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TEEMONT
01-28-2008, 04:03 PM
http://www.timesonline.com/articles/2008/01/28/sports/steelers/doc479d66c2d6b3c965453310.txt



Monday Madden: Ben was right, Steelers could use tall WR

By Mark Madden, Special to The Times
Published: Monday, January 28, 2008 12:29 AM ESTEx-Steeler Plaxico Burress has not only come into his own with the New York Giants, but is the main reason they’re in the Super Bowl. Green Bay’s Al Harris is considered a premier cornerback, but Burress not only outplayed Harris in the NFC Championship Game, he manhandled him, stiff-arming him aside like a junior high kid en route to 11 catches. Burress dropped a touchdown, sure, but that’s part of his oeuvre. He does a lot more good than bad.

Burress is 6-foot-5 and athletic. He can get up there. The Steelers could use a receiver like him.

That’s what quarterback Ben Roethlisberger thinks, anyway.

In a postseason interview, Roethlisberger stated his desire for a tall receiver. If you’ll recall, Ben lobbied for the Steelers to retain Burress prior to his departure via free agency in 2005.

Of course, Hines Ward went nuts.

Even though Roethlisberger followed his pitch for a tall receiver by saying, “Our receivers are unbelievable,” Whines Hard went into a snit as predictable as a Patriots victory Sunday. His outburst was an incredible combination of ignorance and self-promotion.

Ward: “I don’t hear Tom Brady or Peyton Manning asking for that.”

Actually, Whines, one reason the Patriots are 18-0 is because Brady demanded, in no uncertain terms, that management get him receiving help. That’s why Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Donte Stallworth all joined the Pats this past off-season.

Ward: “He wants a tall receiver? Why did we draft Santonio?”

Roethlisberger didn’t suggest that the Steelers needed a tall receiver instead of Santonio Holmes, or instead of Ward, for that matter. There’s no questioning their credentials, and Roethlisberger didn’t. But a big target in the red zone would help, or at least help more than Nate Washington.

Ward: “Look at my red-zone touchdowns. I have as many as anyone in the league.”

True dat, but why dat? Since 2002, Ward is tied for second in the NFL in percentage of touchdowns in the red zone. The Steelers go to Ward constantly inside the 20, treating him like the only option instead of the best option (which he has been, by default, since Burress left). Ward gets more red-zone looks — from Roethlisberger, it should be noted — than 6-5 tight end Heath Miller.

Ward is the Steelers’ No. 1 receiver because the Steelers won’t let anyone else audition for the job. Not Burress, who was clearly more gifted. Not Holmes, who is also more talented. Ward is a No. 2-level/style receiver but is constantly hammered into the No. 1 receiving hole. His ego demands it, and the Steelers placate. But gee, he sure can block.

On the field, Ward plays for the team. Off the field, I’ve honestly never heard any athlete talk about himself more than Ward does. He often disguises it with a veneer of false humility, constantly putting himself in the underdog role. But Ward is an opera singer: Me-me-me-me-me-me-me!

The underdog stuff is getting old. As Mike Prisuta of the ‘DVE Morning Show said, “He keeps saying that no one gave him a chance. He was a third-round pick. THAT’S A CHANCE!”

Ward actually quoted his career statistics while refuting Ben: “I’ve caught 719 balls.” He actually walks around with that number in his head. You’d think he hosted a talk show that did an 8.7 rating.

Ward: “If they go and get a tall receiver in the first round, someone’s got to lose a job.”

If that “someone” is Washington, that might be a good thing. CLANG! CLANG! CLANG! When it comes to drops, Washington makes Burress look like Fred Biletnikoff. Is Ward concerned about Washington losing his job, or about losing a bit of spotlight and a few catches himself?

There’s no denying what Ward is: A former Super Bowl MVP. A four-time Pro Bowler. He holds most of the Steelers receiving records.

There’s also no denying what Ward isn’t: A Pro Football Hall-of-Famer. If Art Monk isn’t in, Ward isn’t getting in. Ward’s numbers are inflated by the present-day style of football, and blocking doesn’t matter. If there’s a Korean-American bald guys’ Hall of Fame, though, he’s got a shot.

