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Rodney Harrison responds to Hines Ward

Most people of reasonable intelligence interpreted Sunday night’s interview of Steelers receiver Hines Ward by NBC’s Bob Costas as a strong indication from Ward that he believes quarterback Ben Roethlisberger should have lied to doctors about post-concussion symptoms in order to play in a “must” win game against the Ravens.

Ward has since “clarified” (i.e., “retracted”) his remarks, apologized to Ben, and apologized publicly.

But Ward has now pointed a finger of blame at NBC’s Rodney Harrison.

“For him to question his quarterback’s toughness really shocked me,”
Harrison told Dan Patrick and Tony Dungy after the interview was concluded.  “If Tom Brady had a hangnail, never would any of the
guys question Tom Brady.”  (The video of Ward’s remarks can be seen right here.)

“[Harrison] stirred up the whole thing with me throwing [Roethlisberger] under the bus,” Ward said Wednesday, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  “It really wasn’t that at all.”

Ward supported his case that he did nothing out of line by seeking an opinion from . . . his mother.

“She thought nothing of it,” Ward said.  “But Rodney Harrison,
ex-Patriot, goes out and goes crazy and, ‘Well, he threw Ben under the
bus.'”

(Reached for comment, Ward’s mother said of her son, “How could anyone not like him?”  Of course, she didn’t say that.  But, still, 12.3 percent of you will think she did.)

On Thursday, Harrison responded to Ward, during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show.

“I love Hines Ward,” Harrison said.  “I think he’s one of the toughest guys I’ve ever played with. . . .  [But] I
would never question my quarterback
, especially after winning two Super
Bowls.”

Harrison realizes that players will be upset with him for violating the unwritten rules of the jockocracy, which requires former players who become analysts to say only good things about current players.  “They get angry at you because
you come out and do your job,” Harrison said.

Another former player who played in Pittsburgh with Ward agreed with Harrison’s interpretation of the remarks.

If I’m Ben, I’m definitely upset,” former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis told Dan Patrick on Wednesday.  “Because I didn’t have the choice.
the doctors didn’t clear me to play, so I don’t have a choice.”

So Hines should be blaming only one person — and he also would be smart to quit talking about the situation and starting working with his teammates to ensure that there’s no lingering resentment toward Roethlisberger.

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45 Responses to “Rodney Harrison responds to Hines Ward”
  1. bearsrule says: Dec 3, 2009 2:29 PM

    Nice sly Seinfeld reference. This story needs to be put to sleep. It’s over. Let’s move on to the next moronic comment from some rich athletic dumbass.

  2. FireJerryJones says: Dec 3, 2009 2:35 PM

    Ward’s OK with lying to the docs… why doesn’t he just keep lying to the media and telling everyone he’s good with Ben now. and didn’t really mean it…

  3. HockeyGuy1011 says: Dec 3, 2009 2:36 PM

    HAHAHA do you think hines receives it from florio or vice versa? i’ve never seen a person on someone else’s tip THIS HARD since rosenthal begged florio for this fake job!

  4. chapnasty says: Dec 3, 2009 2:39 PM

    Hines Ward is a P.O.S. (notice the caps) he just proved it to all of the Steeler fans who were in denial for years.

  5. Cornerdenizen says: Dec 3, 2009 2:43 PM

    this supposed “jockocracy” doesn’t prohibit former players from saying bad things about current players …it just prohibits them from saying stupid things.
    Thats the job of guys like you…who don’t really like sports, but who realize that there’s a market out there–one that caters to those guys who never played and who try to make themselves feel better by bashing athletes.

  6. trickbunny says: Dec 3, 2009 2:46 PM

    # HockeyGuy1011 says:
    December 3, 2009 2:36 PM
    HAHAHA do you think hines receives it from florio or vice versa? i’ve never seen a person on someone else’s tip THIS HARD since rosenthal begged florio for this fake job!
    —————————————————
    I take it you haven’t seen the 10,000 disparaging posts Florio has made about Eric Mangini in the last 3 months…
    Hines Ward (or, as a clever poster here called him, “Whines Hard”) is getting off easy.
    Read a story that isn’t specifically about your team once in a while.

