hey, do you think Ward will make the team?

Lyn
05-14-2006, 10:05 PM
What Ward has done & said sounds like something Bettis would have done/said. Anything to help the team and motivate the other veterans and rookies

tony hipchest
05-14-2006, 10:16 PM
Hey, do you think Ward will make the team?oh yeah, but hes not gonna take that for granted. hes just taking a page out of jerry rices book and rededicating himself to the excellent play and standards he has already established.

steelerdude
05-15-2006, 10:11 AM
Ward is true professional. His attitude at this year's minicamp is why I admire him as a player and a human being. I sure hope he makes the team.

silver & black
05-15-2006, 04:00 PM
Ladies and gentleman, remember that "void" of leadership we've been worried about, and have been forced to hear fans from other teams annoyingly talk about?

That vacancy has been filled.
You weren't really worried about it, were you? The Steelers have more than a couple of guys that could, and probably would/will step up and assume a leadership role. I'm kind of confused as to why that would even be an issue on this team.

Suitanim
05-15-2006, 06:44 PM
You weren't really worried about it, were you? The Steelers have more than a couple of guys that could, and probably would/will step up and assume a leadership role. I'm kind of confused as to why that would even be an issue on this team.

No, but others were.

Also, I think the Steelers WILL cut a 3rd round pick if he doesn't produce, especially if it's a position they have depth at. They were burny BAD by the Zo bust, and the coaches really never know exactly what they're getting until camp starts.

But, by all indications, Reid is the real deal, a worker and all about the effort.

tony hipchest
05-15-2006, 06:53 PM
Also, I think the Steelers WILL cut a 3rd round pick if he doesn't produce, especially if it's a position they have depth at. They were burny BAD by the Zo bust, and the coaches really never know exactly what they're getting until camp starts.

But, by all indications, Reid is the real deal, a worker and all about the effort.

the steelers have definitely proven they wont cut a willie parker type player to hold onto an onterrio smith type player. (bam morris, alonzo jackson, f. gibson) especially when weve proven we can find players off the street like harrison, parker, washington.

but w. reid definitely seems like the real deal. ive seen more potitive pub and upside out of him this year than i ever did with gibson.

Black@Gold Forever32
05-15-2006, 07:01 PM
Reid has more upside in his big toe then what Gibson showed last year in training camp and preseason.

83-Steelers-43
05-17-2006, 11:40 AM
What a bunch a phoney baloney. Get over yourself Ward.

I guess Reggie Bush is a "phoney baloney" also? I wonder if Reggie will make the team? Hmmmm...

http://espn-att.starwave.com/photo/2006/0516/nfl_a_paytonbush_412.jpg