Ward also isn’t 6-5. One of Ward’s quotes sounded like Napoleon complex run amok, and perhaps revealed some jealousy of Burress, too: “Even with Plax and Kordell (Stewart), I would be wide open in the end zone, but people get enamored of tall receivers — ‘I have to throw it to him.’ ”

Bigger is better. That’s reality. That’s what sets Moss apart from the receiving pack. That’s why Burress — who showed remarkable courage playing all season on a bum ankle, by the way — has been so valuable in the development of quarterback Eli Manning.

The Steelers would be better if they got a big receiver. That’s more reality.

More reality than Ward would like to deal with, perhaps.

Mark Madden hosts a sports talk show 3-7 p.m. weekdays on ESPN Radio 1250.



I'm not a Mark Madden fan at all, every now and then I will see somethign he wrote, but I refuse to listen to his shows. I doubt he even belives half of what he says, he justs says it for shock value.

While Ward has a bit of an ego (what pro athlete doesn't) he is far from egotistical.

And the Art Monk HoF arguement doesn't hold water. Irvin got in, Ward and Monk should get in.

TEEMONT
01-28-2008, 04:09 PM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08027/852555-66.stm



Ed Bouchette on the Steelers: A history of Com-Plax-ity
Burress' excellence in last week's NFC title game rekindles the debate over the decision the Steelers faced after the 2004 season
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Should the Steelers have made a better effort to sign Burress to an extension in 2004, or before he became a free agent in 2005? As it was, they made little effort at all.

Burress, a 6-foot-51/2 wide receiver, wanted a contract extension in the spring of 2004, his fifth and last year of the contract he signed as the eighth pick in the 2000 draft. When talks went nowhere, Burress skipped a required minicamp that May, which incensed coach Bill Cowher.

Burress, though, reported to training camp on time and finished out his last season. He signed with the New York Giants as a free agent in March 2005 for $25 million over six years, including a $5 million signing bonus.

The Steelers may not have tried harder to sign Burress because they did not think they could afford both him and Hines Ward, whom they wanted to sign in 2005 when he had one year left on his contract. They also knew that if they gave Burress a huge deal in 2004, they would have to give Ward a better one in 2005 or lose him.

Basically, the Steelers believed they had to make a choice between Burress and Ward and they chose Ward. Since then, Burress has had good success with the New York Giants. He still has not made a Pro Bowl, but that does not mean he is not important to the Giants and quarterback Eli Manning.

In the Giants' overtime victory in Green Bay in the NFC championship game, Burress caught 11 passes for 154 yards. He had his third-most productive pro season in 2007 with 70 catches for 1,025 yards and 12 touchdowns, fighting through a painful right ankle injury all season.

It's the same kind of injury that Steelers halfback Barry Foster had in 1993. Foster, against the club's wishes, decided to have surgery on his ankle, ending his season, rather than waiting. Burress opted to play on.

Although Burress has at times irked coach Tom Coughlin because he works out in Miami much of the offseason rather than in New York, Coughlin told me last March that he loves the guy. Coughlin said he and Burress not only get along but that Burress has been good in their locker room. Burress also was voted by New York writers as their version of the Chief Award for his willingness to assist them in their jobs.

So, should the Steelers have tried to keep him? Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger after his rookie season and only year playing with Burress, asked them to keep him. They wound up signing Hines Ward that summer and then won a Super Bowl in 2005 without Burress.

So, in that sense, they made the right decision. But they drafted Burress eighth, their second-highest draft choice since Terry Bradshaw was picked No. 1 in 1970. You'd think they might have tried a little harder to keep him. He showed how good he could be in 2002 when, with Ward setting a team record with 112 receptions, Burress caught 78 passes for 1,325 yards.

Also, had they kept Burress they would not have had to draft a wide receiver to replace him in 2006, when they traded up to take Santonio Holmes in the first round. Instead, they might have drafted a center to replace Jeff Hartings -- Ohio State's Nick Mangold, drafted 29th by the New York Jets.