  7. CYGNUS X-1 says: Dec 3, 2009 2:47 PM

    if I am big ben I would not throw a pass his way the whole game to show him what I thought of him.but he should not care since florio has the steelers dumping him and going with the much better dixon instead. wonder how many superbowls they will win with him?just ask florio he knows it all!

  8. Vince Drooley says: Dec 3, 2009 2:52 PM

    Very amusing, Mike – really, it made me laugh. But Ward is right. Season is on the line. Ben’s getting a lot of money and he has a history of being a wuss. Man up and get out there. It’s not liek he’s very smart anyway, so what’s a wittle bwain bwuise?
    The other interesting statement is Harrison essentially saying that Brady says “Owee!” when he has a hangnail and his toughness has never been questioned by his teammates. Wonder what happens when he breaks a nail? Or one of his acrylics falls off?

  9. HockeyGuy1011 says: Dec 3, 2009 2:59 PM

    TRICKBUNNY…..
    im from philly and a diehard eagles fan….how about you try something other than making blank, unfounded assumptions….i just hope your team isnt the browns HAHAHAH

  10. i'm president charlie! says: Dec 3, 2009 2:59 PM

    chapnasty – Hines Ward will be a fan favorite forever not for his words, but for his actions.

  11. Brohamma says: Dec 3, 2009 2:59 PM

    Maybe Hines Ward is just trying to land the next Campbell’s Chunky Soup commercial with his momma.
    ::cut to green screen backdrop:: Hines Ward is running down the field and his momma winds up with a can of Campbell’s and fires a deep-route, back shoulder pass. Hines bobbles it and it strikes him in the head. He collapses to the ground and from out of the right comes Big Ben.. glances at a concussed Ward, picks up the can and goes and has lunch with Ward’s momma.
    Remember, if it goes to market.. you heard it from me first!

  12. chapnasty says: Dec 3, 2009 3:05 PM

    @ cygnus
    Wrong. If I’m Ben I hang him out to dry over the middle and watch him get his head knocked off then call him out when he has to miss 3 weeks.

  13. Deb says: Dec 3, 2009 3:07 PM

    Hines, do you read PFT? Listen up:
    Steeler Nation loves you and always will. You screwed up. You apologized. And you need to stop talking now. Once you put your foot in your mouth, it never helps to keep working your jaw muscles. That only serves to shove the foot further down your throat. You’ve worked it out with Ben. If you’ll stop talking, it will fade away.
    Shhhhhhhhhhh.

  14. chapnasty says: Dec 3, 2009 3:08 PM

    @ charlie
    if you are a fan of the second dirtiest players actions then you seriously have some terrible priorities.

  15. jamaltimore says: Dec 3, 2009 3:15 PM

    Hines Ward should shut his mouth and start focusing on the Raiders. Fatburger’s ability to scramble to keep plays alive and take the hits from his poor protection is the reason an average, lying, cheap shot, tax dodging , bald little punk receiver is able to get seperation from the defense to make any plays. Yea I’m a steeler hater but Fatburger makes that team go, not hines ward. How’d they make out in the AFC championship and superbowl last year without him. Stick to cheerleading not hating Chrines obviously all the lying to doctors has affected his brain!

