View Full Version : Should Tomlin have told Ward before benching him?

11-20-2011, 01:23 AM
Interesting article from the Post Gazette today, talking about how Hines has been demoted in favor of Cotchery and the younger WR's Brown and & Sanders. One one hand I can see their point about talking to him and saying, "dude we're going to see what the young guys can do, they are our future. We're going to give them more reps but be ready if we need you, etc." On the other hand, this is a business and perhaps it was a gut decision on gameday and they wanted to see how things went before the media got wind of it.

The Steelers coaches could have displayed better bedside manners when they benched Hines Ward last week.

Maybe the coaching staff believes that veteran receiver Jerricho Cotchery, in his first season with the Steelers, can help the team more than Ward, in his 14th season with the Steelers.

And maybe they are correct. Hines Ward himself said Tuesday that he is "owed nothing" by the coaches. But this someday Hall of Fame candidate deserved one thing -- more respect through a simple, quiet meeting with one of his coaches to tell him that his role had changed.

This isn't some fly-by-night player here. This is the most decorated and productive receiver in Steelers history, a Super Bowl MVP and often the face and spokesman for the team.

It's not wrong that he lost his starting status or was dropped to No. 4 or even No. 5 on the depth chart. But someone owed him at least a heads-up that it was going to happen and maybe even an explanation as to why. Ward obviously could see it coming by how he was used in practices, but would it have hurt to have someone tell him before the practice week started?

It could have come from Mike Tomlin or Bruce Arians, who was Ward's position coach before he became offensive coordinator.
It would have taken them two minutes, somewhere in private so Ward could be given the chance to talk about it before the game on his terms, and he, the fans and the media were not blindsided by it.

Would that have been too much to ask?
Ward took the high road Tuesday, saying all the right things when a gaggle of media gathered around him in the locker room.

It comes time for everyone, sooner for athletes. The great ones, the ones who contributed to two Super Bowl victories and countless memorable moments, those who played through injuries and concussions and gave what Hines Ward did to play the game, deserve a little more respect when their time comes.

From the PG (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11324/1191240-66.stm#ixzz1eDvltMaH)

11-20-2011, 09:21 AM
I don't think "benching" is the correct word. To me that insinuates he has done something wrong to deserve being sidelined. Who knows, maybe the coaching staff did talk to him. And, what will we all say if he starts next week? Wouldn't that be something!

I do feel back for the guy, but he does have a legacy, so I don't think we need to feel sorry for him. Maybe a SB victory to match his DWTS win to retire on top!

Black@Gold Forever32
11-20-2011, 09:53 AM
Media trying to stir up something like always.......

11-20-2011, 10:12 AM
Wait...how does the writer of this know that the coaching staff hasn't said anything to Hines? Do they have Tomlin and Arians mic'd up 24-7?

11-20-2011, 10:30 AM
alot about nothing! I do though hope that Hines has been made aware of his new role, but hell just the week before he was out anyway so get him back slowly. I want Hines to retire here, and retire here happy. Not only does he have most of our recieving records but he also changed the way recievers block, here anyway. Defense were always aware of where he was. Hopefully he`ll be ready when we need him the most.

11-20-2011, 11:44 AM
With Ward getting lit up and getting a concussions The last 2 times he stepped on the field. I can see the Steelers bringing him back slowly with the bye week coming up. Jerricho has also passed him on the dept chart. Jerricho is a young Hines Ward. I hope ward gets the numbers he wants to achieve before he retires. However, Its about winning and playing the best players to win. ON THAT NOTE ITS TIME TO HAVE HAMPTON COME OFF THE BENCH.

11-20-2011, 12:18 PM
Wait...how does the writer of this know that the coaching staff hasn't said anything to Hines? Do they have Tomlin and Arians mic'd up 24-7?

Exactly, f the media!

11-20-2011, 12:48 PM
I find it hard to believe he didn't know anything about his decreased playing time. Anything to stir the pot when nothing is going on.

Mike Tomlin
11-20-2011, 01:56 PM
No one had to tell Hines that his time was up. The play of Wallace,Brown,Sanders and now Cotchery told him. I mean you cover Hines with a linebacker now.

11-21-2011, 12:49 PM
Logic would tell you that they talked to Hines and told him that he was going to see less time, but nobody really knows for sure. Hines is a team guy but as I mentioned he's also been known to air some laundry to the media now and then.

I also wouldn't be totally surprised if they went into the game thinking Hines would see some reps but as it went on they decided to stay with the hot hand.

K Train
11-21-2011, 01:12 PM
too funny....they dont owe ward ****, its a rough world out there. hes not getting it done on the field, much appreciation to all his contributions over the years but hes always been overrated imo and now hes the 4th/5th WR on the roster because hes the 4th/5th best WR on the roster its that simple. i honestly am so glad they arent jut playing him because hes hines ward, i didnt think they had it in them to take a stand on this one

11-21-2011, 01:56 PM
To Ward's credit, he knows he's not owed anything. It's a what have you done for me lately type of league these days. The Steelers are finding out that guys like Ward, Farrior, Smith, and Hampton, while still serviceable are not what they used to be.

There will be serious changes on the defense for 2012 you can believe that. If Ward wants to stick around after this season it'll be as a role player.

11-21-2011, 04:56 PM
There might have been a little more to Hines injuries than let on. He's a pro, even if he is seething about the depth chart assignment, he will not do anything to jeopardize the focus of the team.

Personal note, would love to see Hines get 19 more catches over the next 6 games and get his 1000 receptions.

11-23-2011, 09:12 AM
Bettis recently spoke with Ward about his diminished role with the team:

Q: Toward the end of your career you accepted a somewhat diminished role on the team -- Hines Ward may be facing the same. Have you given him any advice along those lines?

BETTIS: Yeah, I got a chance to talk to Hines a little while ago and we talked about just that, about understanding that your role is going to change -- accepting it first -- and then after you accept it, [embrace] it, love it, and say 'this is the next step,' and he has.

And he just talked to me about how he's been coaching up the young guys, trying to give them some of that information that he has from all those years of experience. But the biggest thing is he wants them to know how to practice, and how to be professionals. So I'm proud of him in that regard, absolutely.

Link (http://blogs.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports/blog-n-gold/31113-catching-up-with-jerome-bettis)

11-23-2011, 03:46 PM
I like Hines Ward, we Steelers fans owe him a great deal for everything he's done for us over the years. Much like Jerome Bettis though, it's time to pass the torch and Ward will accept it but I'm sure he won't go down quietly. He'll make plays when he is called upon and I have a feeling we'll need him again at some point.

11-23-2011, 05:05 PM
He will be fine. If he comes bnack next year, it will be for much less than he is scheduled to make. Glad to hear is has not publicly mentioned anything about approaching milestones and wanting to be in there for such reasons.

11-23-2011, 05:43 PM
When I think of #86, I think of toughness, Steelers football. Look at the guy's record on the all-time-reception-list.

Call me naive but I am a passionate fan talking from my heart, not from the pocket book.

yes, Tomlin should have talked to Ward.

11-23-2011, 06:40 PM
I'm pretty sure someone in the Steelers organization said something to him, but yeah, he's not owed anything. It is what it is, a business, a slot WR loses a step or 2, no YAC, its time to sit down. Hines knows that, he's a professional, his time has come and gone.

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