Taller doesn't mean better
Roethlisberger's public plea for the Steelers to acquire a tall receiver elicited a predictable response from Ward -- who wasn't pleased.

The quarterback said he could use a tall receiver in bailout situations -- when he's under a heavy pass rush -- and in the red zone. But the Steelers already provide him with those kinds of receivers. They have 6-5 Heath Miller and 6-7 Matt Spaeth. Perhaps they are tight ends and not wide receivers, but they ARE receivers.

Tall wide receivers are difficult to find, at least good ones. The Steelers drafted one in the fourth round in 2005, 6-4 Fred Gibson, and they cut him before the season began. They drafted 6-3 Dallas Baker on the seventh round this year and he wound up on their practice squad.

When the 6-5 1/2 Burress played here, he did not perform particularly well in the red zone anyway. The biggest misunderstanding was that he should be thrown the fade pass. They tried. Burress had terrible timing; he also did not jump very well and went down easily after the catch.

Miller has the potential to be a great red zone receiver, and if they feel the need for someone taller, they should use him more often. But I can't remember a Steelers receiver who was so good at catching a ball inside the 10 and fighting his way into the end zone the way Ward has during his career.

The bottom line is what counts: The end zone fade caught by someone 6-5, or the touchdown scored by the 6-foot receiver who fought through three tackles at the 5 to cross the goal line.

Officially speaking, they've been awfulThe officiating in the Steelers playoff loss to Jacksonville earlier this month was terrible, but that's the way it's been throughout the postseason.

The officiating in the playoffs has been worse than in regular-season games.

A big reason, I believe, is because they split up the crews during the playoffs. A crew spends its entire season together, learning each other's work habits and pace and mannerisms, and calling games a certain way.

Then the NFL assigns officials based not on how these crews perform as a group, but by grading each individual official. It then assigns officials to the playoffs based on those grades.

Football likes to call itself the ultimate team sport, yet in the playoffs it breaks up its teams of officials -- and not for the better.

Look for Ed Bouchette's coverage from Super Bowl XLII beginning Tuesday. Ed Bouchette can be reached at ebouchette@post-gazette.com.
First published on January 27, 2008 at 12:00 am


Yet another tall WR thread. It seems to be the hot topic in Pittsburgh as of late.

TampaSteelGirl
01-28-2008, 04:10 PM
I think we have MUCH bigger problems then worrying about a freaking tall WR!! Plax was a spoiled child and i'm glad he's gone! Pissed me off after the 2004 Championship game we lost to the Pats and whined back to the locker room, packed his shiat and left the Steeler organization. Glad we won the SB the very next year. If our WR's are so incredible then why is they wanting a tall WR? Nate is tall, one of our boys will lose a job. We have bigger problems like an Oline..Get a freakin tall guy in there!!!! GEEZZ!

BlitzburghRockCity
01-28-2008, 04:18 PM
I wanted Plax to stay but he was wanting way too much money at the time and I couldn't justify that much for somebody who underachieved during his career here. He has played well in NY but he's certainly no pro bowler year in and year out and that's the kind of money he was asking for. Hines has done very well since Plax has left but that's due in part ARE being a threat to compliment Hines and also now Santonio has stepped up.

I don't doubt a tall WR is nice to have but it's not like we have nothing but smurfs out there; Heath and Matt are money in the red zone and anywhere you need a big target to throw too. If the team uses them more even than what they are doing now it's only going to get better for Ben and the offense. If they want to bring in a tall WR, more power to them but acting like it's the end all save all is wrong too.

steelersgal86
01-28-2008, 04:19 PM
it's sad that we make decisions by what other people think

TEEMONT
01-28-2008, 04:24 PM
I personally can't stand Madden, he is a fat bitch who talks all this ****, b/c he knows Hines isn't going say anything back. So usually it's the "yinzers" who call in to his show to try and talk **** back, but as we all know, most yinzers have the mental capacity of a drunk 7 year old.

