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Thread: Smile gone from Hines?

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Smile gone from Hines?

    Now I can't say this for 100% certainty but in the last few games you just don't see the smile on Hines Ward, that patented grin when he's on the field or the sidelines. Even this past Sunday against the Chiefs when he had 4 catches, I didn't notice it.

    Again, since the camera isn't on him for the whole game we don't get a chance to see him all the time on the sidelines or on the field but from what I've seen recently it's been definitely missing from my vantage point. It's just not the same not seeing him out there blocking and catching passing and pissing off every defender with that Hines Ward smile. I would imagine it's a safe assumption that his competitive spirit and desire to win is still there, that would be dumb to think otherwise. When he gets a chance to make a play he's going to make the most of it and give it all he's got.

    Might be another sign that this is his final year in a Steeler uniform, super bowl trophy or not.


  2. #2
    Your Brother In Christ Scorp's Avatar
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    He was told to play till the wheels fall off. A part of me senses that this could very well be his final year given the Steelers win the super bowl. Who wouldn't want to go out on top as a champion? But yes, this very well could be the end for our Psychoward.

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    Going into this year I really thought he had two years left. After the last few weeks I can firmly say this is going to be it for him. I don't think it is any surprise that he had 4 catches Sunday night because my guess is that Arians and Tomlin will do whatever it takes to get him to 1,000 receptions ASAP. Once he gets there, I don't know how much of the field he'll see.

    I would encourage everyone to check out the home finale against St. Louis on Christmas Eve. Could be his final go at Heinz Field.


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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Most definitely, do whatever you can to make sure you see that game or atleast listen to it. If it is Hines' last game at Heinz you won't want to miss it. If he's close to the record in that game don't be surprised to see Ben force feed him the ball especially early on.

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    Starter SnakeEyes43's Avatar
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    I've noticed that all year.

    And yes, this is probably his last year, why else would they be force feeding him receptions?
    Bleeding Black and Gold since 86'

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    Starter Goodfrom55's Avatar
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    One thing is for sure, if he comes back next year, he will most certainly have to restrucure his deal since is is scheduled to make 4 million in 2012. He will have to take much less than that to come back and accept he will be the #4 or #5 receiver at best.

    Hines is one of my favorite players and I would hope he gets the chance to go out on his own terms and not force the Steelers FO to make a "business decision".

  7. #7
    2nd String scott0326's Avatar
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    I really hope Ward decides to retire after the season, instead of forcing the Steelers to cut him.. He really looks like he is playing his last season.

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    CowherPower's Avatar
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    If he does retire the Steelers will save a big chunk against their salary cap, which they are sure to need considering at this point they are about 20 million over the last time I checked. I agree if he does return he's going to have to restructure and realistically be no higher than the 4th WR on the team.

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    It may be his last year. I'm still hoping for some amazing show from him. Damn....I may need a new jersey. HOF either way.

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Ward needs 9 more yards to hit 12K for his career

    The player most affected by the tectonic shift that took place the last time the Steelers played the Bengals is still saying all of the right things.

    The one thing Hines Ward couldn't say Wednesday afternoon is what his role will be Sunday when the Bengals visit Heinz Field.

    That question has become complicated for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the depth that the Steelers have at wide receiver and the exalted status that Ward has long enjoyed.

    The reality is that Ward has had to accept a reduced role since wide receivers coach Scottie Montgomery told him three weeks ago that the Steelers wanted to get others more involved in the passing game.

    Ward played just nine snaps in Cincinnati, and he caught one pass for 10 yards. Ward started last Sunday night in Kansas City, but he logged just 16 snaps and caught four passes for 21 yards.

    "I didn't ask why or if I was playing bad or the reason behind it. I've never once questioned a coach(ing) decision, how they run game plans," Ward said following practice yesterday. "That's all that was told me that we want to get other guys the ball. They don't owe me anything. I just try to go out and bust my tail and continue being the same player. I think you guys wanted it to be about me, but it's not about me. I'm a team guy."

    That is not to say that Ward is just any player.

    He owns almost every Steelers receiving record of note. Ward is also a former Super Bowl MVP and one of the most popular players in team history.

    Adding to the intrigue of Ward's situation is his pursuit of twin milestones: 1,000 career receptions and 12,000 receiving yards.

    He is a lock to reach the latter, barring injury, but Ward is cutting it close when it comes to the former.

    The 14th-year veteran needs 15 catches in the final five games to become just the eighth player in NFL history with at least 1,000 career receptions.

    "I know that's a big goal, and I won't stop until I reach that goal," said Ward, who is 35 and in the next-to-last year of his contract.


    What has slowed down Ward's pursuit of that goal is the way in which the Steelers are using their wide receivers.

    They are legitimately five deep at the position, and Ward said he can't remember the Steelers using as many different groupings at wide receiver as they have this season.
    Keeping all of the wideouts involved in the passing game is a challenge for everybody involved with the offense, including Ben Roethlisberger.

    "I think it's a great problem to have," the Steelers quarterback said. "I'll spread it around as much as I can, but I tell those guys that it's about winning. It's not about making receivers happy by catching balls."
    Ward said he is fine with that.

    "It's not about me," Ward said. "I know with the record coming up, and I've been in the starting role for so many years, and all of the sudden, it just hits. It's a story. I'm not trying to make it a story. Roles have changed, and I've accepted it and moved on."
    One thing that Ward hasn't accepted is the notion that age has finally corralled him.
    "As far as me losing a step, I never had a step," Ward said with a laugh. "I have all the confidence in the world I can make plays. People outside of this locker room, they probably lost confidence in me. I can't control that."

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