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View Full Version : Last year for Steelers' Ward?



Captcoolhand
08-04-2008, 01:37 PM
I thought this would grab you...:lol:



Hines Ward not playing football?

The intensity, the blocking, the love and that patented smile hanging it up for good?

That doesn't seem possible for a guy who holds nearly every Pittsburgh receiving record.

"Who knows? It might be my last year," Ward said.

"I might wake up and say 'I don't want to play any more.' When I wake up in the morning and I don't want to go out there on the field and put the time in to go out there each and every Sunday, I'll walk away from it."

Ward is coming off one of his worst seasons as he missed three games
with injuries. He had only 71 catches for 732 yards and seven touchdowns.

But most concerning is that Ward just turned 32. He is pushing that magic number of 33 when receivers usually start to decline noticeably.

The emergence of Santonio Holmes, who led the league with 18 yards per catch, has pushed those retirement talks to the side for now.

"He thinks the coaches think he doesn't have it any more because he got a little older," receiver Nate Washington said.

"Hines always feeds off of people thinking he can't do something."

"The day I lose that competitive edge is the day I walk away from the game," Ward said. "I would love to get 10,000 yards receiving. I still have that drive to win another Super Bowl. That was the greatest feeling and to be a part of that, and the older I'm getting, you realize your chances are limited."

Ward's numbers have dipped since 2004, the last of his four consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, but offensive coordinator Bruce Arians doesn't believe there is any decline in Ward's game.

"He is still the heartbeat because he is Hines," Arians said.

"We know what he brings to the table every day, every play, every practice, every meeting. I never have been in a meeting room as a position coach or a coordinator with a better veteran leader than Hines."
Ward, who is the all-time franchise leader in receptions (719), receiving yards (8,737) and receiving touchdowns (65), has been pushed by people saying he can't do something.

Since Ward was taken in the third round of the 1998 draft, the Steelers have selected at least one receiver in all but two of the subsequent drafts.

They have taken 12 receivers since drafting Ward, trailing only the number offensive linemen (14) and linebackers (13) selected during that time.

Five of the 12 receivers were drafted in the first or second rounds, including first-rounders Troy Edwards in 1999, Plaxico Burress in 2000 and Holmes in 2006, and second-rounders Antwaan Randle El in 2002 and Limas Sweed in 2008.

"I'm getting pushed out by the wayside I guess," Ward said. "The whole thing (about) who's No. 1 and who's No. 2, I don't like to give labels on anybody because we're all viable options in the passing game. So I'm only as good as my opportunities." i don't even want to think about this coming to past right now....:nono:

BlitzburghRockCity
08-04-2008, 03:03 PM
That's the attitude you want a player like Hines to have; you don't want someone out there who's just on the field because they don't know when to hang it up. Hines knows he's no spring chicken any more and he owns every significant Steelers receiving record so he's got nothing more to prove. My guess is he'll probably stick around for atleast another 2 years or so and then hang it up.

dawgs
08-04-2008, 03:21 PM
I think this could be his last year as the main guy. I could see him drop back to #3 WR behind holmes and sweed and still be pretty darn good. Also ward still has some of the best hands in the game. So he can be a good redzone threat.

steelcityrockers
08-04-2008, 03:55 PM
This year he wll probably be the #2 option. I believe Dawgs is right concerning next season.

K Train
08-04-2008, 04:20 PM
hes the best slot reciever in the game but at this point in his career thats the only spot your gonna want him to line up because thats where hes gonna be most productive...if he quits after this year i think it might be a little soon but i do think he NEEDS to restructure if he wants to stay so its up to him....take less money or walk away

terrible.towel43
08-04-2008, 04:37 PM
Ward is great. I love to watch him make great catches, get rocked, and still come up with the ball smiling. It will be a sad to see him go because he still is one of the best. He's a great player and I cant wait to see him make an impact this year!

BR7
08-04-2008, 04:42 PM
He'll retire, Steelers will move on without him and adjust the depth chart accordingly.

















Then he will Farve his way back around August 3rd. :lol:

steelcitysfinestXL
08-04-2008, 04:45 PM
Hines will leave when the organization and /or coaching staff, attempt to diminish his role. When he is asked to take a back seat to Washington and Sweed, he'll "hang 'em up". I dont see that happening for another season or two, but Hines is a proud guy. Prime example: "So im only as good as my oppurtunities" Hines will find a way to be under-appreciated and rise above his critics. When his level of play wont allow him to silence critics, he's done!

K Train
08-04-2008, 04:45 PM
Ward is great. I love to watch him make great catches, get rocked, and still come up with the ball smiling. It will be a sad to see him go because he still is one of the best. He's a great player and I cant wait to see him make an impact this year!

hes actually not one of the best by any means....hes a safe option and hes a clutch player but hes far from elite

steelcitysfinestXL
08-04-2008, 04:49 PM
hes actually not one of the best by any means....hes a safe option and hes a clutch player but hes far from elite

:plus1: He gets alot of credit for doing things most Wr's wont/cant do. No doubt he is a great football player. But not once throughout his career could you say he was a top 5 wideout. Not matter i would rather watch him play then most others... he's a throw back to the days when wideouts werent all Pu$$ies!

