View Full Version : No happy ending likely in Ward saga

02-15-2012, 07:35 AM
No happy ending likely in Ward saga
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 00:30
Written by Bob Smizik

The Hines Ward saga hovers over the Steelers like a dark cloud, and well it should. The future of one of the greatest wide receiver in team history and one of its most popular players is publicly dangling in a most unseemly fashion.

Itís not a pretty sight to see Ward, the man with the perpetual chip on his shoulder, pleading for continued Steelers life. Heís made it known he will play another season and desperately wants it to be with the Steelers. But if unwanted in Pittsburgh, he'll end his career elsewhere.

The Steelers are considering their options. They understand the emotions of the situation. Ward is the Steelers captain, a team leader by word and example and loved by most fans.

But this is not about emotion. If emotion ruled the Steelers, they would not be the most successful franchise in the NFL.

Itís this simple: Can Ward make more contributions next season than a potentially younger replacement?

To anyone who watched the team with some frequency this season the answer, clearly, is no.

The coaching staff lost confidence in Ward. He rarely played in the latter stages of the season. He was the last wide receiver in the rotation. If he canít help the team at age 35, how is he going to help it at 36?

Wardís game-by-game totals tell the story of what he no longer can do. He did not have a 100-yard game last season. His biggest yardage game was the opener when he caught five passes for 67 yards.

In his final 10 games, he caught 26 passes for 191 yards, and that figure was inflated by nine catches in the final two games as the team repeatedly threw him short passes to get his career total to 1,000.

For the season, he caught 46 passes for 381 yards, both the lowest totals since his rookie year of 1998. His yardage totals the past three seasons have dropped from 1,167 to 755 to 381.

Wouldnít it be great is Ward woke up tomorrow and decided he didnít want to play anymore. Then the Steelers could tie a neat bow around his fabulous career and send him off in the grandest style.

But that famous chip is weighing heavily on Wardís shoulder these days. Heís got one more thing to prove. Itís the nature of the man. Itís why heís been so great.

I saw Franco Harris try to recapture the glory with Seattle after he left the Steelers in a contract dispute. It was ugly. (It was not only ugly it was horrible. - mesa)

I hope the same fate does not await Ward. Iím afraid it does.

(I have to agree with this. I don't think this story will end happily in the short term. In the long term I expect all will be well when Hines enters the Hall of Fame as a Steeler. - mesa)

02-15-2012, 07:37 AM
i think Hines would be a solid backup, playing sparsely, here or somewhere else.

02-15-2012, 07:59 AM
The stats from last season does not tell the whole story. If the balls are not thrown to Ward, he can't catch. I think for hm to leave Steelers like this, it does not set a positive tone for the rest of the players.

02-15-2012, 08:13 AM
It's never easy seeing a player with a tenure as Hines leave the team. But, it's a business and the Steelers are in the business of winning football games. The Steelers owe it to Ward to have a sit down and explain whatever reason they would have of not retaining him. We need to remember that a third or fourth receiver is usually a special teams guy also (something Ward isn't) and I would like to see the spot go to a younger guy.

02-15-2012, 09:10 AM
I think part of the problem is money and no I don't just mean because of the salary cap. Part of it is because we have a couple of guys who we were probable going to cut mendenhall and Hampton and now we can't because they are injuried and we would have to come to a injury settlement with them and it just isn't worth it. Either we resign wallace and ward goes. Or someone else takes wallace from us and then we bring hines back. I don't see us bring both back. I hate to see it but there is only so much loot avalible.

02-15-2012, 11:19 AM
I'll wait for the official report :sadpace:

02-15-2012, 11:29 AM
I thought the happy endings were in the jets locker room with Favre's gals?

someone else takes wallace and we bring back ward? WARD is NOT Wallace, Brown is Ward and than some. If someone signs Wallace we need a different type of WR, and its not named Ward.

02-15-2012, 11:41 AM
Would hate to see him go but if he is not willing to work as the number 4 guy for vet minimum and do special teams work like all the #4 guys do then he should go. He has played his ass off for the team and love him to death its heart wrenching to see players get old but it happens.

Its business folks just business.

02-15-2012, 11:44 AM
Its not if he is willing to do ST work, I do not think he can. That speed left him a bit ago, lol.