Madern has shock value, but him busting Hines, who has been niothing but a great Steeler since day 1. **** Mark Madden.

And **** Prisuta too, he works for the 2nd best newspaper in a two newspaper town.

memphissteelergirl
01-28-2008, 05:12 PM
"On the field, Ward plays for the team. Off the field, I’ve honestly never heard any athlete talk about himself more than Ward does. He often disguises it with a veneer of false humility, constantly putting himself in the underdog role. But Ward is an opera singer: Me-me-me-me-me-me-me!"


:excuseme:

Troyisabeast_43
01-28-2008, 05:19 PM
http://www.timesonline.com/articles/2008/01/28/sports/steelers/doc479d66c2d6b3c965453310.txt




I'm not a Mark Madden fan at all, every now and then I will see somethign he wrote, but I refuse to listen to his shows. I doubt he even belives half of what he says, he justs says it for shock value.

While Ward has a bit of an ego (what pro athlete doesn't) he is far from egotistical.

And the Art Monk HoF arguement doesn't hold water. Irvin got in, Ward and Monk should get in.

Oh man. Guys who are Ward critics like Mark Madden are going to have fun talking about this drama. Hines is an emotional guy and I think he uses this kind of thing as part of his motivation. He's made similar comments in the past when Troy Edwards and Plaxico Burress were drafted number one in back to back years. That being said, I think he's taking Ben's comments out of context. It's not like Ben is asking for Ward to be replaced. Ben was asked a hypathetical question and he answered it honestly. The "contract" comment was a little questionable and I don't think Hines should've said that. Ben's been nothing but classy and has always tried to be a "team first" guy.

We all know Hines brings it every week and all of us love him and his style of play. He doesn't have to worry about his job no matter who the Steelers bring in. I think he gets overly sensitive when it comes to other receivers being brought onto the team. I don't know if it is because he'll be 32 or if Ben's comments triggered memories of the Steelers trying to replace him with Edwards and Burress. Hopefully. this will all be forgotten by the time mini camp hits. The bottom line with Hines is I know he uses all this stuff as motivation and to make him play better, but this lack of respect card he continually uses about how nobody ever gives him credit or he doesnt have the stats anybody else has is getting kind of old. You have all the crudentials you need Hines you have a Super Bowl ring, a Super Bowl MVP, you got your big contract, you are the all time leading receiver in Steelers history as well. My advice for Hines is let it go man and quit complaining over every little thing somebody says because its starting to get real old and tedious.

BlitzburghRockCity
01-28-2008, 05:21 PM
Madden is a bitch, I can't stand his articles and generally can't stand Prisuta's stuff either. Madden is total garbage, Prisuta does write an unbiased article once in a blue moon. I generally don't read the Trib anyways because their sports staff is 2nd rate compared to the Post-Gazette.

It's just like him to try and stir the pot with this **** and make it a bigger deal than it really is. Bigger may be better in somethings :rolleyes: but in the NFL the last time I checked players like Hines do pretty damn well for themselves on the field. Plax wasn't worth the money he wanted and he's still not; big WR's are nice to have but that alone doesn't mean ****. The last time I checked we won the super bowl without a BIG WR. If Tomlin is smart he'll put a picture of Madden on the tackling dummies come this July!

Black@Gold Forever32
01-28-2008, 05:42 PM
Mark Madden is a fat slob....Plus this whole saga of Ben wanting a Big WR he getting way over blown....

Ok....My take height is over-rated....But its still easier for a QB to throw to a tall WR then a short WR.....Plus if you add a talented tall WR that can dictate coverage like Plax use to do it makes the entire offense better...lol I'm not saying to throw a tall WR out there like Walter Young...lol I'm talking finding a tall one in the draft that can actually play....I'm not saying James Hardy will be as good as TO or even Moss...But I do think he is a legit NFL WR that could dictate coverage....Making life easier for the other WRs like Ward and Holmes...Even Miller.....

