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Hines Ward can make his case for Canton on Sunday

Hines Ward

On Saturday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011 will be selected. On Sunday, a number of players on the Packers and Steelers have a big opportunity to take some big steps toward enshrinement in the future.

NFL.com has a good look at the potential Hall of Famers who will step on the field on Sunday, a group led by Packers cornerback Charles Woodson and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

I think Woodson is very deserving, and Roethlisberger would certainly be close if he earns a third Super Bowl ring. But I also think there’s a very strong case to be made for Hines Ward.

If statistics were the only way to measure a wide receiver, Ward would probably fall short — his stats don’t measure up to Cris Carter or Tim Brown, and neither of them has been voted in yet. But Ward is great in just about all the aspects of football that stats don’t measure. And if Ward, who has already won a Super Bowl MVP award, steps up with a big game in another Super Bowl on Sunday, that might be enough to punch his ticket to Canton.

My full case for Ward is here.

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43 Responses to “Hines Ward can make his case for Canton on Sunday”
  1. beastofeden says: Feb 4, 2011 2:40 PM

    I’m sure he can make the ‘Andre Rison HOF’

  2. johanneskrauser2 says: Feb 4, 2011 2:40 PM

    No doubt Hines should get into the HOF. Maybe not on the first ballot, but he should get in there.

  3. hobartbaker says: Feb 4, 2011 2:44 PM

    Opponents think the smirking little twerp should have been shipped back to Canton years ago. Before they changed the name.

  4. villagoo says: Feb 4, 2011 2:49 PM

    All 3 have a great chance, assuming they each put up a few (in woodson/wards case) and several (in ben’s case) more productive seasons. Voters really shouldn’t care as much about what players do when it doesn’t count as much as what they do when it does count. Each of these 3 guys fall into that latter category.

  5. pack4gop says: Feb 4, 2011 2:50 PM

    Ish…

  6. nebster21 says: Feb 4, 2011 2:50 PM

    Showing a bit of favoritism ther MDS?

  7. richm2256 says: Feb 4, 2011 2:52 PM

    MDS continues to show us why he is the “weak link” in the PFT chain.

    Here, he lays out all of the areas where Ward falls short of people at his position who have made it to the HOF – and even giving us names of people who played BETTER and AREN’T in the HOF yet themselves, and then he tries to make the case why Ward should get in anyway.

    The Hall of Fame is for EXCEPTIONAL players, people who have revolutionized the game, changed the way the game was played, or at the very least, were the most feared at their position during their tenure in the NFL.

    Hines Ward is a solid player, but he is none of those things. You want to let a guy in the HOF becasue he was a good blocker????? Seriously????

  8. steelhammer92 says: Feb 4, 2011 2:54 PM

    Casey Hampton deserves serious consideration also. He obviously doesn’t have stats since he is a 3-4 DT. Historically, the 3-4 DT position hasn’t been around very long. As some of these guys who are standouts at the position reach the point of retirement, you have to wonder if they will get the HOF votes and credit they deserve.

    Casey Hampton has been as good as anyone ever at the position. He’s anchored down the best run defense of the past decade and has a chance to start and win 3 Super Bowls. Add in his 5 Pro Bowls, and there isn’t another 3-4 DT in NFL history with better credentials. The big fella deserves some credit.

  9. nickster2k says: Feb 4, 2011 3:06 PM

    richm2256 says:
    Feb 4, 2011 2:52 PM
    The Hall of Fame is for EXCEPTIONAL players, people who have revolutionized the game, changed the way the game was played, or at the very least, were the most feared at their position during their tenure in the NFL.

    =======================

    I think you just inadvertantly made a strong case for Ward there.

    His ruthless and tenacious blocking style has made him a feared player and forced the league to change the rules.

  10. fatguystrangler says: Feb 4, 2011 3:10 PM

    I think it’s pretty simple: When people look back at the history of the game, does Hines Ward stick out as an all-time great in the NFL, at his position?

    Very subjective, just as with a lot of candidates at other positions. I’m not so sure about Ward. If he would make it, I could see it being a situation like Stallworth and Swann, where it took to the near-end of his eligibility to get elected. If he does fall short, there’s nothing wrong with being remembered as an all-time great Steeler.

  11. jamaltimore says: Feb 4, 2011 3:15 PM

    Hines Ward is an overated PUNK and should no way be in hall! Then again he’s no worse than Lynn Swann who should never have been in the hall of fame but what the heck he’s a steeler? I mean we already fix all their games and bl*w their executives every chance we get so why not put as many of their players in that we can.

