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  1. #1
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    Rule bearing name amuses Steelers' Ward.

    Rule bearing name amuses Steelers' Ward

    By Scott Brown, TRIBUNE-REVIEW

    Chaz Palla/Tribune-Review
    About the writer

    Scott Brown is the Steelers beat writer. He can be reached via e-mail. Also check out Brown's blog and Steelers Q&A.


    Ask Hines Ward about the so-called "Hines Ward" rule, and the Steelers' wide receiver chuckles.

    "It's a big honor, because it's kind of weird how you can make an impact on the game," Ward said. "At the same time, I'm not going to change my game based off a rule, because coach (Mike) Tomlin said just keep continuing playing the way you are. I'm going to continue being the fierce wideout going out there and blocking guys and continue to make plays."

    The NFL is trying to eliminate the kind of blocks that have become Ward signatures and made him a YouTube sensation. In March, the league adopted a rule change that makes it illegal for a blocker to use his helmet, forearm or shoulder to hit a defender from behind or from the side.

    The Steelers were the only team to vote against the new rule. Team president Art Rooney II has said the Steelers opposed the change because it is a judgment call and places added responsibilities on referees.

    Ward looks at the new rule with amusement. Or is that bemusement?

    Ward, after all, can't wonder if there is a double standard at work with a rule that was passed in the interest of player safety.

    "It's kind of funny because week in and week out, that's all we see is highlights of somebody getting blown up by a defensive player," Ward said. "In my case it's shunned or doesn't look good or makes me a dirty player. I don't do anything different than what they do to offensive players."

    When asked if he thinks the league targeted him with the new rule, Ward said, "How many (other) wideouts do you know going out there and attacking defensive guys like defensive guys attack the offensive guys?"

    Ward's attacking style ended the season of Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers last October.

    He made a crack-back block while Rivers was in pursuit of Steelers tight end Matt Spaeth. The jarring hit broke Rivers' jaw, and the Bengals later placed Rivers on injured reserve.

    Ward's downfield blocking has drawn the ire of opposing players, most notably former Ravens linebacker Bart Scott.

    Ward wiped out Scott with a blindside block in November 2007. After the game Scott, who now plays for the New York Jets, threatened Ward.

    "Defensive players, they hate it," Ward said of his playing style. "I don't know why they hate it, because when I go across the middle they can't wait to take my head off, so why should I wait my turn to get hit before I retaliate?

    "I take the approach of I'm doing whatever it takes to win. If I get a shot on you, I'm going to take it just like if they get a shot on me they're going to take it. I understand you have to protect players and all of that, and I don't approach the game to try to hurt people. That's never been my style."

    Ward, who recently signed a five-year contract with the Steelers, reiterated that he won't change how he plays the game. His aggressiveness as a blocker has long epitomized the Steelers' hard-nosed, blue-collar brand of football.

    "He embodies what's important to us as far as how he approaches the game," Tomlin said. "He's a football player first and a wide receiver second."

    I'm A "Champion"

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    Draft Pick Lunchbucket's Avatar
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    Bill Parcells said,"Hines Ward plays the game the way it's supposed to be played."I can't think of a better way to say it.

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    Rookie Free Agent Roadkill's Avatar
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    Still think they should have named it the (I GOT MY JAW BROKE BY HINES WARD and I ate through a straw for a while and now I wear a dress rule)

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    Starter Steel Trap86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stlrs4Life View Post
    "Defensive players, they hate it," Ward said of his playing style. "I don't know why they hate it, because when I go across the middle they can't wait to take my head off, so why should I wait my turn to get hit before I retaliate?
    this is why #86 is the beast he is. just cause you're on the defensive side, doesnt mean you're not gonna get jacked up when you play the Steelers!


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    Can you imagine being a prima donna LB or DB and getting completely blown the F$%^ up by a WR? Just ask the Ratbirds... I love it, I love Hines Ward. He is the example that I use to prove to my young son that you can be the best with great skills, a team first mentality, and be willing to do whatever it takes to win together as a team! He is a classic, he is one of the few active players who could suit up in the present or the past and still be an elite player at his position.

    Anytime I need to be motivated I youtube Hines blowing Ed Reed up. It makes me smile everytime!

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    Starter Callax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roadkill View Post
    Still think they should have named it the (I GOT MY JAW BROKE BY HINES WARD and I ate through a straw for a while and now I wear a dress rule)
    Maybe be it should be called" I'm a Punk Bitch defender who doesn't want to be hit like I hit Players" rule

    must be a raven player ahhhhhhh, it was!! He got punked soo bad he had to go to another division to keep playing

    Ward wiped out Scott with a blindside block in November 2007. After the game Scott, who now plays for the New York Jets, threatened Ward.

    "Defensive players, they hate it," Ward said of his playing style. "I don't know why they hate it, because when I go across the middle they can't wait to take my head off, so why should I wait my turn to get hit before I retaliate?

    "I take the approach of I'm doing whatever it takes to win. If I get a shot on you, I'm going to take it just like if they get a shot on me they're going to take it. I understand you have to protect players and all of that, and I don't approach the game to try to hurt people. That's never been my style."

    PUNK A$$ RAVEN BITCH, put on that dress and "service" the other inmates Prison Bit**
    Oakland, Where Careers Go To Die!!!!!



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    it is hard to find some1 who defines what the steelers are about more than old 86.. so glad about the new contract

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    Draft Pick vtwin_gary's Avatar
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    this is why i bought the 86 jersey

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    Awesome read!! Teams better get use to it cause he's not going to change his style! Why should he!


    Thanks Steelers086 for my awesome signature!!!




    Thanks for the new avatar SteelerBee!

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    Starter blackngold29's Avatar
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    Ward doesn't like "his" rule, I agree

    Article today at Yahoo! Sports, outlining the new "Hines Ward rule" which states "A blindside block cannot be delivered with a helmet, shoulder or forearm to an opponent's head or neck. That'll be a 15-yard penalty." The author brings up some pretty lame defense of the NFL. I dislike this point the most: When a receiver's made a catch and is carrying the ball, most of the time, he's in a decent position to protect himself. He can see what's coming at him, and if he needs to, he can get down, he can get to the sidelines, he can turn away from the hit.

    Not sure if he's checked or not, but Hines isn't talking about running with the ball. WRs go out and try to block for their running backs and are lit up by defenders or guys get nailed on kickoff returns, these are the situations Hines is complaining about. I thought the defensive guys were supposed to be the tough ones? I mean could anybody here picture Jack Lambert complaining because a guy hit him while he was in a "vulnerable position"? It's a joke, suck it up cupcakes you're playing football.

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