Report: Hines Ward will retire

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With the Steelers facing the start of the long offseason, decisions will start being made about the future of the roster.

One player to watch on that front is Hines Ward. Ward turns 36 in March and after seeing his role cut dramatically in his 14th NFL season, there’s been some talk that he might be ready to call it a career. Ward, who has two years left on his contract, said last month that he hasn’t been thinking about retiring, but a report from Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com on Monday sings a different tune.

Freeman reports that he got a text from a Steelers player after the 29-23 overtime loss to the Broncos saying that the “expectations around the team” are that Ward will not return for another season. The player isn’t Ward so there’s obviously a pretty big grain of salt in the mix, but the 2011 season didn’t provide much evidence of a bright future for Ward.

Whatever future he has might not be in Pittsburgh. With a strong receiving corps in place and a need to get younger before next season, the Steelers might not have a place for Ward on their roster. Cutting ties with a player who has 1,000 career catches and two Super Bowl rings as a Steeler wouldn’t be all that easy, but similar moves have been made before and the Steelers haven’t shown an aversion to making tough decisions like that in the past.

If this is the end for Ward, you can bet there will be a spirited debate about his Hall of Fame credentials in a few years. It will be the rare case when a wide receiver’s blocking ability plays a major role in the discussion.

176 responses to “Report: Hines Ward will retire

  1. On the plus side, Roethlisberger showed no sign of a limp when he hustled off the field after OT.

  2. But what did the player say after the 29-23 loss to the broncos, since there was no 26-20 loss…

  3. The only way Hines Ward is getting into Canton is if he hits the ticket taker with a crackback.

  4. this guy had a great career, it was kinda sad to see him quit a few weeks ago, you could tell he was done last night. no more feelings for football in his eyes.

  5. Now Hines Ward, not Jerome Bettis, deserves a shot at canton. Ward was one of the best all-around receivers, and was a key in Pittsburg’s success. Blocking ability by a WR is underrated. When your 1 on 1 with a guy, who is almost always smaller and faster, it is almost impossible to get a block, but if you want your outside run game to be effective, then it is imparative you have a guy like Hines Ward on the outside. Sure, some of plays may have been close to the “Dirty” variety, but more times than not, he was as clean as they come and played the postion well. They better put that smile on his bust.

  6. Love u Hines!!!!!! Thanks for the many yrs of hard work and dedication on and off the field, hope to see u in a studio soon talking football…. U will be missed ….. Best Steelers WR ever!

    P.S.- See u in Canton

  7. He may or may not retire, but he won’t be back with the Steelers. He looks to be done. If he wants to play another season somewhere, I suggest he lose a good 10 lbs, because he can barely move at his current weight.

  8. Well….the hall of fame is for game changers. Dirty Hiney has a lot of catches and a lot of dirty blocks, would the stillers be the same without him…I say yes, no hall of fame.

    he is a better dancer anyway

  9. Only one of eight receivers with 1,000 catches and played outdoors in a northeast city. In addition, he has 12,000 + receiving yards and was on some teams that were predominantly run oriented. Two Super Bowl rings, Super Bowl MVP, played in a third Super Bowl. The most phyiscal WR in NFL history. Yeah, you can believe he will be in the HOF and rightfully so!

  10. “If this is the end for Ward, you can bet there will be a spirited debate about his Hall of Fame credentials in a few years. It will be the rare case when a wide receiver’s blocking ability plays a major role in the discussion.”
    ______________
    He also has 1,000 career receptions…that should play a “major role in the discussion”.

  11. One of 8 players in history to have a 1,000 catches. Also was a Superbowl MVP and is regarded as best blocking wide receiver in recent memory. I say let him in, but not first ballot.

  12. First of all, I’m a Patriots fan. It shouldn’t even be a debate. Hines Ward IS a Hall of Famer. This man scared me every time he lined up against the Pats. He was/is a beast. They changed rules about Wide Outs blocking because of Mr. Ward. A game changer. Much respect.

  13. He’s retiring now that they’ve made it illegal to take cheap shots on people away from plays and after the whistle. If he can’t take cheap shots, he’s totally worthless.

  14. Hines Ward has always played the game the way it was meant to be played. Sad to see him retire, but it happens to everyone sooner or later.

    If this is the end, congratulations Mr. Ward…helluva career!

  15. Whether he retires or not is up to him but he won’t be back in the black and yellow again, it’ll be damn shame if he plays elsewhere though.

  16. Ben was looking for that “attention” with the different color cleats, kinda like when Curt Schilling busted out the ketchup packets on the mound.

  17. Hines Ward was really good, but I never felt he was a top 5 WR in the NFL. That’s why he simply doesn’t belong in the HOF, from my perspective.

    Maybe others will feel different, but he’s a first round Hall of the Very Good candidate. Then again, Jerome Bettis is a HoF finalist.

  18. steelerfanjo,

    Thanks for the laugh. Hines Ward greatest WR of all time? Do you only watch Steeler highlight films?

    He might eventually get into the HOF, but alot of people don’t respect the way he played the game.Why is it that the Steelers organization is always producing these “dirty” players?

  19. I have loved watching Hines Ward play since the first time I saw his big smile. He always looked like he LOVED playing the game. This whole season has felt a little weird to me seeing him on the sidelines. He’s the only receiver I have ever heard of being penalized for a hit HE put on.

    He’s what is good about Steeler football.
    Love the guy, and I am a 49ers fan!

