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View Full Version : Hines: Life is better w/ out Plax..


BlitzburghRockCity
05-25-2005, 02:42 AM
If anyone ever hit the nail on the head. Less is sometimes more!
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Steelers' wide receivers will display versatility, diversity

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


http://www.post-gazette.com/images3/2005055pdreceivers0524_230.jpg
The Steelers' receivers, from left to right, Antwaan Randle El, Hines Ward and Cedrick Wilson, believe their versatility will create a better passing game than last year..

Life after Plaxico Burress might not be so bad, Hines Ward believes. It could be better, for Ward and for the Steelers' passing game as a whole.

The names of the receiving game now are versatility and diversity. It's no knock against the 6-foot-5 Burress, Ward emphasized, but he, Antwaan Randle El and newcomer Cedrick Wilson can do more with less height.

"I know Plax was an integral part as far as he gave you that height," Ward said, "but with Antwaan's versatility, my versatility and you add in Ced's versatility, we've been playing a lot of interchangeable positions, where Plax, he was our deep-threat guy."

The Steelers hope to use the speed and quickness of Randle El and Wilson to make up for the loss of Burress. All three are practicing the basic three wide receiver positions -- X (split end), Z (flanker) and F (slot). They also are disguising those positions more this spring to the point that the X can line up in the slot, yet remain, essentially, the split end. They did some of that with Burress last season, but not often.

"We tried to put him in the slot, but, when we did that teams knew we were trying to get him the ball in the slot, because he never played it," Ward said. "But Antwaan and myself, we can go X and the Z. So, I might get some deeper routes down the field."

Ward chafes at being labeled a possession receiver and noted that his 12.6 yards per catch last season compared favorably to many of the top receivers in the league. Marvin Harrison averaged 12.9 yards a catch, Eric Moulds 11.9, Chad Johnson 13.4 and Derrick Mason 12.2 -- all among the leading receivers in the AFC. Ward caught five passes for 109 yards (21.8 average) and a 30-yard touchdown in the AFC championship game and also had 105 yards against the New York Jets in the playoffs.

With Burress gone, the 6-foot Ward becomes the tallest receiver of the top three. Randle El and Wilson stand 5-10.

"Maybe I'll get some fades in the end zone or something," Ward said, laughing. "I think I've worked harder to this point because I have more to prove now. People say you can't do it without Plax. It has nothing to do with Plax. Plax is gone, let's move on."

Before Ward, 85 receptions in a season was the Steelers' record. He topped that three of the past four years. His total slipped to 80 last season mostly because the Steelers ran the ball 61 percent of the time, more often than any NFL team in the past 20 years. Nevertheless, he caught the highest percentage of passes for his team than any of the top receivers in the league.

"If I don't go out and catch 80, 90 balls, it's not because Plax isn't here," Ward said. "If I only get 80 opportunities and catch 70 of those 80, it doesn't mean I was affected by Plax. It's a total team effort, no one guy can control it. If that was the case, Minnesota wouldn't have let Randy Moss go. You want a makeup of great team and at the wideout position. We have that. Yes, we lost Plax, but we're starting to jell with one another and complement one another."

By having all three receivers play all three positions, coordinator Ken Whisenhunt hopes to confuse defenses more in 2005.

"We always had Plax in a certain spot," Whisenhunt said. "Everybody kind of knew he would be there. The advantage we have now with Cedrick, Randle El and Hines, these guys are all interchangeable. You can line them up anywhere. "Sometimes defenses would set their fronts, based on how the receivers lined up because they knew Plax was the X and Hines was the Z. Having three guys so versatile makes us a little bit harder to defend, I hope."

AllAmericanSteelerGirl#7
05-25-2005, 08:31 AM
I agree with Hines! Let's just MOVE ON!!! I mean quite frankly, if you ask me, I don't think Plax gave it his all last year ESPECIALLY during the AFC Championship game. Come on, drop a ball in the end-zone???!?!?! Please! I hope Burress is happier somewhere else, just not in Pittsburgh.

~ALLAMER~

BlitzburghRockCity
05-25-2005, 08:57 AM
I don't think Plax gave it his all last year ESPECIALLY during the AFC Championship game.

I agree.. but I also don't think gave us his all 100% ever.. dropping easy passes was his middle name half the time. Sure he made some HUGE plays for us, and had some big games, there's no denying what his presence meant on the field to draw away double coverage..

BUT.. it's not like he's irreplaceable and we dont have talent to step up and take over for him.

bigbensgirl7
05-25-2005, 10:22 AM
I have to say it... I liked Plax and last year I was very concered with his future with us. What really made me worry, is how Ben's game fell apart a little without him. I was, for a while, praying we would franchise him. But then looking at it...I didn't want to lose Ward at the expense of Burress. HOWEVER, I am not so worried about the loss of Plax anymore. I really don't even see it as something we have to overcome. I believe the guys we have will get the job done, and I couldn't be more happy then I am with the group of guys we have right now!

BlitzburghRockCity
05-25-2005, 10:31 AM
I also briefly thought about franchising him.. but when you consider how much he gripes to media, and underachieves on the field, it just wasnt worth the money we'd have to give him just for 1 year, and why,so he could leave us in 2006 anyways? I think addition of cedric wilson's speed, and the return of Zamir Cobb, and also Gibson being drafted, we should be AOK this season. :)

RoethlisBURGHer
05-25-2005, 12:46 PM
We don't need no stinkin' deep threat!

