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Old 07-19-2008, 08:32 AM   #1
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Default Big Ben Makes Hines Ward Burn

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Big Ben’s comments make Hines Ward burn bright

By James Pete | July 18th, 2008

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Ben Roethlisberger had an agenda this offseason. The 6′5″ quarterback was looking to sign a contract extension that would make him the highest paid player in Pittsburgh Steelers history. This would come to fruition in the first week of March, when the Steelers signed Roeth to an eight-year, $102 million dollar deal. On top of the contract, Roethlisberger also had visions of Plaxico Burress dancing around in his head. Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette in January that he wanted a tall receiver.

“I’m always going to ask for a tall receiver,” Roethlisberger said in the interview. “That’s just me. Our receivers are unbelievable, but our tallest guy might be Hines. Or Santonio. Hines is going to say he’s 6 foot, but he’s 5-11. In the red zone, it’s nice to have a guy like that,” Roethlisberger went on to say. “Obviously, we have a guy like Nate who can jump out of this world, he can jump so high. It’s nice to have that. But to have a big guy who can create mismatches — the same thing happened when Plax was here. So much presence went to Plax’s side just because he’s a big, good receiver, that Hines was always open or Antwaan. I just think it would open stuff up for us a lot more.”

The Steelers then drafted the 6′4″, University of Texas wide receiver, Limas Sweed in the second round of the NFL draft. The athletic Sweed has a knack for the endzone, and was just the player that Roethlisberger was asking for.

Hines Ward was more than fired up, and I think that is a good thing.

Ward spoke out before Roeth signed his contract, and before the draft, and didn’t seem all that pleased with Roeth’s comments.

“To me, I have enough problems to worry about than what Ben wants — I can’t give him the contract,” Ward said, referring to Roethlisberger’s contract. “He wants a tall receiver? Why did we draft Santonio? “To me, I like the four guys we have. This is Ben’s first year with Bruce Arians, and he had a tremendous year, a Pro Bowl year. I think he’s coming into his own. We have weapons, let’s gel together a couple more years and let’s see what happens. If they go and get a tall receiver in the first round, someone’s got to lose a job. Now we had all these weapons around us, now what are we going to do? I was here with me, Plax and Antwaan; we had three deadly weapons. Did that win us a Super Bowl? No, the year we won the Super Bowl we had me, Antwaan and Cedrick Wilson. If there’s a formula for bringing a tall guy in to win, I don’t buy that.”

Hines Ward, chippy as he already is, probably had good reason to be irritated this offseason. During the 2005 offseason, Ward wanted an extension to his contract. The Steelers didn’t initiate a new deal, and Ward decided to hold out. He held out for two weeks, before coming back to camp, and would eventually sign a new four-year deal in September. Roeth had a relatively stress-free negotiation, and the Steelers really didn’t concede anything to ‘their face of the franchise.’ I’m sure the signing made Ward happy, but at the same time, brought up unhappy memories for the wideout about the bumpy road he and the Steelers took towards his own extension. Ward was, at the time, arguably the most popular Steelers’ player not named Bettis.

Then Roeth came out and asked for a tall receiver. True or not (I happen to think it’s true), the comment had to be a slap in the face to Ward, and his fellow starter Santonio Holmes, who had eight receiving TD’s last year, and had a better yards-per-catch average than guys like Randy Moss. The anger probably doesn’t stop there either. The Steelers do have 6′5″ Heath Miller, who was drafted to be a red-zone threat, and had 7 TD’s last year. The Steelers also drafted 6′7″ Matt Spaeth, to give the Steelers a two tight-end, red zone threat. Spaeth didn’t make many splashes in the offense his first year, but it’s believe that Bruce Arians plans to use him more this season.

The Steelers also have 6′1″ Nate Washington, who is slowly developing into a servicable wide receiver, and as Roeth said, can jump out of Heinz Field. They also drafted the 6′3″ Dallas Baker, “the touchdown maker” in 2007, who many think also has the skills to be a serious red zone threat, if given the opportunity.

The key to the drafting of Limas Sweed is wearing the #86 jersey. Since the draft, Hines Ward has been nothing but the best teammate he could be to Sweed. Expect nothing less from the highly professional wide receiver. There is no doubt that he sees Sweed as being a plus to the offense. Sweed does possess several intangibles that I see as being similar to Ward. Sweed isn’t afraid to catch balls in traffic, and was known as a solid blocker as a wide receiver. Ward likely notices this, and will do whatever he can to help him improve as a football player.

