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Old 02-14-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Cook: It's time to realize Steelers owe Ward nothing

Cook: It's time to realize Steelers owe Ward nothing
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

If it has been said once, it has been said hundreds of times. The Steelers owe Hines Ward. They owe him a job. They owe him an immediate answer about his future. They owe him respect, as if they always haven't given it to him.

I can't say this strongly enough.

The Steelers owe Ward nothing.

Ward gave the team 14 terrific years, a Hall of Fame career that guarantees him a prominent spot in Steelers lore. The team paid him countless millions. Neither side owes the other anything.

You might not like reading this, but it's true:

There is no room in pro sports for sentimentality or loyalty, not when so much money is at stake and the pressure to win is so great.

Unfortunately, Ward's inevitable parting from the Steelers looks as if it will be awkward with hurt feelings for Ward. It happens fairly often in sports. An aging star player thinks he has game left and wants to come back for one more season. The team thinks the player is finished and wants to go in a different direction. How can that story not have an awkward ending?

Ward hasn't helped the situation by being so public about his hopes of playing with the Steelers next season. Most recently, he used his Facebook page Saturday to say he would do just about anything for one more year here, including restructuring his contract and, presumably, taking minimum pay for a veteran player. There is nothing wrong with sharing those thoughts with management, which Ward did after the season with Steelers president Art Rooney II and coach Mike Tomlin. But to do it publicly? It's just so unseemly. It makes Ward look as if he's begging for a job. That's sad.

If Ward thinks he can turn up the pressure on management to bring him back, he's badly mistaken.

The Steelers can't and won't be dissuaded by public sentiment, which figures to be mostly on Ward's side because of his significant contributions to the team over the years. If they bring him back, it will be because they think he still can help them, not because of media and fan pressure. No sports management team should ever make a decision based on such pressure. It has to do what's right for its organization even if the decision is unpopular. If the Steelers decide Ward no longer can play, they have to release him. It won't be personal. It will be business.

Ward has been around long enough to know the difference. He held out of training camp in 2005 to get a new contract. That, also, wasn't personal. It was business.

It works both ways in sports.

Of course, that doesn't mean Ward's ego won't be bruised if the Steelers sever ties with him in the next few days or weeks.

The NFL Network reported over the weekend that Ward won't be back next season. Steelers sources told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette that a final decision about Ward's future hasn't been made, a position that general manager Kevin Colbert reiterated Monday. I believe both reports. The team still is looking at its roster makeup with an open mind, but Ward almost certainly won't be back.

Based on the limited number of plays the Steelers gave Ward during the second half of last season, it's apparent Tomlin doesn't think he still can play at a high level. It was all the team could do to get Ward his 1,000th catch. He needed 10 with four regular-season games left and still needed five in the final game against the Cleveland Browns. No. 1,000 finally came on a fourth-quarter shovel pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger that lost 3 yards.

And some actually are saying the Steelers haven't shown Ward the proper respect? Getting him that 1,000th catch even when it wasn't strategically prudent in a 13-9 win is the ultimate sign of respect. The team fulfilled its final obligation to him that day.

That shovel pass made Ward just the eighth player in NFL history with 1,000 catches. Put that magical number with just about every major receiving record in Steelers history, his ability as one of the greatest blocking wide receivers of all time and his three appearances in Super Bowls, which resulted in two wins for his team and the MVP award of Super Bowl XL. That's Hall of Fame-worthy, no doubt about it. All of us have been lucky to watch him.

But we're talking about today, not the past. The Steelers are committed to their three young wide receivers -- Mike Wallace, team MVP Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. Ward will be no better than No. 4 on the depth chart if the team somehow decides to bring him back. The fourth wide receiver has to be able to play special teams. Ward isn't going to do that.

But, clearly, Ward wants to keep playing. If the Steelers cut him, he isn't likely to retire unless no other team wants him. You might not like seeing him in another uniform -- just as you didn't like seeing Hall of Famers Franco Harris and Mike Webster in other uniforms -- but so what? It's not your career. It's Ward's. He has to do what is right for him if he's released.

Just as the Steelers have to do what is right for the team.
Ron Cook: rcook@post-gazette.com. Ron Cook can be heard on the "Vinnie and Cook" show weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 93.7 The Fan. More articles by this author

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12045...#ixzz1mOjph03r
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cook: It's time to realize Steelers owe Ward nothing

Cook needs to stop reading my posts, lol
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cook: It's time to realize Steelers owe Ward nothing

If it's written by Cook, i'm not reading it.
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cook: It's time to realize Steelers owe Ward nothing

more stuff from the terrible Pittsburgh writers. And it's more of "trying to stir up all kinds of s**t". Again.

What would be really great is if NO ONE in the Steelers organization ever spoke to these guys again or gave them locker room access. That would fix their dead a**es real quick. Unfortunately, they'd be fined by the league if they did.
This is getting worse than the National Enquirer.
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cook: It's time to realize Steelers owe Ward nothing

..........its as if they take the majority of the local sentiment (on everything) and then take the exact opposite stance....just to be a**holes.
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cook: It's time to realize Steelers owe Ward nothing

This is why I like Haley's bit on the Gazette: "My dad wouldn't let me read it".
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cook: It's time to realize Steelers owe Ward nothing

actually the above post article is in direct response to this tribune article by dejan kovacevic-

Kovacevic: Steelers disrespecting Ward

Quote:
These aren't easy calls for the front office, but either would be the right call from the football standpoint.

If only someone can find the fortitude to make it.

And make it The Steelers Way.

Remember that?
...

Either way, the Steelers move on. And, just as important, they maintain their reputation for being first-class in these affairs.

So how to explain the classless way they're treating Ward?




If Ward is done, then tell him that sometime soon. Face to face. Man to man.

Used to be The Steelers Way.
....


Read more: Kovacevic: Steelers disrespecting Ward - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1mOwKRz3q
so even though his hero arians is pretty much the one who leaked and started this firestorm, he now calls the steelers classless.

check out my response and then him firing back-

Steelersfever@Steelers_Fever

@Dejan_Kovacevic It seems the local media is disrespecting the #Steelers Its like concentrated smear campaign for dumping that turd Arians.



Dejan Kovacevic@Dejan_Kovacevic

@Steelers_Fever You'll have to take that up with "the local media," then. I'm just me, just one person.



Steelersfever@Steelers_Fever

I am. "1 person" at a time :) RT@Dejan_Kovacevic You'll have to take that up with "the local media," then. I'm just me, just one person.


burn.

the local mediots are getting quite testy with eachother lately. it makes for some quite entertaining reading. then theres jim wexell who is completely blasting them all.
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cook: It's time to realize Steelers owe Ward nothing



So glad you made that twitter
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cook: It's time to realize Steelers owe Ward nothing

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
Cook: It's time to realize Steelers owe Ward nothing
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

There is no room in pro sports for sentimentality or loyalty, not when so much money is at stake and the pressure to win is so great.
Unless Cook is talking about Bruce Arians

Seems like everyone is saying the Steelers need to spend more time and money on constructing a better offensive line. The team has invested $102 million in quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Doesn't it need to do a better job keeping him healthy?

Well, here are two more questions:

Isn't it important to keep Roethlisberger happy?

If so, why are the Steelers on the verge of forcing offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to retire?

It makes no sense.


http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12020/1204705-87-0.stm

I guess the Steelers only should be loyal to someone if they were a good source for Ron Cook
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cook: It's time to realize Steelers owe Ward nothing

Kovacevic or one of his family members posted on another message board, in response to somebody calling the writer of that article an "assclown".

The post was "Dejan Kovacevic is not an assclown". Kind of amusing stuff.
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