Good riddance to Plax.He dropped easy balls,NEVER gave 100%,always fell down after the catch,griped about everything.Let the NY media eat him alive.

Give me the trio of Ward,Randle El,and Wilson any day over Plax.

Randle El showed he can get it done when Plax was out with his injury.Wilson has good hands & plays rather physically like Hines (from what I understand).These are the three that will take us to the Promised Land.

radaz52
05-25-2005, 12:49 PM
I like Plax too, but not at the expense of Hines of course. I only started liking Plax because of what Ben and him did together. They did have some nice plays last year. Cedrick Wilson/Hines Ward/Antwan Randle El what a combination though!!! I can't wait to see them play together.

clevestinks
05-25-2005, 04:29 PM
Bltz is right, 100% almost never out of Plax. Maybe Hines is right with his talk of versatility. Add in Freddie Gibson at six five, and lets roll.

AllAmericanSteelerGirl#7
05-27-2005, 07:57 AM
I agree.. but I also don't think gave us his all 100% ever.. dropping easy passes was his middle name half the time. Sure he made some HUGE plays for us, and had some big games, there's no denying what his presence meant on the field to draw away double coverage..

BUT.. it's not like he's irreplaceable and we dont have talent to step up and take over for him.

Exactly, I couldn't have said it any better myself! I agree with you 200%! Good post BlitzBurgh!

~AllAmer~

bigbensgirl7
05-27-2005, 09:37 AM
I will agree that Plax dropped a lot of (what seemed to me) easy receptions. However, when he had one of his good games...it seemed like the entire offense clicked. However, I see consistancy next year with our recievers, and I don't think Plax will be as missed as I first thought he would be.

ironcitychef
05-27-2005, 11:59 AM
Just saw this on ESPN.com

'Boller, Palmer, and Roethlisberger all have been put in positions to succeed: The Ravens brought in new receivers, the Bengals kept their explosive offense intact and the Steelers decided to let wideout Plaxico Burress (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5037) walk to protect Roethlisberger from what they feared would be further corruption.'

'Roethlisberger and Burress enjoyed a close relationship ? too close if you ask the Steelers. They viewed Burress as a negative influence. There was a reason why Burress saw his production increase when Roethlisberger stepped in for Tommy Maddox (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=2018) in Game 2, only the team didn't catch on until late in the year: Roethlisberger and Burress had devised plays for the QB's favorite receiver, though he almost never was the primary one, and would adjust his routes as they saw fit and not according to the playbook. While their little scheme wasn't exactly broken (they made the AFC Championship Game in spite of the unauthorized ad-libbing) the Steelers, however, were intent on fixing the situation after the season'

Didn't know that Ben was the influenced by Burress? Maybe Tommy will get canned next because he influences Ben to ride without a helmet? I honestly think it was just that PIT didn't want to pay #1 wr money for #2-3 wr production. I'd like to know how truthful this article is. Anyone got more facts?

clevestinks
05-27-2005, 01:32 PM
If its true, that our offense did click when Plax played good, then we need someone alot more consistent. He wasn`t worth what Giants pd.

BlitzburghRockCity
05-27-2005, 06:19 PM
The article definatley has merit. Ben and Plax got along very well on and off the field. But Plax was a complainer, and not the type of player that you want your hot rookie leader of the future to be hanging out with. Planting the seeds of team chemistry & loyalty are whats needed.. not a throw me the damn ball attitude!

ironcitychef
05-27-2005, 07:38 PM
thanks BRC, just didn't remember Ben hanging out with Browns down in the Strip

clevestinks
05-27-2005, 09:09 PM
Good riddens to Plax

meanjoe75
05-29-2005, 11:11 PM
Here,s my prediction for Plax is he wont last in New York he will play half assed and start bitching then get cut or traded

clevestinks
05-30-2005, 08:07 AM
Here,s my prediction for Plax is he wont last in New York he will play half assed and start bitching then get cut or traded


I beleive you hit the nail squarely on the head! I agree totally!

ironcitychef
05-30-2005, 10:52 AM
Prediction...Hines made you a #2 WR. It will really get worse in the Meadowlands when Toomer does the same.

SteelersWyo
05-30-2005, 06:39 PM
If you guys really think Cedric Wilson is going to be a good player you need to stop smoking whatever it is you smoke. He's been a train wreck his entire career.

ironcitychef
05-31-2005, 02:32 AM
Not saying Wilson is HOF material, just Plax isn't.

STEEL-MAN
05-31-2005, 08:34 AM
The team won't miss Plax, I won't miss Plax! The only miss with Plax was him dropping the ball in big games. I wish him luck though maybe he'll find stardom in NY????????

Volpe1564
05-31-2005, 11:57 AM
i cant wait for the NY media to eat Plax and Eli up and spit em out.....plax is gonna start crying worse than TO.........OK ALMOST as bad as TO...... :rolleyes:

clevestinks
05-31-2005, 04:05 PM
I gaurantee that Pittsburgh will get rings before Plax and the giants

ironcitychef
06-03-2005, 01:14 AM
Saw this at random while surfing around...
Seems Ben has a different side of Plax's influence
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/steelers/2005-06-03-roethlisberger-burress_x.htm