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Old 10-12-2008, 08:21 AM   #1
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Post Just as we all knew......Hines is a beast!

Some of the best parts of Hines Ward's game don't show up on stat sheet

Sunday, October 12, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana / Post-Gazette

There is a part of Hines Ward's game for which no statistics are recorded and no records kept.Hines Ward came right out of the chute Sunday night in Jacksonville and gave the Jaguars his best shot.

Mike Peterson was the victim. On the first play from scrimmage that night, Mewelde Moore took a handoff from Ben Roethlisberger and Ward did his thing. He slammed his 205 pounds into the side of the 238-pound linebacker. Moore ran for 19 yards that ended out of bounds. Another 15 yards was tacked on because defensive end Paul Spicer, upset that Ward had the audacity to throw such a hard block, shoved the Steelers wide receiver after the play.

Ward had set a tone, again.

"I knew it was going to be one of those nights," Ward recounted the other day. "I knew it was going to be a physical night, so I just went out and had the mentality that I was going to initiate everything and keep it going.

"It took a toll out of me physically but from the first play on they ended up getting a personal foul. I think I cracked down on the linebacker, put him down and the next thing you know Spicer's responding and they got a flagrant foul and later in the next drive they got another flagrant foul."

Ward's response?

"I didn't say anything. I got up smiling."

You'd expect something different from the most vicious blocker among wide receivers in the NFL?

Ward not only holds every meaningful Steelers receiving record, he has that extra tool in his repertoire -- blocking. It has paid them many dividends through the years, and none more than the past two games.

He drew another personal foul retaliation from cornerback Will James that tacked on another 15 yards to a 13-yard pass reception by Moore. That put the ball on the Jacksonville 15, and Ben Roethlisberger tied the score with a 1-yard pass to Heath Miller.

Jacksonville's coaches privately acknowledged that Ward was a beast last Sunday night. It's something coach Mike Tomlin learned long ago when he coached the secondary in Tampa Bay.

"It dominates their thoughts the entire game week," Tomlin told Steelers Digest early this season. "They have their heads on a swivel, looking for Hines Ward, and I know it because I've competed against these guys and prepared for them. His reputation precedes him, and it's well deserved. It's something that's talked [about] in secondary rooms the week people play the Pittsburgh Steelers 17 weeks a year."

Ward loves hearing that.

"It's a big honor, a compliment, that their coaches said I was all over the field creating havoc. That's my job; you wouldn't expect that from a wideout."

He performed a similar trick Sept. 29 in the Monday night game against Baltimore. He riled up the Ravens with a block during Nate Washington's 8-yard pickup on an end-around that prompted Baltimore linebacker Jarret Johnson to shove Ward out of bounds after the play. The 15-yard penalty and run gave the Steelers a first down at Baltimore's 44. Three plays later Roethlisberger threw a 38-yard touchdown to Santonio Holmes that brought the Steelers to within 13-10. On the next play, they took a 17-13 lead on a sack and LaMarr Woodley fumble return for a touchdown.

Those extra yards in two tight Steelers victories made a difference. Johnson later said he lost his cool.

"That's what you can't do as a defense, that's hidden yardage in the game," said Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith. "Those defenders don't like that when he's hunting them down. I'm surprised more receivers don't do that."

"That's just Hines being Hines," offensive tackle Trai Essex said. "He's a physical player and everybody in the league knows that. And he's out there still smiling. You can't get him mad. He's going to play the game no matter what. That plays into the mental aspects of the game. He gets under their skin and that gives us an advantage."

Ward has even more reason to smile this season. He leads his team with 24 receptions, with 316 yards and with four touchdowns.

And ...

"I'm healthy now," Ward said. He missed two games in 2006 with a knee injury, missed three more last season with a knee injury and had knee surgery early this year. Tomlin gives him Wednesdays off from practice.

"My weight's down and I feel good. The rest coach Tomlin's giving me is doing wonders for me personally. I'm fresher on Sundays. ... It's not that I can't [go], he just doesn't want me to.