  16. Guyute says: Dec 3, 2009 3:29 PM

    he should be benched

  17. tleg81 says: Dec 3, 2009 3:39 PM

    I keep hearing the word “tough” brought up in all this meaningless hoopla! I would like to ask some players and some of you what you think makes a player tough or dirty for that matter, being that the 2 players discussed hear have their names closely associated with “dirty”…
    Is it the ability to play through injury, regardless of the extent?
    Is it the ability to knock someones head off when they are not looking (legally or Illegally)?
    Is it the ability to understand the importance of a certian game and play even though your jeprodizing your health?
    Because you can block?
    Because you can deliver ferocious hits as a defender?
    Or is it a QB that gets hit all the freaking time, continues to get up, says that things hurt on occasion (which I am sure in Bens, or Rogers case their whole body hurts every day) and only sits out when they are advised to by doctors?
    To me, all of the above makes you a football player….that does their JOB!! What in gods name qualifies any of these guys as tough guys?
    These guys are paid tons of money to play a rough game, listen to their coaches and doctors, and provide entertainment…I think Hines is justified to his opinions, and so is Rodney, however, I am sick of everyone throwing around the word “tough” like some of these guys are made of Steel or something.
    All week all we hear about is injury this and injury that, questionable, probable….ALL WEEK!
    Tough to me is not making an issue of an injury!!
    Tough to me are the Stanley Cup Playoffs and every player in it, Manny Pacqiou (spelled horribly), and Lacrosse players that get paid next to nothing to beat the ever-living snot out of eachother, with minimal equipment for passion not money. ( and I would throw in every Xtreme sport as well, but they are just as crazy as they are tough).
    I know this was terribly off topic, I just had to get it off my chest…..and yes everybody, I know the majority of you will refer to the fact that Football is way more mainstream hence the attention to injury….but still come on what makes all these drama queens so tough???

  18. chapnasty says: Dec 3, 2009 3:52 PM

    @ tleg
    Everything you said makes sense. I think that in the sense of the NFL, tough is referring to the opposite of smart in many cases. I dont question, seriously anyways, the toughness of any football player at any level, from pee wee through the NFL. However there are some exceptions along the way, the guy who cries about a broken pinkie or something. People question the “toughness” of someone when he doesn’t play through a potentially career ending, or worse type of injury. I’d like to see anyone of us, or anyone else play 4 downs of football, again at any level. I guarantee you we would all be a little shook up after getting hit in the head a couple times.
    I guess the point to that little rant would be that every professional athlete has to be tough to play their sports (excluding golf maybe). What fans need to do is seperate toughness for stupidity. However judging from the posts of 95% of the people on this website, stupidity is something everyone is fuly of.

  19. The Centurion says: Dec 3, 2009 3:57 PM

    Well I personally think Rodney Harrison is a clown who likes to make big statments to get attention and then back off of them. He’s a joke on Football Night in America and an insult to the resumes of Dan Patrick K.O and Costas not to mention Dungy. So while I think Heinz needs an education Rodney needs a sock in his mouth. They dont make steroids that will make it so your not a tool Rodney sorry.

  20. Living_Legend says: Dec 3, 2009 3:58 PM

    Will actually crack a smile when Ward gets laid out, I know it hasn’t happened as of yet. The law of averages says it will, then we’ll see him be the next Mr. Paperhead..

  21. Cubano says: Dec 3, 2009 3:59 PM

    Two Ass Wipes, one post. Nice going Florio!

  22. Bill Cowher's Chin says: Dec 3, 2009 4:04 PM

    Deb says: December 3, 2009 3:07 PM
    Hines, do you read PFT? Listen up:
    Steeler Nation loves you and always will. You screwed up. You apologized. And you need to stop talking now. Once you put your foot in your mouth, it never helps to keep working your jaw muscles. That only serves to shove the foot further down your throat. You’ve worked it out with Ben. If you’ll stop talking, it will fade away.
    _______________________
    Hines loves it in his mouth, and never stops working his jaw muscles……..

  23. Maddog says: Dec 3, 2009 4:09 PM

    I’m a big Steeler, and Big Ben fan, but the guy is a bit of a drama queen. His rookie year after losing in the play-offs to the Patriots, he said his toes were broken. They weren’t. Made sure to tell everyone how he nearly died in his motorcycle wreck. Laid on the turf forever last year after getting his bell rung, gave the thumbs up on his way off the field, but was fine to play the next week. I’m sure Ward was just thinking “here we go again” and thought he should suck it up and play. I agree with everyone though that says he should have kept it to himself. Love Ward, but he should have known better.

