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View Full Version : A concentrated effort last night to get Ward back into the gameplan?


LayingTheWoodley56
11-28-2011, 09:12 AM
Hines Ward is a legend in Pittsburgh. I don't think anyone would argue that he has been a Hall of Fame caliber player for the past 14 seasons and a stalwart of our franchise who has epitomized Pittsburgh Steeler heart and toughness. He is my favorite Steeler of all-time, and thus it saddens me to see him fading like he has the last two seasons (especially the last few weeks), although it is clear that Brown, Sanders, and even Cotchery have largely surpassed him in effectiveness.

I have to imagine that Tomlin, the coaching staff and the organization in general has some degree of loyalty to Hines after all he has done here. Brown said last night in the interview with Wallace on NBC that he is like "having an extra coach on the sidelines," which means even just his presence is still valuable, and I believe that. Hines has handled this situation admirably, recognizing that even the greatest players eventually succumb to the undefeated Father Time. He has refused to bitch and moan and pout and instead has said and done all the right things.

He has clearly lost his burst and is having great difficulty getting open. Did it seem to anyone else last night like three plays were designed for him (two screens, and that little dump off pass), possibly with the sole effort of trying to get him back involved? I can't imagine that Wallace or Brown aren't better options for screen passes with Hines blocking. I think those plays may have been called because they knew they'd be able to get the ball to him. All three were unfortunately ineffective, though Hines did have a nice catch for that third down.

Regardless of his decreased production, I think that we're still better off keeping Hines Ward around and last night was a good first step towards that, even if it didn't produce great results. He still has some value as a red zone target, particularly inside the 10 or 5, as a team mentor and leader, and also as a third-down target and particularly as a blocker.

Curtain_of_Steel
11-28-2011, 09:37 AM
When he was on the field, Ben threw to him. But I think when he is on the field, Ben is focusing on him to get him his numbers. Could that be a coaching issue? You know Ben respects Ward and wants him to get his 12k yards and catches..But Ben has to get us down the field, not Ward his numbers. I think they will get him his catches. But not at the expense of the team.

But to do little dink offs isn't going to fly, Ward needs to do some quick slants etc or float to the middle of the filed like the one catch.

OX1947
11-28-2011, 10:27 AM
Game plan was fine last night. The issues were dropped TD passes, dropped bombs, fumble at the goal line and mendenhall dancing like his usual idiot self. Defense played safe all game long and allowed zero TDs. Playing in KC seems to do that sometimes, I guess.

Fire Arians
11-28-2011, 10:47 AM
ward was the only one who could catch the ball, so it worked.

grward
11-28-2011, 11:34 AM
ward was the only one who could catch the ball, so it worked.

+1! Exactly!!

ricardisimo
11-28-2011, 12:35 PM
ward was the only one who could catch the ball, so it worked.
You know, he'll catch that bubble screen pass every time, but what's the point? Why not just take a knee and lose a down? It's safer that way.

Rick5895
11-28-2011, 01:29 PM
You know, he'll catch that bubble screen pass every time, but what's the point? Why not just take a knee and lose a down? It's safer that way.
He had a pretty big catch getting us a 1st on 3rd and long. he is still a master at finding the opening in a zone and sitting down. Ward still has value and will make more than than enough plays to help us the rest of this season.

Pa Yankee
11-28-2011, 03:28 PM
Ward only seems to be fadding away because the coaches are hardly putting him in. Hines should be put in way more and rotate out with Sanders and Brown.

ricardisimo
11-28-2011, 03:35 PM
He had a pretty big catch getting us a 1st on 3rd and long. he is still a master at finding the opening in a zone and sitting down. Ward still has value and will make more than than enough plays to help us the rest of this season.
Very true. He can still do it. I'm a believer and a fan. My only point is that he has a role, and being crafty, getting open when and where no one else can do so is that role. Bubble screens are not. That was stat-padding if ever I've seen it.

But hey, Arians fooled everyone by saying ahead of time that there would be no emphasis given to individual stats, and making sure everyone understaodd that meant Hines. Boy, did that trick Haley and the Chiefs.

bornaSteelersfan
11-28-2011, 10:18 PM
If Hines Ward was running that route in the end zone where Wallace dropped the ball, it would have been a TD. You catch the ball, you play, simple math.