I think he has value as a back up clutch sort of guy, but definately not in the bubble, LOL

02-15-2012, 02:01 PM
if he goes... i know we hate to see it but he'll be forgotten week 5 when brown is blazin down the field..

02-15-2012, 02:38 PM
God, there going to beat the hell out of this story more than the Ben-Haley story. It's definitely offseason...

02-15-2012, 03:22 PM
God, there going to beat the hell out of this story more than the Ben-Haley story. It's definitely offseason...

C'mon September......:popcorn:

02-15-2012, 03:56 PM
http://i831.photobucket.com/albums/zz240/stbsteeler/twould_be_a_shame_if_hines_ward_didnt_retire_a_ste eler.jpg

02-15-2012, 04:29 PM
Yes as someone said above the stats from last year don't tell the truth. He has to be thrown the ball to catch it. The problem was when he did catch it, he averaged 8.3 yards a catch. 8.3 yards has to be the worst in the league last year by far.

And the Ravens wouldn't touch Ward. Hated transcends anything. And the Patriots are looking for a deep threat not an 8.3 ypc guy. If he goes elsewhere it will be to a losing team so he can help the young guys out.

My bet is this. He is released. No one signs him anywhere. He gets a job on the ABC morning news.

02-15-2012, 04:35 PM
Hines and Batch both studied media....He'll have something to fall back on.
I see him on alot of commercials now.

Fire Arians
02-15-2012, 05:24 PM
http://i831.photobucket.com/albums/zz240/stbsteeler/twould_be_a_shame_if_hines_ward_didnt_retire_a_ste eler.jpg

so wrong but funny :chuckle:

02-15-2012, 06:31 PM
http://i831.photobucket.com/albums/zz240/stbsteeler/twould_be_a_shame_if_hines_ward_didnt_retire_a_ste eler.jpg


02-15-2012, 06:46 PM
:banging:OH HELL NO
http://i831.photobucket.com/albums/zz240/stbsteeler/twould_be_a_shame_if_hines_ward_didnt_retire_a_ste eler.jpg

02-15-2012, 06:58 PM
That pic of Ward in a Ravens jersey is hilarious! I hope he wouldn't smile if he was wearing that uniform lol. One thing about this "Ward saga" I wonder about is how his DUI hurt his standing with the organization. I feel that Holmes was let go largely because of his possession of marijuana and resulting 4 game suspension. I feel that a DUI is a more serious transgression than possession of marijuana because a DUI puts other people at risk, and not just yourself.

02-15-2012, 08:25 PM
Never thought about the DUI, I wonder if that has hurt his standing. He is a #4 or #5 and there is not a better 4 or 5 out there anyway, so there's no reason we shouldnt keep him, unless he doesnt want to play for #4/5 money. Stats from last year mean nothing, half the passes thrown to him in the beginning of the season were the garbage behind the line screens that are lucky if they go for 1 yard. Then he missed more than half of the season, what kind of numbers are expected. All these writers talk about his numbers being down as if he was on the field stinking it up, yet he wasnt even on the field, not going to get big stats on the bench. His stats for the first half of the season were about equal to Wallace's stats for the second half of the season, why are these writers not bashing Wallace? I think it's obvious that you keep Ward if he will take minimum, if we cant afford what he wants (who knows what that is yet) then I understand if we let him go, but if he will take it then it would be ignorant to cut him and lose that leadership for a guy who is faster on ST. IMO we should keep every WR on the roster, I dont know how much Wallace will want so my mind might change on him when we hear what he wants, but I think the WR's we have now playing the # that they are now is perfect.

02-15-2012, 08:53 PM
The DUI is an excellent point especially given Ward's age. It's one thing if some young rookie screws up but it's another if an established thirty something year old veteran does it. I've been concerned about the lack of discipline on this team for some time and Ward's DUI is another example of poor discipline.

The whole sordid story with Big Ben embarrassed not only the Rooney's but the City they love as well and I'm damn sure the Rooney's didn't like it one bit. I don't think the Rooney's would want another one of the faces of their franchise like Ward getting in the headlines by being caught doing something stupid.

02-16-2012, 12:35 AM
I think there's a hint of lack of discipline with this team, but it's not nearly as bad as some of the other teams around the league. I think a lot of this lands on Tomlin's shoulders.