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Old 04-21-2007, 12:26 PM   #1
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Default A few words from Hines....a good sign

Feeling like a rookie againSaturday, April 21, 2007
By Teresa Varley
Steelers.com



Hines Ward is entering his 10th season in the NFL, but after a few practices during the Steelers mini-camp, he admits he feels like a rookie all over again. And the reason is simple. Things have changed.



New offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has shaken up the offensive playbook, keeping the basic plays the same but changing terminology, protections and other aspects of it. And that means it's time to start over and go through a major learning process for Ward and the rest of the offense.



"That's why lot of the offensive guys are back. It's really the same playbook but we're changing it up and we're protecting different ways and stuff," said Ward. "That's just like going to school, it's more like classroom, homework stuff. It's trying to mentally get a picture of what formation we're in and things like that.



'It's exciting. Everybody is like a rookie all over and everybody's in this together."



The team is taking part in a three-day mini-camp, the first of two that they will have this off-season, and it has been the first opportunity for the players to get a feel for what head coach Mike Tomlin is like on the field. There are things they will have to become accustomed to, but Ward likes what he has seen so far.



"Coach Tomlin, he's a laid-back guy but he's very hands on," said Ward. "He's hands on with every different position. It's exciting for us. There's a lot of uncertainty because we're so accustomed to one way but at the same time we're excited by the new coaching staff and the new sense of spirit they bring into the locker room.



"With the new coaching staff, a new head coach, things are going to be different around here. There's going to be an adjustment period that we as a group, a lot of veteran guys, we're accustomed to doing it one way all the time. Coach Tomlin is about taking fundamentals very seriously and starting from there."



Ward is happy to be back on the field, happy to be starting a new season after he said it was embarrassing to miss the playoffs coming off winning the Super Bowl. Along with his teammates he had time to reflect on the 2006 season and figure out what went wrong and what can be corrected in his own play to help the team do better this year.



It's way to soon for him to predict what will happen in 2007, but he thinks the team is headed in the right direction.



"It's mini-camp, we still have a long ways to go, but I like where we're going," said Ward. "I like what Coach Arians is putting in offensively ? it's going to give a chance for a lot of guys to really be active. He's going to put guys in the right position to make plays. That's the good part of this offense, he's going to put you in position to go out and make plays and be successful.



"We know we have a long ways to go, but it all starts here. Right now, it's about starting a foundation, getting everybody acclimated to the new offense's terminology and still going out there and playing Pittsburgh Steelers football."
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"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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Old 04-21-2007, 12:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: A few words from Hines....a good sign

Seems Ward has stopped complaining
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Old 04-21-2007, 12:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: A few words from Hines....a good sign

Thats good that Ben isnt hte only ne who feels like a rookie again!
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Old 04-21-2007, 03:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: A few words from Hines....a good sign

well hopefully Hines takes a leadership role here.
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Old 04-21-2007, 04:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: A few words from Hines....a good sign

It is going to be interesting with the new playbook. Hope this doesn't turn out to be a downfall.
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Old 04-21-2007, 07:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: A few words from Hines....a good sign

I think that the team is finally accepting the fact that Cowher is gone and that Tomlin is coach. I also think that the team got complacent for awhile, and that is not a good thing in football.
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Old 04-22-2007, 09:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: A few words from Hines....a good sign

I am a little worried about the new playbook but lets hope that everyone can adjust
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Old 04-22-2007, 09:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: A few words from Hines....a good sign

Steelers' Ward already looking forward to Dolphins game

By The Associated Press
Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Pittsburgh Steelers listened to Joey Porter verbally confront nearly every opposing team for eight years. They're curious if he will try to do the same thing with them.

When the NFL schedule was released last week, wide receiver Hines Ward said the Dolphins-Steelers game at Heinz Field on Monday, Nov. 26 easily stood out.

The game will mark Porter's first in Pittsburgh in a visiting uniform. The linebacker signed with the Dolphins last month after being released by the Steelers.

Porter, a three-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker, has long been known as one of the NFL's most talkative players — regularly screaming at opponents before, during and, sometimes, after games. He once was tossed out of a game in Cleveland for a fight that took place before the kickoff.

"We're circling the date when we play Miami, I want to see if there's really going to be trash talking, if he really can trash talk us," Ward said Friday, the first day of the Steelers' weekend minicamp. "You can't trash talk your boys, Joey."

Ward was among the players most upset when the Steelers cut Porter, whom they felt was declining in production and was not worth the money they would have to spend to sign him to a new contract.

Porter's contract with Miami guarantees him $20 million, or about four times more than he would have made with Pittsburgh this season.

"There's still a lot of great football left in Joey," Ward said. "He's still a great player. He helped raise our defense to the level they needed to be. That's what great leaders do. It's hard to replace a guy like Joey Porter — not only losing coach (Bill) Cowher, but a leader like Joey Porter."

Cowher, the Steelers coach since 1992, resigned after last season and was replaced by former Minnesota defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said it was easy to tell Porter wasn't around for the Steelers' first formal practice under Tomlin.

"It makes it quieter," he said. "We miss all of these guys, whatever reason they left. We always miss these guys. You can never replace them."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_504032.html
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Old 04-22-2007, 01:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: A few words from Hines....a good sign

I wanna see Joey get trash talked back to,that should be interesting.You know Larry Foote will be talking.

I really hope Joey gets a standing ovation when announced in pregame...and then gets the hell booed out of him every time he gets a sack or tackle.
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Old 04-22-2007, 02:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: A few words from Hines....a good sign

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoethlisBURGHer View Post
I wanna see Joey get trash talked back to,that should be interesting.You know Larry Foote will be talking.

I really hope Joey gets a standing ovation when announced in pregame...and then gets the hell booed out of him every time he gets a sack or tackle.
If he gets booed for every sack or tackle in that game , then I hope that we never hear the 1st boo during Miami's time on the floor.. It will take some getting used to not having Cowher on the sideline but I feel like it maybe a good thing to get things going in the right direction again for Big Ben. I just hope that we dont lose our Smash Mouth Football Instinct that has been here for so many years..
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