DanRooney
11-28-2011, 10:25 PM
If Hines Ward was running that route in the end zone where Wallace dropped the ball, it would have been a TD. You catch the ball, you play, simple math.

It would have taken Ward an extra 6 seconds to get where Wallace was on the field.

This is the first game I've seen where Wallace had issues catching the ball. Ward has his fair amount of drops this season as well.

ricardisimo
11-28-2011, 11:00 PM
It would have taken Ward an extra 6 seconds to get where Wallace was on the field.

This is the first game I've seen where Wallace had issues catching the ball. Ward has his fair amount of drops this season as well.
True, it's not been a great year for Ward. I think we can all see his arc pointing downward. No getting around that. But he's still catching just shy of 70% of his targets, just like Wallace, and just shy of Heath. And 17 of his 31 receptions have been for first downs. Everyone should have a twilight to their career like Hines is currently having.

The most telling thing for me is he's not smiling anymore. That's bad. That tells me he's done at the end of this season, most likely.

DanRooney
11-29-2011, 05:02 AM
True, it's not been a great year for Ward. I think we can all see his arc pointing downward. No getting around that. But he's still catching just shy of 70% of his targets, just like Wallace, and just shy of Heath. And 17 of his 31 receptions have been for first downs. Everyone should have a twilight to their career like Hines is currently having.

The most telling thing for me is he's not smiling anymore. That's bad. That tells me he's done at the end of this season, most likely.

Yeah he'd probably stay another season and I'd have no issue with it if it weren't for our cap issues.

steelfury02
11-29-2011, 08:44 AM
Nice 1st down play, boo on the screen pass - although I believe a got a yard out of it! Which, any more - I'm happy if Mendy can just move forward to get a yard instead of 5 yards of dancing side to side.

Wallace
Brown
Sanders/Cotchery
Ward
Battle

We keep 6 wrs so there is no reason why he can't come back next year. I'll take this same receiving corp next year - although possibly someone younger who can supplant the increasingly missing special teams "ace" Battle

DanRooney
11-29-2011, 08:55 AM
Nice 1st down play, boo on the screen pass - although I believe a got a yard out of it! Which, any more - I'm happy if Mendy can just move forward to get a yard instead of 5 yards of dancing side to side.

Wallace
Brown
Sanders/Cotchery
Ward
Battle

We keep 6 wrs so there is no reason why he can't come back next year. I'll take this same receiving corp next year - although possibly someone younger who can supplant the increasingly missing special teams "ace" Battle

Ward makes too much money to be a #5 receiver on this team. We have to sign Wallace next year.

steelfury02
11-29-2011, 09:36 AM
Good point. You think they would ask him to take a discount and would he accept?

EDIT: Would be nice to get him a third ring so this argument is null and void lol

jtbsteeler
11-30-2011, 02:48 AM
Ward had too many looks the last game. And the offense faltered... It's not rocket science.

bornaSteelersfan
11-30-2011, 04:16 AM
Ward had too many looks the last game. And the offense faltered... It's not rocket science.

I have no idea where you could come up with that correlation. Ward caught passes when many others dropped them. No, it isn't rocket science, but trying to say Ward had something to do with the offense faltering is offensive.

Pa Yankee
11-30-2011, 07:49 AM
Ward had too many looks the last game. And the offense faltered... It's not rocket science.

I think he was in there 6 times and caught all the passes he was targeted for. If anything he was helping the offense. To say that Ward was the problem shows how much of an idiot you are.

fer522
11-30-2011, 05:27 PM
i dont think he'll be back next year,they're gonna throw his way until he gets 1000 rec and 12000 yards
REC yds AVG LNG tds

Career 985 11991 12.2 85 85

StainlessStill
11-30-2011, 06:00 PM
I love Hines Ward, one of my favorite Steelers of ALL TIME! It was nice to see him on the field again Sunday Night, it always is. But I'm one to admit that I was dissapointed that Ward got the entire start and got more playing time than Cotchery. I am SO JACKED about the pickup of Cotchery. I just hope the coaching staff's head is in the game and not make the mistake at taking plays away from Cotch and Sanders just to pad Hines' stats and make him happy. I understand we got weapons, but I believe Wards reduced role is a monumental help for the logic and performance of this offense. Putting packaged plays for Hines is a necessary part of the field I'm all for. I hope we pick and choose wisely and get Cotchery on the field MORE because the dude is an asset and threat.