    As for the Rapist. He may be Ryan Leaf’s second cousin off the field but on game day he delivers. He wins sunday and he’s no doubt a hall of famer.

  12. bengalguy says: Feb 4, 2011 3:15 PM

    If there was a cheap shot crack back HOF, not only would Wines Hard be a lock…they would name the damn thing after him!

  13. hobartbaker says: Feb 4, 2011 3:17 PM

    Send Hines to Canton. On a slow boat.

  14. nekelund says: Feb 4, 2011 3:30 PM

    To get in, Ward just needs to find the biggest voter opposed to his induction and give him the Keith Rivers treatment.

  15. cwt123 says: Feb 4, 2011 3:33 PM

    I respect Ward and would love to have him play on my team, but as far as HOF? I’m not so sure.

    There are many receivers who have taken over games and have not made it. With all due respect to Steeler fans and as good as Ward is, I just don’t consider him one of the best ALL-TIME receivers.

  16. johntonioholmes says: Feb 4, 2011 3:33 PM

    I look at it like this. Michael Irvin played for 12 years (he had his last season cut short) and he had 750 receptions and three rings.

    Ward has played for 13 years, and he has 950+ receptions and possibly three rings, after this Sunday. Ward has 200 receptions more than Irvin in 1.75 more seasons.

    He doesn’t have speed or size, which means he is probably one of the best route runner to ever play the game. You can’t be that slow and get open against corners without having some exceptional moves.

    I’m sorry but if the Steelers win 3 super bowls, they have to have some HOFers. Everyone says no to Ben; People are saying no to Ward; it’s not like they’ll have a single offensive lineman. If they win three, some of those guys have to be Canton-bound.

    Who should get in? I’m seriously asking.

  17. johntonioholmes says: Feb 4, 2011 3:37 PM

    Also, I’ll say this.

    He’s the best blocking receiver of all time, and no one would argue against that.

    Just think about that–the best ever, and he might not get into the hall of fame.

  18. billyrocket says: Feb 4, 2011 3:39 PM

    His numbers are up there and when you factor in his blocking (which in Pittsburgh accounts for better than 50% of his time on the field) he is border line. But I think the 2 Super Bowl rings and the Super Bowl MVP puts him in.

  19. goombar2 says: Feb 4, 2011 3:43 PM

    Dear god, of course Hines Ward should be let in! All he has to do is purchase a ticket like anyone else…

    Oh, as an actual player who deserves to be considered among maybe the best 2-5 Wrs of his era? No. That’s just homer talk. The same homer talk that says Big Ben is elite.

    Why isn’t it good enough that the player is considered very good and memorable? That they had a couple good skill sets – why does the jump have to be to HOF status?

    Just stupid really…

  20. twindaddy says: Feb 4, 2011 3:44 PM

    I hate the Steelers, but Ward is deserving of the Hall. He already has two Superbowl rings and 954 career receptions (more that Swan and Lynn combined). He also does things that most receivers don’t. He’s one of the best blocking receivers ever and isn’t a diva.

    Sure, he’s a cheap-shot artist and hits a lot of people when they aren’t looking, but he’s also a great wide receiver and I would welcome him on my team.

  21. sheriff66 says: Feb 4, 2011 3:48 PM

    Ward is a lock, not 1st ballot, but he will be in, no doubt about it.

  22. rlsmit says: Feb 4, 2011 3:53 PM

    Are you Guys kidding me? Hines Ward doesn’t put up the Stats? I see him very similar to his QB whereas they are not top fantasy choices but with the game on the line there’s no denying you want them in there to make a clutch throw / catch like’s they’ve done in so many games or to make a key run / block.

    Number 8 all time in Receptions
    Number 21 all time in Yards
    Number 19 all time in Tds

    In two of the three categroies he’s ahead already of HOF Art Monk (who played 15 years) and Michael Irving (played 11 years).

    The most physical WR in the game and he’s not HOF worthy? Wake the hell up!

  23. rlsmit says: Feb 4, 2011 3:58 PM

    of the 44 Super Bowl MVPs 6 have been WRs 3 are current HOFs. only Deon Branch, Holmes and Ward are not, (and they are still playing)

  24. nickster2k says: Feb 4, 2011 4:06 PM

    Oh, as an actual player who deserves to be considered among maybe the best 2-5 Wrs of his era? No. That’s just homer talk.

    =====================

    Then name 2 – 5 other receivers of his era that are more deserving. I can only think of 3 and Ward has twice as many SB rings as all of them put together:

    TO
    Moss
    Harrison

    Next in line has to be Ward.