SteelerSteve
08-04-2008, 06:47 PM
You can just kinda feel it though, he's on the downside and he knows it because he's talking like the fire is starting to go out. I really wouldn't be surprised to see him retire this year and if not this season then definitley next year.

steelcityrockers
08-04-2008, 07:03 PM
He will not play past 35. I'll just put it that way.

SteelerSteve
08-04-2008, 07:10 PM
He will not play past 35. I'll just put it that way.
Wow, you went out on a limb with that prediction lol I'll guarantee to everyone on this site that he wont play past 55

Black@Gold Forever32
08-04-2008, 07:14 PM
I'm still a Ward fan and love watching him play also...But I wish he would just shut his mouth....lol I swear since winning the Super Bowl he has turned into a diva like the other WRs around the league...lol He still blocks and plays hard but it seems he has gotten a big head since that win....

Letting Ben's comments about a tall WR bother him and Ward always bothered by the Steelers drafting another WR is old....You would think he would like the team upgrading the WR core to help him out at this stage in his career.....If he wants to retire next year then let him....Players come and they go.....I enjoyed watching Ward but I will get over him retiring quick....lol

steelcityrockers
08-04-2008, 07:14 PM
But Favre will!

And yeah I am not going out on a limb, but he won't retire after this year unless he gets hurt pretty bad. Next year, maybe. Year after, he is done.

SteelerSteve
08-04-2008, 07:17 PM
yeah, I will get over it. Except seeing his crushing blocks, it will be a while before we see another wr that can block like that mother****er lol.

ItAintEasyBeingPeazy
08-04-2008, 07:44 PM
yea...there will never be another Hines. No one lays the lumber while grinning ear to ear like 86.:club: Sucks gettin old man..watching the players come and go, the special ones are really hard to let go...like Bettis and Ward.

K Train
08-04-2008, 07:45 PM
i dunno man, i saw holmes crush wimbley last year and it made me smile

Black@Gold Forever32
08-04-2008, 07:54 PM
i dunno man, i saw holmes crush wimbley last year and it made me smile

That one was sweet....But my favorite block by Holmes was when he was at Ohio State and he laid out an Notre Dame player in their bowl game that year....That was a great block.....Holmes does a good job for a man his size....He is no Ward but he does a good job....

STEEL CITY TANK
08-04-2008, 08:25 PM
Hines is going to retire after 2 more seasons

steelersgal86
08-04-2008, 08:32 PM
yea...there will never be another Hines. No one lays the lumber while grinning ear to ear like 86.:club: Sucks gettin old man..watching the players come and go, the special ones are really hard to let go...like Bettis and Ward.

:iagree: Hines is one of a kind:yellowthumb:

Captcoolhand
08-04-2008, 09:07 PM
If Ward averages 600+ yds receiving over the next 2 season, he will be happy to walk away a Steeler with over 10,000 yds. :yesnod:

Seriously, that is not hard to do for Ward. I'm sure that goal is in the back of his mind. :2cents:

If worse come to worse, the Rooneys may ask him to take pay cut in the last year of is contract.

BlitzburghRockCity
08-04-2008, 11:47 PM
Holmes is a special player who's just coming into his own; Sweed will take a couple years to really start clicking and by then Ward will probably hang it up. It takes WR's usually till their 3rd year before they really become a legit threat on any given sunday and for Holmes that time is now as is with Nate Washington. If Nate continues to develop we'll have 3 legit guys kickin *** for us when Hines hangs up the cleats.

Say what you want about Hines but when he's not in the game our passing game suffers; there's still nobody tougher and nobody I want out there on 3rd and 8 catching a pass across the middle on a must have conversion.

K Train
08-04-2008, 11:50 PM
i dunno, nate has started a couple games for ward and we did just fine in those games....hes important to the team but hes not that important, tough player, does the little things, makes tough catches but life will go on without him

BlitzburghRockCity
08-04-2008, 11:58 PM
Personally I'd rather have life continue on with him for a couple more years yet. Nate has to prove he's able to carry the load before anybody is going to convince me he's got what it takes. His MO of his entire career has been inconsistency; a circus catch for a big first down followed by a couple easy drops. He started to play better last year for us but he's got to really elevate his game; this is a make or break year for him which is why they only gave him the 1 yr offer. If he does well they'll probably try and lock him up long term as soon as the year is out.

Santonio is the big play guy, Nate is too ( fastest guy on the team) but at this point there's no WR on there who's going to go out and make the tough plays, the short yardage pickups, like Ward does. Of course life will go after Ward,and the FO has done a good job of making sure that happens with picking up Sweed and hopefully seeing Nate develop. As far as Ward goes, as long as he's healthy and able to do what he does consistently I say keep him around for another couple years yet.

