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Thread: Last year for Steelers' Ward?

          
   
   
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  1. #1
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    Captcoolhand's Avatar
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    Last year for Steelers' Ward?

    I thought this would grab you...

    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....
    "It is hard to wait around for something that you know may never happen;but it's even harder to let go when it's everything you want"
    -unknown

  2. #2
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    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.

  3. #3
    2nd String dawgs's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #4
    Starter steelcityrockers's Avatar
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    This year he wll probably be the #2 option. I believe Dawgs is right concerning next season.

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    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

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    Draft Pick terrible.towel43's Avatar
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    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!

  7. #7
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    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.
    .

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    Starter steelcitysfinestXL's Avatar
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    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!

  9. #9
    K Train's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by terrible.towel43 View Post
    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

  10. #10
    Starter steelcitysfinestXL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K Train View Post
    hes actually not one of the best by any means....hes a safe option and hes a clutch player but hes far from elite
    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!

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