"He told me that's what they did with Joey Galloway in Tampa. They knew what Joey was going to bring to the table. He was in his 30s but there was a lot of good football left."

Ward is 32 and it appears he has plenty left as well.

"For the first five games, it's worked wonders for me, something I had to get accustomed to and used to. But it's starting to show on the field. I have more energy. I can be more physical and I'm healthy."

It should keep the talk humming next week in the secondary room in Cincinnati.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08286/919317-66.stm

Simply stated...... I LOVE HINES!

I always knew he was a great blocker and a hard hitter for a WR, but I never realized how many penalties he is able to draw from the other team to make game changing differences. No wonder he is always smiling and no wonder the $5000 fine didn't faze him.

I'll take Hines Ward over any other WR in the league, any day, any time...........
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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 10-12-2008, 08:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: Just as we all knew......Hines is a beast!

He gets inside their heads and then BAM! lays 'em out ~ an Asian brother-from-another-mother LOL Seriously - besides his play on the field, he's also a huuge role model for Asians - there aren't that many on his level - he's the epitome


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Old 10-12-2008, 09:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Just as we all knew......Hines is a beast!

His position is WR....But Hines Ward is the true definition of a football player....I have enjoyed so much watching Ward on he plays the game and with how much heart he has....He is a warrior and i hope he has 3-4 years left...I'm not in a hurry to see Hines walk away from the game...lol
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: Just as we all knew......Hines is a beast!

He should play safety. He would be a manchild.
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Just as we all knew......Hines is a beast!

HINES WARD IS THE MAN.

Not only does he get into the heads of the players, he's in the heads of the fans. I always love to hear how fans from other teams hate him, hate his smile, hate his blocking, hate his football mentallity.

My next Steelers jersey will be a Hines Ward. Black of course.
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Old 10-12-2008, 03:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Just as we all knew......Hines is a beast!

He's a man amongst boys. Gotta love the guy.
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Old 10-12-2008, 03:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Just as we all knew......Hines is a beast!

Hines Ward is the exception to the rule as far as WR's go. His game is admirable and i'm sure enviable to other players. Seeing him smiling on the field always reminds me how proud I am to be a Steeler fan. The fact that he's one of the few Asian players in the league makes him that much cooler as a role model and an original.
And.........It's also hard not to grin whenever he gets under some hot head's skin.
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Old 10-12-2008, 04:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Just as we all knew......Hines is a beast!

Hines doesn't fit the mantra of a typical NFL WR in this day and age of me-first streaky flash stat guys. Usually it's the defenders that deliver the pain and the big hit highlights. Ward is the lone exception to that. He'll punish defenders and is not afraid to mix it up.

It's the "You're not supposed to hit me, I'm supposed to hit you" mentality by defenders that gets Hines under their skin. You can hit Hines and he'll get right back up and smile. It's itching, angry skin-crawling annoyance to them.

I hope Hines is a Steeler for the rest of his career. There will never again be a WR like him. He may never put up the big stats and not get the accolades from the media, but he's plays football, and that's what counts. Football is a hard hitting game. You gotta be tough, and Hines epitomizes that better than anyone.
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Old 10-12-2008, 05:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Just as we all knew......Hines is a beast!

ive suggested hines may be gone due to his high cap value.

i hope im wrong. numbers aside, hines is worth every penny. i know the rooneys wont try to take money he has earned away with him, and i certainly hope they do everything within reason to ensure he retires a steeler.

i bet he takes a hometown discount (ala james farrior) to see that he does.
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Old 10-12-2008, 05:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Just as we all knew......Hines is a beast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
ive suggested hines may be gone due to his high cap value.

i hope im wrong. numbers aside, hines is worth every penny. i know the rooneys wont try to take money he has earned away with him, and i certainly hope they do everything within reason to ensure he retires a steeler.

i bet he takes a hometown discount (ala james farrior) to see that he does.
Yep... I would also bet there is a couple 1 year contracts in his future.. keeping him on the team as a third and then fourth string receiver in a few years.
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