Originally Posted by ricardisimo
I know people don't want to admit it, but there's a good chance we wouldn't have seen this collapse within the WR corps had the Steelers kept Hines Ward around for one more year. Brown and co. needed someone to hold their hands for a little while longer, and Wallace would not have considered the holdout if the Steelers had a veteran they could rely upon while he was gone. That was the basis of the holdout: they couldn't survive without him.
Hard to say how Hines being around would have changed matters - by the end of 2011 Hines was the #5 receiver in terms of ability and keeping him around as a player-coach-motivator for what he wanted to be paid would have been tough if he could not lead by example on the field - at some point your younger players need to step up without adult supervision - some younger players assume that role as the next generation of leaders (Ward, Smith and Porter for the Steelers after 2001) and some do not (Burress). Wallace did not
What the playoffs showed to me was the happy talk earlier in the year about the Steelers having the best receiving corps in the NFL was a joke - in today's game you need some size at WR (Megatron, Julio Jones, Green) and the Steelers did not have that even on the days Wallace felt like playing