  24. Deb says: Dec 3, 2009 4:19 PM

    @tleg81 …
    Well, if you want to go that route, tough to me was Stefanie Spielman gutting her way through five cancer battles … Marine Corporal Jason Dunham throwing himself on a live grenade to save his comrades … 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart surviving kidnapping and rape then standing up in court to testify against her attacker. That’s how I define tough. Compared to them your hockey players and Xtreme athletes are just boys with toys.
    But this is a professional football blog, which is why we’re talking about professional football instead of war heroes, Xtreme sports figures, and hockey players. And the collisions between these football professionals have been compared to repeatedly experiencing the impact of a 30-mph car crash. Many former players have suffered permanent brain injury from concussions that occurred while they were playing in the NFL. The sport doesn’t get attention for injuries because it’s mainstream. It gets attention because it’s dangerous. And if you think they’re such “drama queens,” why don’t you try joining them on the field for a few plays?
    If they don’t report they’re symptoms, they wind up back on the field, where they risk further injury and permanent brain damage. Reporting the symptoms doesn’t make them drama queens. It makes them smart. I realize that goes against the popular image of athletes as neanderthals, but smart is more attractive … particularly if it means they won’t be drooling at 40.

  25. Otis Taylor 89 says: Dec 3, 2009 4:21 PM

    Love Rodney- as James Brown once said, “Papa don`t take no mess”.
    Hines, you did the right thing by saying you were sorry, but don’t mess with Hot Rod.

  26. Deb says: Dec 3, 2009 4:21 PM

    @ Bill Cowher’s Chin …
    And you know this because … ?

  27. BoMeister says: Dec 3, 2009 4:21 PM

    Someone needs to cold cock Ward like he did to rookie LB Rivers from Cincy last year. Bottom line, he’s a great receiver and a DIRTY player, always was, always will be. Someone needs to wipe that Smokie Robinson off his ugly mug.
    Squeeler nation…yeah, gimme a break!

  28. The Notorious V.I.C. says: Dec 3, 2009 4:26 PM

    What a PATHETIC state so-called sports journalism is in.
    Everything is a bunch of sewing circle style gossip and he said/she said bullsh1t.
    “Did you hear what Hines Ward said to Bob Costas?”
    “Did you see what Ward just ‘tweeted’ about Chad Johnson?”
    “Rodney Harrison just fired back at Hines Ward, did you hear that?”
    “Is Ben Roethlisberger a drama queen?”
    “Did you hear that Bobby Wade said Brian Urlacher called Jay Cutler a pussy?”
    Here’s a revolutionary thought. Bear with me, now, this might be too far out there, but just hear me out for a second: How about reporting stuff about the actual game of football?
    It seems that NFL.com with those videos where Mayock and Billick and co. break down the film is the only place left to go to now for stuff that actually relates to the game that’s played between the white lines.

  29. nfcbeast says: Dec 3, 2009 4:27 PM

    Rodney to Hines:
    ” If you really want to get in his head, just flash your piece at him. I did it in Philly and the guy never came around my car wash again…Well, I shot him but..you get the idea”

  30. copes cabana says: Dec 3, 2009 4:46 PM

    In and out of the locker room, everyone loves hines. Should he have kept his mouth shut? Yes. Should he keep talking about it? No. Will either of those things have any effect in the locker room, on the field, or in the Steelers fans eyes? No. That team is a family, and families have problems, but families stick together up and down. Is this thinking naive? Maybe, but in this case I think it is true. Will I keep asking and answering my own questions? Of course I will.

  31. Matt says: Dec 3, 2009 4:54 PM

    out. Did I read this wrong, or … what in the HELL does dumbass Rodney Harrison have to do with any of this? Is this a case of some asshole running his mouth about a situation that doesn’t involve him in the slightest, or was there some reason for him to be even talking about this issue?
    *********************************************
    # chapnasty says: December 3, 2009 2:39 PM
    Hines Ward is a P.O.S. (notice the caps) he just proved it to all of the Steeler fans who were in denial for years.
    I must still be in denial – sucks for me. Pretty sure this isn’t going to change the vast majority of people’s minds or do any drastic opinion swaying. Also, as you use it, the acronym “P.O.S.” should be in caps, so I don’t understand why you felt the need to mention that. It’s like pointing out that you remembered to put a period at the end of a sentence.