At the same time, you know that Hines Ward isn’t going to soon forget anything that happened this offseason. There’s no doubt in my mind that Ward decided long before the 2008 draft, that he was going to prove that Ben Roethlisberger was wrong. The only thing stopping Ward in the last two seasons were injuries, and that if he can play a season healthy, he’d be the same dangerous threat that was rolling out 1,300 yard seasons before Roeth even suited up for the Steelers.

Whether Roethlisberger did it on purpose, or not, Hines Ward is fired up…

and we all know that a fired up Hines Ward is very, very dangerous.

Look for Ward to come out this season with a chip on his shoulder, and if he stays healthy, will give the Steelers’ nation something to smile about.
http://mvn.com/nfl-steelers/2008/07/...d-burn-bright/
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: Big Ben Makes Hines Ward Burn

Excellent read.
Hines is definately in my top ten favorite Steelers players list. ( man that list is getting hard to keep at ten )
The only problem I see this year with our offense is keeping everyone happy. I mean just look at the talent folks. I am tellin ya, if the Oline is just a couple ticks better than last year this could be the most explosive offense that the Burgh has ever seen( that includes the 70s teams )! The oline is the variable though. There MUST be better play from the Oline.
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Big Ben Makes Hines Ward Burn

Sweeeet.

As if Hines didn't need any more motivation, a Hines with a chip on his shoulder is going to be very productive.

Epic.
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: Big Ben Makes Hines Ward Burn

Nothing not to like in HInes Ward! I love watching him catch, block, hit and most of all .....score!

And I don't blame Ben for wanting "a perfect world". He wants to win, any way he can.
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: Big Ben Makes Hines Ward Burn

Great read I want to see Hines ward get fired up and get him another 1300 yard season and several touchdowns to go with it.
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Big Ben Makes Hines Ward Burn

Hines pissed?? Ed Reed needs to keep his head up.....lol

Bart Scott too. That guy talks a lot of trash for someone who's not much bigger than Hines.
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Old 07-19-2008, 01:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Big Ben Makes Hines Ward Burn

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Originally Posted by stillers4me View Post
Nothing not to like in HInes Ward! I love watching him catch, block, hit and most of all .....score!

And I don't blame Ben for wanting "a perfect world". He wants to win, any way he can.
And I don't blame Ben for not throwing the REAL culprits under the bus. In a "perfect world" Ben wouldn't get pummeled within a fraction of a second after the snap.

Just try falling backwards. The last thing you see are the tallest objects in the sky. But Ben. Just because you may see the tallest receiver on the field doesn't mean you'll get the ball to him. Hence the totally ridiculous interceptions at pivotal moments.

In Super Bowl XL the team with the tallest receivers LOST. A rather large fact that Ben might forget. I'll take timing and proper routes over height any day. If we can get both then outstanding. But the focus is on the four or five guys in front of Ben. Not outside of Ben.
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Old 07-19-2008, 03:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: Big Ben Makes Hines Ward Burn

I'm waiting for the comments to come. If I had mentioned working on the O-line before you guyy, I'd have gotten flamed. In fact, I have mentioned it in other threads and been flamed.

I've seen a lot of people here say that the O-line needs to improve...but in other thread (other "fans") believe the O-line is already improved. You all need to get your heads together and figure out if your O-line is ok or not, at least before you start flaming Browns fans.

Personally, I think it's the weakest link on your offense, which could lend to some serious issues in the upcoming years.
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Old 07-19-2008, 03:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Big Ben Makes Hines Ward Burn

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Originally Posted by xfl2001fan View Post
I've seen a lot of people here say that the O-line needs to improve...but in other thread (other "fans") believe the O-line is already improved. You all need to get your heads together and figure out if your O-line is ok or not, at least before you start flaming Browns fans.

Personally, I think it's the weakest link on your offense, which could lend to some serious issues in the upcoming years.
So all Browns fans are in 100% agreement on what their team's strengths and weaknesses are? I think Browns fans should worry a little more about the Browns, personally.
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Old 07-19-2008, 03:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Big Ben Makes Hines Ward Burn

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So all Browns fans are in 100% agreement on what their team's strengths and weaknesses are? I think Browns fans should worry a little more about the Browns, personally.
I worry about the Browns on a Browns website. This is a Steelers website. So I'll add my input regarding the Steelers here.
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