Taking shots at Hines Ward is cheap but I wouldn't expect anything less from Mark Madden...The guy is a tool....But I do think Hines is to sensitive about this whole thing....Hey no surprise really since NFL WRs anymore are drama queens...lol

With this whole story I wish training camp would just get here sooner....We have bigger things to worry about then this....Mainly the OL and Troy coming back to form hopefully....Plus the labor agreement is going to be an issue again..Imagine if the NFL eliminates the salary cap? That would kill the Steelers and other small marker teams...

BlitzburghRockCity
01-28-2008, 05:50 PM
Mark Madden is a fat slob....Plus this whole saga of Ben wanting a Big WR he getting way over blown....

Ok....My take height is over-rated....But its still easier for a QB to throw to a tall WR then a short WR.....Plus if you add a talented tall WR that can dictate coverage like Plax use to do it makes the entire offense better...lol I'm not saying to throw a tall WR out there like Walter Young...lol I'm talking finding a tall one in the draft that can actually play....I'm not saying James Hardy will be as good as TO or even Moss...But I do think he is a legit NFL WR that could dictate coverage....Making life easier for the other WRs like Ward and Holmes...Even Miller.....

Taking shots at Hines Ward is cheap but I wouldn't expect anything less from Mark Madden...The guy is a tool....But I do think Hines is to sensitive about this whole thing....Hey no surprise really since NFL WRs anymore are drama queens...lol

With this whole story I wish training camp would just get here sooner....We have bigger things to worry about then this....Mainly the OL and Troy coming back to form hopefully....Plus the labor agreement is going to be an issue again..Imagine if the NFL eliminates the salary cap? That would kill the Steelers and other small marker teams...

There's not doubt a WR that can stretch the field and have good height to boot is a great thing; it only helps the others by taking pressure off them. In our case Santonio and Hines work well together because both of them are legit threats and you can't double everybody so that makes having a 3rd legit weapon at WR even more paramount for not only depth purposes but also to make things even harder on the DB's who then have to account for 3 threats at wide out plus Heath so that keeps them honest and stops them for crowding the box to stop the run.

I would hope by the time camp gets here this whole big WR bullshit is done with and all this supposed tension between Hines and Ben is a non-issue. Comon July !!

Prosdo
01-28-2008, 06:04 PM
How does Mark Madden still have a job and make a living in this industry?

TEEMONT
01-28-2008, 06:06 PM
I don't get how an ex-wrestling annoucner has any kind of opinion that people listen to when it comes to real sports.

Which is not knocking wrestling, b/c I love it.

Black@Gold Forever32
01-28-2008, 06:08 PM
I don't get how an ex-wrestling annoucner has any kind of opinion that people listen to when it comes to real sports.

Which is not knocking wrestling, b/c I love it.

I'm with you on that Tee......I remember when Madden was on Nitro...lol He is a tool......

TEEMONT
01-28-2008, 06:13 PM
Now that I think about it...we need a wrestling forum in here.

Black@Gold Forever32
01-28-2008, 06:15 PM
Now that I think about it...we need a wrestling forum in here.

I agree....I only watch when heels are the champs though...I loved when Edge was the Champ and on Raw.......

I'm loving Randy Orton as the champ....I hated John Cena...lol

Prosdo
01-28-2008, 06:18 PM
Why doesn't someone do this to Madden again. Just maybe a bit worse. Watch the last like 40 seconds. lol

http://www.dailymotion.com/Stinger1981/nitro+Goldberg/video/x2nenj_tank-abbott-beats-up-mark-madden_sport

floodcitygirl
01-28-2008, 06:29 PM
Why doesn't someone do this to Madden again. Just maybe a bit worse. Watch the last like 40 seconds. lol

http://www.dailymotion.com/Stinger1981/nitro+Goldberg/video/x2nenj_tank-abbott-beats-up-mark-madden_sportLOL! Go get him, Prosdo!

yinzer
01-28-2008, 08:52 PM
madden is an idiot. what's the big deal with ben saying he would like to have a tall WR? he didn't make any negative statements about hines nor is there reason to. hey hines, nobody likes a cry baby. there's no "I" in Stillers. oh, wait a minute. yes there is. lol

swissvale72
01-28-2008, 09:46 PM
Would've loved to have seen the Steelers keep Plax, though not at the expense of losing Hines, which may render this discussion mute.