  32. Cornerdenizen says: Dec 3, 2009 5:00 PM

    @Tleg:
    In your haste to label Ward and Roethlisberger as “drama queens,” you alluded to one essential point. The NFL is indeed a “mainstream” sport. Because of that any and every comment made by a well known player ( or even an unknown player) is turned into a major discussion.

  33. CapsLockKey says: Dec 3, 2009 5:01 PM

    Harrison and Ward verbally sparing is the equivalent to Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne debating the greenhouse effect.

  34. DemocratsAreStupid says: Dec 3, 2009 5:07 PM

    Hines Ward has always been way overrated. I’m glad the real players called him out

  35. i'm president charlie! says: Dec 3, 2009 5:07 PM

    @chapnasty – please recommend me a clean nfl player so i can get my priorities straight all knowledgeable one.

  36. DarnFlorio says: Dec 3, 2009 5:17 PM

    Bill Cowher’s Chin says:
    December 3, 2009 4:04 PM
    Deb says: December 3, 2009 3:07 PM
    Hines, do you read PFT? Listen up:
    Steeler Nation loves you and always will. You screwed up. You apologized. And you need to stop talking now. Once you put your foot in your mouth, it never helps to keep working your jaw muscles. That only serves to shove the foot further down your throat. You’ve worked it out with Ben. If you’ll stop talking, it will fade away.
    _______________________
    Hines loves it in his mouth, and never stops working his jaw muscles……..
    ________
    I’m willing to bet that Hines Ward would make you cry like the little baby you really are, Takes Manjuice On The Chin.

  37. trickbunny says: Dec 3, 2009 5:20 PM

    # HockeyGuy1011 says:
    December 3, 2009 2:59 PM
    TRICKBUNNY…..
    im from philly and a diehard eagles fan….how about you try something other than making blank, unfounded assumptions….i just hope your team isnt the browns
    ————————————————–
    “blank, unfounded assumpumptions”? I have no clue what you’re talking about. Typical Steelers fan, though: Your team wins everything left and right, the refs are their best friends so they can’t lose important games, etc., you have everything you want as a football fan- and you still whine like a bitch when someone on your team gets called out for CLEARLY saying something only a selfish dick would say. “Whines Hard” indeed.

  38. AugustusMcCrae says: Dec 3, 2009 5:50 PM

    The horse died about two days ago, people.

  39. Bens Attorney says: Dec 3, 2009 5:52 PM

    Maddog for one Ben did not play the next week they had a bye week, that was last game of the season…
    I think the more Hines brings it up the more it will be talked about, I agree with Deb, he needs to let it go, Him and Ben are Good..
    Brohamma Funny shit , I mean it , funny shit..

