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Deb
05-28-2008, 07:35 AM
Ward and Parker are willing to accommodate

You may recall Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger complaining earlier this year that the team needed a tall wide receiver. If so, then you might also remember the gist of less-than-tall Steelers receiver Hines Ward’s response to Roethlisberger’s call to arms.

"I don't buy into the hype you have to be tall,” said Ward. “You throw the ball up and give somebody a chance to make a play, I'll make as many catches as anyone.”

Eventually, Roethlisberger and Ward made up, and the Steelers accommodated their franchise QB by picking big Texas wideout Limas Sweed in the second round of last month's NFL draft.

But then there’s Pittsburgh’s running back situation. Though Willie Parker was leading the entire NFL in rushing until breaking his leg last Dec. 20, he finds himself in a new situation this season.

He’s got competition in the form of Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh's first-round pick. When Mendenhall dropped to the Steelers at No. 23 overall, the club felt it had no choice but to take the former University of Illinois standout.

"I mean, I was a little surprised" said Parker regarding the fact that the team chose to draft Mendenhall.

On many other teams, superstars would be unhappy that their employers used valuable draft selections on highly touted prospects who happen to play their positions. But not when the two players you’re discussing are Ward and Parker. After all, for these guys it’s about the team and not individual stats. In other words, they’re willing to accommodate as long as it helps the Steelers.

"Even though we drafted a guy, I'm not mad and there are no hard feelings,'' Ward said early in minicamp. "They felt like this guy could help us get to the next level and win a championship. Why would I be mad at that?"

And Ward has a good point, particularly when he references the fact that Sweed just might be able to help the Steelers get to the next level. After all, he is the sixth-leading receiver in Longhorns history; and though Ward might not like to hear this, Sweed is tall (6-foot-5).

"Yeah, I understand," Parker, referring to the Mendenhall pick, stated. "They felt like we didn't have no running backs when I went out. ... Now, let's go get better, man. I'm not trying to be average, I want to be the best and whatever makes me better, I'm all for it."

What’s more, the class that Ward and Parker have demonstrated simply doesn’t end there. Ward has been seen regularly helping Sweed adjust to the pros. Further, when asked what Parker had already shown him, Mendenhall said, "Just how to be a professional. He's been here for a few years. How to work, what to do, how to carry yourself as a professional and as a man."

In the end, the Steelers are lucky to have two low-maintenance stars at key skill positions. It's evident that all Ward and Parker want to do is win.

realfootball365.com

ejsteeler
05-28-2008, 09:17 AM
Awesome.....'nuff said. :cope::yellowthumb:

Iron City South
05-28-2008, 09:20 AM
I love it when Ward cops an attitude when discussing the prototypical "tall" WR .... He immediately goes into his "competitive short man's diatribe" (i.e., "I can do the same thing they do ... if not better!" )

Ward is in the latter years of his career, he knows the Steelers need to groom his replacement. Ward may lose a few grabs to Sweed here and there, but make no mistake about it, Ward will still be a major contributor to this team for the unforseen future until he decides to reture. He's a gamer ... that's what "gamer's" do. Sweed will take at least a year or two to develop his skills to the point where he is considered a serious threat.

Parker on the other hand knows his days as the starting RB of the tandum are numbered. Parker will also continue to contribute, allbeit in a "relief" role to spell Mendehhall.

K Train
05-28-2008, 11:46 AM
On many other teams, superstars would be unhappy that their employers used valuable draft selections on highly touted prospects who happen to play their positions.


ward is a former superstar and willie just makes people believe hes a superstar.

i do like the attitudes though

BlitzburghRockCity
05-28-2008, 11:49 AM
That's what being on the Steelers is all about. It's not like we are the Bengals or something here where people bitch & understand and support the system.

BlitzburghNation
05-28-2008, 02:27 PM
Great Read,,,,,,,,That's what Teamwork is all about ~~~ :clap:

Steel58
05-29-2008, 08:11 AM
Can't wait for the season to start:tt02::brownssign::bengalssign::rats:

TampaSteelGirl
05-29-2008, 12:16 PM
Great Read,,,,,,,,That's what Teamwork is all about ~~~ :clap:

Totally agree!!!! :tt02: