View Full Version : Steelers' Hines Ward wasn't a 'dirty player'

03-21-2012, 09:18 AM
Steelers' Hines Ward wasn't a 'dirty player'
By Jamison Hensley

Unlike Hines Ward at his retirement press conference, there are players around the league who won't be shedding a tear that he is leaving the game.

Hines Ward and Bernard Pollard
Hines Ward's aggressive style of play often rubbed opposing defenders the wrong way.
That includes Bengals safety Chris Crocker, who told the team's official website that Ward "was a dirty player."

You can give Ward a lot of labels but "dirty" should not be among them. He was aggressive, violent, and, yes, often annoying to linebackers and defensive backs alike.

It's true that Ward was named the NFL's dirtiest player in a 2009 Sports Illustrated poll. So, it's not just Steeler-hating fans who are calling Ward out. It's his peers.

Still, this doesn't mean that Ward is dirty. When you play Ward's style, you're not going to gain many friends around the league. Players don't like it when they're running along minding their own business and find themselves face first in the ground a second later. And they really don't like it when it's a 6-foot wide receiver who put them there.

But Ward never stomped on someone's face during a game. He didn't even stand over them to taunt after a hit. In fact, there was one hit where Ward leveled Ravens safety Ed Reed and waved to signal for a trainer immediately afterward. That's not dirty.

Others have a different opinion like Crocker, who said Ward "tried to end people's careers and that's not the way the game is supposed to be played."

Crocker said Ward punched him in the face at the snap of the ball in 2009, a year after Ward's blindside block broke the jaw of Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers and ended his rookie season.

"He was a dirty player, but he made a lot of plays," Crocker said. "They used him perfectly to suit his abilities and he was a big-time player for them. Some people might think of him as a borderline Hall of Famer, but I think the fact he helped them win two Super Bowls and all the things he did for that team make him deserving."

This really is the greatness of Ward. How many players are criticized and respected in the same breath? He was one of the all-time best villains for opposing teams. He was the type of player that you wanted to have as a teammate but hated (and feared) to line up against.

“I love Hines as a player and I told him that,” Reed said last summer. “But I told him also for a long time, ‘You’re a dirty player because I know how you play.’”

Players won't miss keeping their heads on a swivel when Ward was on the field, but they will always remember the passion and intensity that he brought to every play.

03-21-2012, 04:53 PM
Ward was the nastiest receiver ever to play the game. And for that, we will always love him. :tt04:

03-21-2012, 07:34 PM
Ward was the nastiest receiver ever to play the game. And for that, we will always love him. :tt04:

Well said! :applaudit::applaudit::applaudit:

03-22-2012, 10:47 AM
Ward was the nastiest receiver ever to play the game. And for that, we will always love him. :tt04:

Greg Lloyd at WR!?!?

03-22-2012, 12:47 PM
Ward was the nastiest receiver ever to play the game. And for that, we will always love him. :tt04:

:drink: :tt03:

Like I've said before, he was the only WR that I can think of that the defenders actually FEARED.

Fire Arians
03-22-2012, 01:29 PM
anyone who said hines is a dirty player has never played football, or either was butt hurt that a wr put them on their ass.

03-23-2012, 08:18 AM
anyone who said hines is a dirty player has never played football, or either was butt hurt that a wr put them on their ass.

Precisely. My high school coaches screamed at us if we didn't keep playing until the whistle was blown. We were specifically told to find someone to hit or block until we heard the whistle. Football is a violent game and also one of psychological intimidation and throwing a nasty block on a guy who is too oblivious to pay attention makes them feel the need to constantly look over their shoulder. Hines Ward was the best at this. On top of his ability to physically dominate defenders he also had a knack for taking huge hits and getting up and smiling and laughing in the face of the guys that hit him. Again psychological. How demoralizing is it to lay a guy out with a big hit only to have him get up grinning and laughing in your face? That's the beauty of Hines Ward. He will be sorely missed.

Oh and Ward did stand over a guy. In response to the original post.


03-23-2012, 09:16 AM
Defenders were just mad because Hines could hit as hard or harder than they could.

03-23-2012, 09:35 AM
Hey guys/gals! my first post here and I just want to say...

Hines kicked ass and took names later! he was exactly what the Steelers and NFL Football is all about. Hard play, Hard Hitting and Hard Attitude. The wussification of the NFL will not stain the memory of the NFL's TOUGHEST WR of ALL-TIME!! HOF!!

03-23-2012, 09:41 AM
Well other teams will say he was a dirty player. But his hits caused the NFL to change the rules. Himes like Harrison played with in the rules and what they were taught. The rules subsequently changed after the fact. But that doesn;t mean he was dirty, the NFL was just trying to protect the rest of the league, lol

But Hines was what you call a "game changer" rules had to put in place to negate what he was legally doing to aid his team.
Ed Reed still sends Goodell a xmas card thanking him, lol

03-23-2012, 02:00 PM
There were a few hits he made that could be considered questionable. But that is a very small percentage of all the great hits he has made over the years and everyone makes a questionable hit at one time or another. DBs can dish it out but can't take it if the same is done to them. The only one I wish Hines would have laid out and never did (that I can remember) is Ray Lewis. But I guess Ray keeps his head on a swivel to make sure he isn't taken out because of his reputation. I will miss Hines and that smile that drove other teams' players and opposing fans crazy. There will never be another like him.

03-23-2012, 04:51 PM
Ward! Never dirty. Just a HARD MAN.

03-23-2012, 11:22 PM
Who gives a shit if they think he was or wasn't.