  25. dino2997 says: Feb 4, 2011 4:07 PM

    Hines Ward has had a good career but good doesn’t equate to Hall of Fame. I wouldn’t say he is enough of a difference maker or the kind of WR that can take over a game. The great ones were able to take over games.

  26. pigspigspigspigs says: Feb 4, 2011 4:11 PM

    what about the fact that hines ward is in the top 5 best playoff wr in the history of the national football league???? does that not have any bearing on the hall of fame??? he has a superbowl mvp and 2-3 total rings depending on sunday

    he has 81 receptions, 1,103 yards, nine touchdowns and 53 first downs.

    which is 3rd most receptions, 20 yards shy of 5th most receiving yards, 4th in tds,

    Add to this the fact that it’s highly likely that Hines Ward would have higher receiving totals if he had played on a team that threw the ball more in his career, and his Hall Fame credentials are very solid in my mind. I may be a homer here, but I do believe that the accomplishments and playoff numbers support it very well.

    and he played in the least amount of games out of every other player in the top ten in all of those categories

  27. jhorton83 says: Feb 4, 2011 4:16 PM

    My initial reaction was “no” until I looked at his career stats. He has 6 seasons with more than 1,000 receiving yards on a team that’s historically been very run heavy. Not to mention the fact that he’s always been widely regarded as one of the best blocking receivers in the league along with 3 super bowl appearances. So I have changed my opinion to “yes”.

  28. richm2256 says: Feb 4, 2011 4:31 PM

    cwt123 says:
    There are many receivers who have taken over games and have not made it. With all due respect to Steeler fans and as good as Ward is, I just don’t consider him one of the best ALL-TIME receivers.
    ————————————————-
    Yeah but dude is an awesome blocker, and apparently that is a more important trait for a WR than silly things like, you know, catches, yardage, and TD’s.

    According to Steelers fans, anyway.

  29. jpelle82 says: Feb 4, 2011 4:44 PM

    2 rings and a sb mvp with a 3rd appearance on the way. he will finish with over 1000 rec and 100 tds…that alone should get him in. not to mention the probowls, 1000 yard seasons, the blocking, and all the steeler records he holds. this guy is a lock even w/out a win on sunday

  30. enders9 says: Feb 4, 2011 4:51 PM

    Hines Ward will likely go to the HOF eventually, but almost solely on his blocking abilities. If it wasn’t for how good of a blocker he is, he wouldn’t make it… possibly wouldn’t even be considered. As an actual WR though, Hines isn’t one of the best WRs of all time.

  31. rlsmit says: Feb 4, 2011 4:51 PM

    @richman2256

    but you would consider Michael Irvin and Art Monk one of the BEST, howeve Ward has better stats than these guys. FACE!!

  32. johntonioholmes says: Feb 4, 2011 5:36 PM

    @richm2256

    Look at his stats, moron.

  33. mhsx says: Feb 4, 2011 5:39 PM

    Hines has great numbers. He caught passes in 186 consecutive games. He’s just short of 1000 catches, has 11000+ yards. His postseason numbers are top 5.

    And look at the quarterbacks he caught passes from:

    Cordell Stewart
    Tommy Maddox
    Kent Graham
    Mike Tomzack
    Antwan Randal El
    Charlie Batch
    Dennis Dixon
    Byron Leftwhich
    Ben Roethlisberger

    There’s one real solid quarterback in that list. Hines caught something like 112 from Tommy Maddox in one season. Hines had good career numbers before Ben ever took a snap.

    I’m not saying Jerry Rice wasn’t great, but how many passes did he catch from QB’s not in the Hall of Fame? Just saying for perspective.

  34. stixzidinia says: Feb 4, 2011 5:54 PM

    He’s already made his case. He’s got better numbers than Stallworth and Swann combined…..and both those guys are in the HOF. He’s one of maybe 5% of the players in the NFL that are tough enough to have played the game in the 70’s.

  35. myspaceyourface says: Feb 4, 2011 6:10 PM

    He will be in the H.O.F. no matter the outcome of this game.

    Best blocker in the history of the NFL.

    2 SB’s

    1 SB MVP

    Franchise leader in all stats

    1 season away from 1000 catches and 12,000 yards

  36. scotchrocks says: Feb 4, 2011 6:37 PM

    The difficulty is that you can’t compare Ward’s and this generation’s receiver’s stats to ones from yesteryear. A whole lot of receiver’s stats are going to trump those guys because the league throws more than it used to (especially the Steelers).