  40. Wick says: Dec 3, 2009 5:55 PM

    To be fair to Ward — he and his team were intentionally or not — misled to believe Ben was good to go. It was only at the 11th hour that the call came down that they were going to go to battle in about as key a week 12 game as it gets without the team’s best offensive player. Bad enough we don’t have our best defensive player, but then this comes down.
    Thing is guys who gravitate to football, rugby, hockey, box or MMA – don’t cry, quit or roll over when they’ve are faced with some physical adversity that they can play through.
    In a recent MMA event, the great Fedor Emelienko recently got lit up by Brett Rogers in the opening moments of a nationally televised fight — face bleeding like Clint Malarchuk’s jugular — but Fedor nutted up like a mother — to get the knockout win. Fedor gets sick respect – and those sports rock.
    And for the boys who can’t nut up in the face of physical adversity – they gravitate to soccer, baseball, cross-country skiing, badminton, croquet, dungeons and dragons in mom’s basement … etc. They’re often seen putting on a manicured green wearing pink pants and orange shirts — and the only anger they show is when they get all pissy when a bird chirps during their stroke. Those sports disgust me.
    Having said that — your points are very well taken. Ward may have felt how he did (and many of us would agree that you want to go to battle with all your horses) — but taking an internal matter public will do nothing make things worse.
    One thing I would add that might support your take: Ben has taken so many nasty ass hits just to make a play for his team for soooo many years — that he should have enough equity banked to not have his toughness questioned.
    In parting, this is not a black and white issue as I see it. There are a number of shades of gray involved.
    (1) Was Ben a pussy for not playing? No – he’s been through the NFL buzzsaw for too many plays over too many years to draw that conclusion.
    (2) Was Hines justifiably disappointed in learning on the eve of the game that his team would not have the offense’s biggest gun heading into Baltimore – after his QB practiced fully all week, and repeatedly said he felt great? I say yes. Hines is tough too – tough as hell. Plays through injuries like a motha. Players are used to sacking up themselves, and expecting the same of their teammate. That’s the creed – the code – of football.
    (3) Did Hines make a mistake by airing his concerns publicly? I think he did – but I am very willing to give Hines a pass on this. Hines also has years of hard-earned goodwill in the bank that he can tap too.
    Now let’s go unleash hell on the Raiders – and their middle-aged fans who regularly get adorned in those goofy homemade Halloween costumes.

  41. rusH1023 says: Dec 3, 2009 6:05 PM

    Deb says:
    Hines, do you read PFT? Listen up:
    Steeler Nation loves you and always will. You screwed up. You apologized. And you need to stop talking now. Once you put your foot in your mouth, it never helps to keep working your jaw muscles. That only serves to shove the foot further down your throat. You’ve worked it out with Ben. If you’ll stop talking, it will fade away.
    Shhhhhhhhhhh.
    ______________________________________________
    Exactly. I mean, it works for Big Ben when he has to shake some charges on him when he’s out raping people at will. Sheesh, Ward. Take a lesson from the master.

  42. SteelTown_6 says: Dec 3, 2009 6:34 PM

    Boy… take a month off and come back and there’s chapnasty, still running his moronic mouth off in Steelers threads. I guess Vox can’t be far behind.
    some things never change…

  43. Deb says: Dec 3, 2009 6:57 PM

    @trickbunny ….
    Oh, so now the refs have gone from helping us win every game to just helping us win the important games. How do they decide which are the important games? I kinda thought that Ravens game was important–yet the refs put the ball on the wrong spot and nearly handed it to the Ravens in regulation. Gee, did they forget who they were working for??? Guess we’ll have to give them a raise. Money just doesn’t spend like it used to.
    And how are things over in the Dog Pound today?

  44. SmackMyVickUp says: Dec 3, 2009 9:01 PM

    Not all symptoms can be hidden from doctors.
    Look what happened to Westbrook after rushing back after getting a severe concussion, his season is likely done. Think a lot of other players are taking notice.

  45. CKL says: Dec 4, 2009 12:14 PM

    The whole mess is Tomlin’s fault. First he keeps saying over and over that physicians SUGGESTED BR sit out. NEVER ONCE that he was actually RULED OUT. Then they let BR keep practicing despite the fact I believe BR had had headaches after every practice. I thought they had to wait a week after the last concussion symptom to start practicing again…I’m not positive on that though. THEN…Tomlin is asked why if BR can’t play he is suited up and what the Drs would say about that and Tomlin basically said the Drs will have to deal with that fact. Do we think Tomlin is dumb enough to suit a guy up and admit he will be asked to play in an emergency if doctors have ACTUALLY RULED HIM OUT? No way. The doctors never ruled BR out. I would bet a lot on that. No coach would risk doing that these days, suit up a player who docs had ruled out. If this was Tomlin’s decision all along to sit BR as a precaution, he simply should have told all and sundry in the media that it was a coach’s decision…period. He owes the truth only to his players. So he erred in his handling of it all around because certainly it doesn’t sound like either Ward or Holmes knew/realized any of this when they made their comments. In fact, Ward actually SAID the docs ruled BR out.

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