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mesaSteeler
03-06-2012, 06:02 AM
Madden: No league for old men
http://www.timesonline.com/columnists/sports/madden-no-league-for-old-men/article_10f4e184-f65e-565d-a2e2-d72b90e564b0.html?mode=print
By Mark Madden Times Sports Columnist | Posted: Sunday, March 4, 2012 8:55 pm

Anyone watching tape of Hines Ward from this past season couldn't help but conclude he has nothing left to contribute.

If any team steps forward with an offer, itíll be a loaded one. Itís easy to imagine an AFC North rival, probably Baltimore, signing Ward. The Ravens could display the Pittsburgh icon wearing their purple clown suit, pump his brain for inside knowledge about the Steelers, then nail him to the bench or inactive list.

Ward simply isn't good enough to play in the NFL anymore. He finds himself at a crossroads. Should Ward grab a microphone and start that phase of his life, or hang on somewhere as a fourth or fifth receiver, perhaps damaging his Pittsburgh legacy?

It seems an easy choice. Ward has done some network duty, at the Super Bowl and on the red carpet at the Academy Awards. He's a natural. Between his NFL career and his triumph on "Dancing With the Stars," few match Ward's credentials for TV stardom. Ward might not be limited to ordinary ex-jock work. Movies could be in his future.

But football players want to play football. By the time Ward realizes he's not going to actually get on the field much, he'll be committed to a team. Ward won't quit. He doesn't quit.

Ward's delusions likely go beyond merely filling roster space. That giant ego probably believes he can not only start again, but star.

It's an absurd leap of faith. Video doesn't lie. Ward's final Steelers campaign wound down in pathetic fashion. He got sympathy snaps en route to 1,000 catches. He hit his number but looked feeble in the process. His milestone grab lost three yards. Yikes.

You can't will or work speed into returning. You can't turn back time. Teams don't employ blocking specialists at receiver. Ward's only worth now would be against zones, using savvy to find seams. Against man coverage, Ward can't even get off the line.

It would be interesting to see Pittsburgh's reaction if Ward returned to Heinz Field playing for Baltimore. Ward could run for mayor - as long as he retires now, forever a Steeler. Franco Harris remains a Steeler icon despite his brief sojourn to Seattle. But these are different times. More volatile.

Ward's finished. He may not realize it, but everybody else does. He should retire.

Of further debate: Whether or not Ward should make the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

If you live in Pittsburgh and saw Ward play, you've witnessed his intangibles and what he contributes to winning. But Hall of Fame voters crunch numbers. They consider Pro Bowls and All-Pro picks. Ward only made four Pro Bowls in 14 seasons, none since 2004. He was never a first-team All-Pro selection.

Lots of wide receivers are on line ahead on Ward: Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Andre Reed. Coming soon: Marvin Harrison, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss. Only seven wide receivers have been named to the Hall of Fame since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. It is not an institution that places a high value on the position.

Ward seems a long shot, at best. If you think he has a chip on his shoulder now, wait until Ward addresses this situation after 4-5 years of disappointment. Ward's the kind of guy who will sweat the Hall of Fame every second until he makes it or dies.

You should hope Ward makes the right decision and retires.

Not me. I hope Ward makes the wrong decision. It will be a lot more fun to watch.

Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM (105.9).

Kingmagyar
03-06-2012, 07:29 AM
Mark Madden - Hated, Controversial, but there is always a ring of truth somewhere in what he says.

tunes4life
03-06-2012, 07:32 AM
The words "Mark Madden" automatically invoke my "No Read" policy.

micraydim
03-06-2012, 07:53 AM
The words "Mark Madden" automatically invoke my "No Read" policy.

Lol:thumbsup:

Cpitt78
03-06-2012, 04:01 PM
The only way this ends happily for me is this...

Hines Ward offered contract from the Ravens and in lieu of selling the Steelers down the river, he says "thanks but no thanks" and rides off into the sunset.

Fire Arians
03-06-2012, 04:03 PM
a little harsh but a lot of what he's saying is true

6RingsAndCounting
03-06-2012, 07:20 PM
The words "Mark Madden" automatically invoke my "No Read" policy.