In '04, it was Plax that drew the doubles, opening it up for Hines to catch balls, as well as for the running game to go. When he went out with the hammy, the O was severely impaired.

I think he was viewed as a bad teammate. He willingly played his position while Hines got the accolades, blocked well, etc.

Ben sure as hell wanted to keep him. Would've loved to see him still in a Steeler uni....which he could've been for not huge money.

I did not like that he wasn't even made an offer by the Steelers.

K Train
01-28-2008, 10:04 PM
we already got one!!!!!!!!!


Jan. 18: Roster addition for 2008: 6'6" 235 lbs. 4.5 speed / WR Matt Trannon (released by Cardinals 9/2, from Cardinals practice squad 10/9, from Chiefs practice squad 11/8, ended '07 season on Raiders practice squad).


lmao

Stlrs4Life
01-28-2008, 10:30 PM
How does Mark Madden still have a job and make a living in this industry?



Like said, pure shock value.

Black@Gold Forever32
01-28-2008, 10:31 PM
we already got one!!!!!!!!!




lmao

:lol:......How did I forget that signing.....silly me.......He is the next Walter Young......I predict he will come close to making the team from year to year but always fall short....lol

BlitzburghRockCity
01-29-2008, 12:21 AM
:lol:......How did I forget that signing.....silly me.......He is the next Walter Young......I predict he will come close to making the team from year to year but always fall short....lol

And every year we'll be screaming for him to get his chance on the field and make in impact only to fall short time and time again....my God can we ever break out of this mold of signing nobody players who never do anything but sit on the sidelines and watch the starters get old ?

K Train
01-29-2008, 09:27 PM
no because all teams do it....all of them, its just a routine thing...sign scrubs to fill spots and then cut them

Black@Gold Forever32
01-29-2008, 09:29 PM
no because all teams do it....all of them, its just a routine thing...sign scrubs to fill spots and then cut them

Exactly they bring 70-80 players to training camp so they need that training camp fodder every year...I just Trannon ends the Steelers training camp career of Walter Young finally...lol

BlitzburghRockCity
01-29-2008, 10:34 PM
Yeah but just once wouldn't you like to see some of these guys actually do something in camp and make the team instead of having the same faces just getting a year older and a year more comfortable with no real competition to keep them on their toes? LOL

steelcitysfinestXL
01-30-2008, 02:38 PM
as we all know, most yinzers have the mental capacity of a drunk 7 year old.
.

Im just gonna pretend my "drunken 7 year old" mentality didn't read that!!!!!:cope::cope::cope:

TEEMONT
01-30-2008, 03:45 PM
Im just gonna pretend my "drunken 7 year old" mentality didn't read that!!!!!:cope::cope::cope:

Ok, lemme rephrase, lol. Most yinzers who call into radio talk shows have the mental capacity of a drunken 7 year old.

Have you ever listened to people try to argue with Madden? He verbally bitch slaps them all.

BlitzburghRockCity
01-30-2008, 06:09 PM
That's because too many people that call in just say " the steelers rock and the browns suck" and they don't actually back up an intelligent thought to their statement...although conversely most times those radio talk shows don't want to hear it anyways and they just blow you off. Local radio shows aren't so bad as the national ones.

SteelerFan87
01-31-2008, 06:17 PM
Was Ward supposed to be on Madden's show at some point, and he didn't show up or something? Because Madden really hates him, and he only really hates people who don't kiss his ***, and dare treat him like the unimportant hack that he is. If you ever do anything to offend Madden, he holds a grudge forever. Hell, a couple days ago he had Mike Lange on his show, and Lange disagreed with Mark a few times and kind of had a tone of "I'm Mike Lange and I'm smarter than you", which he is. But I was surprised Madden didn't get all pissed off about it. Probably because Mike Lange is a hockey legend in Pittsburgh, and for once Madden knew his place.