    Ward is going to face the same issue Sharpe and Carter are currently facing because there’s going to be a backlog of receivers. And simply saying he has more X than X HOFer isn’t going to cut it. Nor is it going to be enough to say he’s top five in X category, cause it’s not likely to last very long.

    Ward is on the cusp, but that might not be enough when it’s all said and done.

  37. kolbfan says: Feb 4, 2011 6:46 PM

    Just like Lynn Swan, Ward belongs NOWHERE near the HOF.
    But the good ol boys network of HOF Steeler voters will make it happen though, don’t worry.
    Makes me sick to see dirty ass players like Ward get respect.

  38. rooneyruleblues says: Feb 4, 2011 6:51 PM

    Ill make a case for him right now even if he wins on Sunday.

    No Chance.

  39. pappyjoe69 says: Feb 4, 2011 7:02 PM

    jamaltimore says:
    Feb 4, 2011 3:15 PM
    Hines Ward is an overated PUNK and should no way be in hall! Then again he’s no worse than Lynn Swann who should never have been in the hall of fame but what the heck he’s a steeler? I mean we already fix all their games and bl*w their executives every chance we get so why not put as many of their players in that we can.

    As for the Rapist. He may be Ryan Leaf’s second cousin off the field but on game day he delivers. He wins sunday and he’s no doubt a hall of famer.

    AND
    bengalguy says:
    Feb 4, 2011 3:15 PM
    If there was a cheap shot crack back HOF, not only would Wines Hard be a lock…they would name the damn thing after him

    Hines Ward HAS to be an awesome player! Just mention his name and the Ratbird Ravens and Bungle fans come out of the woodwork to crucify him! Where’s the love”bengulgay” and “gaymaltimore”? Hines will be getting fitted for his THIRD SUPER BOWL RING this Sunday! HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!!!!

  40. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Feb 4, 2011 7:46 PM

    hobartbaker says:
    Feb 4, 2011 2:44 PM
    Opponents think the smirking little twerp should have been shipped back to Canton years ago. Before they changed the name.

    hobartbaker says:
    Feb 4, 2011 3:17 PM
    Send Hines to Canton. On a slow boat.

    =================================

    Could you please be more xenophobic and ignorant. He has Korean blood. Somebody should ship you on a slow boat to whatever poophole your ancestors crawled out of.

  41. aintsfan says: Feb 4, 2011 9:46 PM

    Hine will be inducted into the HOF no matter what the results of Sundays’ game. After all he is the toughest player in the league when no-bodys looking.

  42. pravin68 says: Feb 5, 2011 1:57 AM

    Its not fair to compare him to pure receivers. Granted Carter was a good blocker and he deserves it over Tim Brown. But Hines Ward put up some big receiving numbers in a 70s style offense for most of his career until Ben went aerial last year. So when poeple say all receivers numbers arae inflated these days have it mostly correct, but not quite in Hines case. Let’s see what kind of numbers Tim Brown puts up if he had to block for his RBs. Hines Ward deserves it over Jerome Bettis, in my view. Numbers are not everything. THIS IS NOT BASEBALL.

    Hines should go in as a FOOTBALL player, not a receiver. Blocking is part of offense, last time I checked (For those who smirk at blocking being a factor in considering his greatness). It’s like a QB. Do you really care if he runs in for a TD or passes for a TD? Oh yeah, you are probably the same people who prefer to glorify the passer rating as the big barometer of a QB’s effectiveness.

  43. cup1981 says: Feb 5, 2011 4:53 AM

    Once again, people are mistaking who th NFL HOF is for…

    The NFL HOF is for game changers and elite players that put fear into their opponents and are recognized as complete players.

    Statistical monsters do make it to the HOF, but the vast majority of those enshrined in Canton were not monsters of the numbers. They were winners and complete players. Steve Largent, Art Monk and Michael Irvin are all members of the HOF that were not huge numbers guys, they simply won and did all aspects of their job well.

    Hines has about 2 years left in him, and if he can stay on pace, he will exceed two of the names on that list: Michael Irvin and Art Monk.

    Hines will be a HOFer, but much like Art Monk and Irvin, he will not be a first ballot. It took Monk 7 times and Irvin 2 times as a finalist before making it.

    Hines Ward changed the way the game is played. Players fear his presence, maybe not as much as a receiver anymore, but as a complete player. That is why Hines Ward WILL be a Hall of Fame inductee within 10 years of his retirement.

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