+1 :drink:

Bayz101
03-06-2012, 07:24 PM
Madden is like the Chris Chase of Pittsburgh.

tony hipchest
03-06-2012, 07:25 PM
madden felt the need to call ryan clark a punk ass thug yesterday for his comments on snitches.

madden is to steelers football what that turd rush limbaugh is to american politics.

fujirama24
03-06-2012, 07:53 PM
I have to completely disagree with you MR. Madden. I believe the steelers didn't utilize Hines at all the way he should have been. He is not a big bubble screen guy. He is a guy who can find the holes in a zone and get open. I think this will be one the the worst moves the steelers have made in the last 30 years. I think he had 3 to 4 really good years left in him. I believe he will either be with Wiz in Arizona or he will go were P. Manning goes. wouldn't be a bad spot for him. Though I love the way you talk steelers mark, This time I think your wrong.

Deserei90
03-07-2012, 12:40 AM
Sometimes I wish this guy would just shut up. Anytime I see a article of his, it's either obnoxious or annoying. He's all bark and no bite. He is like the equivalent of Rush Limbaugh.

QCbeauBlak
03-07-2012, 10:37 AM
I have to completely disagree with you MR. Madden. I believe the steelers didn't utilize Hines at all the way he should have been....

I agree with this. Though no one wants to admit it, if anyone regressed this year it was Big Ben. His decision making was pretty poor. If it weren't for the crappy schedule, we would have been like the Chargers this year (good team, good QB, but just an off year for the QB).

Hines never really had much of a chance to run the routes that made him who he was. He didn't run those plays where he reads and sits in the zone. I understand that his speed and the rising talent ahead of him had plenty to do with that. But like I said, on the field it starts with the QB and Ben was pretty off this year. I know, I know the O-line sucked too. A lot of things went into Hines decline other than his ability. In the end, I kinda still learn towards him just hanging it up.

stb_steeler
03-07-2012, 11:10 AM
Im thinking Hines retires....At least im hoping he does. Imagine what its gonna be like if he went to the Ravens, :doh: i cant bare the thought!..."Hines make the right decision"

Twentyvalve
03-07-2012, 12:12 PM
Well stated. Hines does not call plays. The plays he was utilized on rarely result in anything of substance anyway. He is a niche receiver; he finds holes, gets open, and makes the play when we need it.

The Steelers and the circumstances turned this season into what it ended up being: Ward being set up on obvious plays just to get some catches and a few yards. The other teams were fully aware of this.

I am not saying they should keep him, or not, but it is the reality of this situation.

I have to completely disagree with you MR. Madden. I believe the steelers didn't utilize Hines at all the way he should have been. He is not a big bubble screen guy. He is a guy who can find the holes in a zone and get open. I think this will be one the the worst moves the steelers have made in the last 30 years. I think he had 3 to 4 really good years left in him. I believe he will either be with Wiz in Arizona or he will go were P. Manning goes. wouldn't be a bad spot for him. Though I love the way you talk steelers mark, This time I think your wrong.

ebsteelers
03-07-2012, 12:16 PM
I have to completely disagree with you MR. Madden. I believe the steelers didn't utilize Hines at all the way he should have been. He is not a big bubble screen guy. He is a guy who can find the holes in a zone and get open. I think this will be one the the worst moves the steelers have made in the last 30 years. I think he had 3 to 4 really good years left in him. I believe he will either be with Wiz in Arizona or he will go were P. Manning goes. wouldn't be a bad spot for him. Though I love the way you talk steelers mark, This time I think your wrong.

lol 3 to 4 good years ? he'll be 40 by then, not a chance... dude is slower than me

Kingmagyar
03-08-2012, 06:35 AM
I have to completely disagree with you MR. Madden. I believe the steelers didn't utilize Hines at all the way he should have been. He is not a big bubble screen guy. He is a guy who can find the holes in a zone and get open. I think this will be one the the worst moves the steelers have made in the last 30 years. I think he had 3 to 4 really good years left in him. I believe he will either be with Wiz in Arizona or he will go were P. Manning goes. wouldn't be a bad spot for him. Though I love the way you talk steelers mark, This time I think your wrong.

Wow. Do you really believe this. You have to be pulling our legs right?


If Hines goes to any team this year it will be as a inspiration and sideline coach. If a team signs Hines to play receiver then they truly have the worst evaluation of talent of any team in the league.

Hines isn't a bubble screen guy? Do you really think the Steelers were happy throwing Ward 1 yard passes all season and deliberately avoided throwing him 15-30 yard passes? Do you think the game plan was let's go for the 3 yard gain instead of the 30? They threw Hines those bubble screens because that's the only way he could get open and they were giving him gifts to get to 1000 catches.

Ward won't be with Manning this year. He won't even be playing this year. I've never in almost 35 years of watching football seen a more perfect example of a guy who has hit the end of the road. God Bless him but he is done.