K Train
08-05-2008, 12:10 AM
but who else stepped up when ward was out? forget about heath? heath does all those things ward does, throws those blocks, gets open underneath, makes the tough grab and runs pretty routes...ward is hardly underappreciated for what he does, he might actually take to much credit for some of the things we do. Nate is much more of a true wideout, something ward never has been...ward is a little tiny TE split out wide. I think nate steps up big time this year, his game has gotten more polished every year

BlitzburghRockCity
08-05-2008, 12:22 AM
Heath is as important as ever; he does everything asked of him and then some. He's money every time he touches the ball, same as Ward is. When Hines is on the field, like it or not, he draws the extra man in the secondary or the LB dropping back in coverage and that opens up everything else for guys like Nate, Heath, Santonio, etc. When he's not in the game, coming into this season we're talking here, you can double Santonio, keep an extra blocker out on Miller and then leave Nate one on one and the defense is pretty comfortable with that matchup most of the time. As of right now Ward is as money as it gets for us and I'll take him out there with the rest of the guys over not having him out there.

He's getting up there and doesn't heal as quickly anymore so that's why it's important for guys like Washington to really come into their own. I'm pulling for Nate as much as anyone I've always liked the guy but it's now or never. If he does well I'll be the first one cheering him on and hoping he's re-signed to an extension. Adding Moore to the equation and a healthy, contributing Matt Spaeth will help us too. If those guys step up their game and the line comes through this year it will help everything else come together.

Right now there are too many uncertains for me to say Ward isn't still the best WR option on this team in his role. Santonio is the best in his role, Heath in his, etc. When Hines is out there he makes everyone better but the offense needs to rise to the occasion when he's not out there too. I think they can for sure, I'm excited to see what we can do. This could possibly be the most potent Steeler offense in history and shatter every significant season record if things go right.

TampaSteelGirl
08-05-2008, 04:00 PM
He'll retire, Steelers will move on without him and adjust the depth chart accordingly.

















Then he will Farve his way back around August 3rd. :lol:
i didn't want to say it, but I thought that!!!

steelersgal86
08-05-2008, 04:22 PM
Heath is as important as ever; he does everything asked of him and then some. He's money every time he touches the ball, same as Ward is. When Hines is on the field, like it or not, he draws the extra man in the secondary or the LB dropping back in coverage and that opens up everything else for guys like Nate, Heath, Santonio, etc. When he's not in the game, coming into this season we're talking here, you can double Santonio, keep an extra blocker out on Miller and then leave Nate one on one and the defense is pretty comfortable with that matchup most of the time. As of right now Ward is as money as it gets for us and I'll take him out there with the rest of the guys over not having him out there.

He's getting up there and doesn't heal as quickly anymore so that's why it's important for guys like Washington to really come into their own. I'm pulling for Nate as much as anyone I've always liked the guy but it's now or never. If he does well I'll be the first one cheering him on and hoping he's re-signed to an extension. Adding Moore to the equation and a healthy, contributing Matt Spaeth will help us too. If those guys step up their game and the line comes through this year it will help everything else come together.

Right now there are too many uncertains for me to say Ward isn't still the best WR option on this team in his role. Santonio is the best in his role, Heath in his, etc. When Hines is out there he makes everyone better but the offense needs to rise to the occasion when he's not out there too. I think they can for sure, I'm excited to see what we can do. This could possibly be the most potent Steeler offense in history and shatter every significant season record if things go right.


very well said :clap::clap: I hope things do go right:yellowthumb:

SteelCityKid5
08-06-2008, 12:09 PM
It will be a sad day when Hines Ward's days as a Steeler are over. Don't get me wrong I love Hines he's been a great over the year. In the past couple of year he has slowed down. If it is his last year, I hope the Steelers could go out and sign a recevier. But as we all know they probably wont. I think the Steelers so in the 4th or 5th round should go after one of Penn State's WR's. Deon Butler #3 or Derrick Williams #2. Okay yeah I'm a student at PSU and yeah thats just one of my dreams but knowing the Steelers wont sign someone do it in the draft! Like they always do. As for the other WR's , I think Holmes will be Holmes this year and I think Nate Washington will have a big year now that Wilson is gone. Man he was somewhat of a waste. I actually think that we could see Dallas Baker in the mix in the following years. From what I read he's having a good training camp so far. If all falls, I think the Steelers will still have talent if Ward leaves. I like the idea of Holmes, Washington and with a year under his belt Limas Sweed. Im just wondering who will be that 4th WR a.w.(after ward) Any one else? Anyone have ideas A.W. for the Steeler WR package?

ejsteeler
08-06-2008, 12:31 PM
It's seems simple......someone needs to tell him he cannot be competitive for the next 3 years and let him feed off of that. :yesnod: He loves the "he can't do it" motivation.