  20. No other Steeler could I hate and admire more than Hines. I’d be lying if I didn’t say the reason for hating him is fueled by the admiration. He without a doubt goes down in the “hate em on another team but would love him on mine” category in my book.

  21. He won’t make the HoF for MANY years. It should give Steeler Nation something to cry about. God knows Hines will cry about it.

    He was a great WR but there were MANY 20 better WRs to play during his career, WRs you’d draft over Hines every day of the week. I doubt he’s the shoe-in it sounds like many of you think he is.

  22. Thanks for the memories Hines…given your loss of speed it’s obviously time to retire.

    Sorry Steeler-haters, Hines will be inducted in the HOF for some of the same reasons that Jerome Bettis will get in: Production, Super Bowls, MVP’s and the “it” factor. These 2 have become larger-than-life.

    One of only 8 WR’s with 1,000 catches, earned moniker “best blocking WR of all time”, Dancing With the Stars champ did’t hurt his chances…see you in Canton #86!

    Ben, and Troy WILL also make the HOF from this current team…maybe Pouncey one day too.

  23. who cares at this point? 3 years ago I would’ve been happy, but the guy is completely ineffective now. Please…by all means…stay…

  24. I am Ravens fan, so I shouldn’t have a take on 86, but here goes:

    – Tough as nails, dependable, very clutch, very physical, great motivator, leader. Also rarely injured given style of play – Mr. Reliable. Also, his style of play got in the opponents heads. Endearing to his home fan base.

    – Some of his blocking, weakside, away from the play, away from the flow of the play, was questionable. I have argued in the past many times he has sought to line some one up away from the play as opposed to blocking in the flow of it to have a more direct impact on the run. These hits some might describe as dirty. I would say questionable.

    – Best Steeler WR ever? I’d rather have John Stalworth. Was he ever the Steelers #1 WR? Before Holmes?

    – HOF’r – No clue. Stats say yes. Especially playing on that terrible field year after year. Begrudgingly (and this is the first time I have ever said this) I would have liked him on the Ravens. He would have fit our mold too!

  25. Why Pitt’s game plan failed last night: they thought their corners were as good as KC’s corners.

    The Chiefs left Carr and Flowers in man coverage with no help virtually all game, much like Pitt tried. I’m ready to say Ike Taylor is overrated – the beneficiary of a great pass rush for many years.

  26. Obvious that the Steeler team is one without leadership. That falls on the head coach, Tomlin. He is unable to conceive of a solid game plan, and his team displays their lack of motivation in games like the one yesterday. No wonder Ward will retire – the future with the Steelers is not looking very good. The “number 1” ranked defense looked more like the worst Pop Warner team ever. What a bunch of overhyped BUMS.

  27. rajbais says:
    Jan 9, 2012 12:23 PM
    Mike Freeman will be wrong about Ward!!!!

    He’s usually wrong 99% of the time!!

    —–

    So 99% of the time he’s more than 50% wrong??

  28. What a career! I can see him retiring, but I don’t think we will ever see him in another uniform other than the black and gold.

  29. I’m glad that smile and that name will be gone, but honestly they aren’t losing much talent at the WR position. He’s fallen off in the last couple of years.

  30. It’s about that time, his stats significantly declined this year, may not be the most talented WR that ever played but he left it all out on the field.

  31. I wonder if all you complainers about his crack-back blocking are also the ones that say the NFL is getting soft. Face it, fans love to watch those crack-back blocks. Players love giving them. Just like the blind picks in hoops.

    Definitely a HOF, class act and great NFL story.

    Best of luck to him.

  32. tomtravis76 wrote: “Why is it that the Steelers organization is always producing these “dirty” players?”

    In spite of Czar Goodell’s efforts, it’s still “tackle football” last time I checked.

    I hope you prefer flag football, because that’s the path Roge is taking us down.

    Don’t know how you like your football tomtravis, but Hines Ward played football the right way.

    Sorry our team hits harder than yours. Sorry your team has a bunch of wussies.

    Hines Ward “Dirty”? Unlike you, I’ve watched Hines play ~ 200 games. He always plays hard, and unlike 98% of WR’s he actually LIKES contact! Hines is the epitome of a professional football player.

  33. Sorry, but with the inflating receiving stats (see this: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/rec_yds_career.htm), You need more yards than he got to be in the HOF from his era. If you only looked at the previous era, I would agree.

    There are all kinds of players from his era, who have gone way by him. There are 17 players ahead of him in yardage, and 5 are in the HOF. In the current top 6, there is Rice, and 5 others, only one of which (Tim Rice) is already eligible for the HOF. As time goes on, Hines Ward will fall further down the list because more and more active, slightly down the list, guys are going to start getting more than 14-15,000 years, or more.

    He just did not do enough for this pass-happy era.

  34. @formervikingfan …

    HOF, no? How old are you? Do you understand how the game was played before it was turned into a live-action PlayStation extravaganza for Fantasy fanatics? Ward is being pushed for the Hall because he combined great catching ability with great blocking ability. You know, blocking. That thing real receivers did between catches before they started pouting on the bench and writing books about just getting the damn ball. He contributed on every down, not just those where his hands were on the pigskin. That’s why Peter King, a guy who said he’d never vote Lynn Swann into the Hall, thinks Ward is one of the best receivers of all time.

    You junior high kids, who have no respect for the game in the trenches, need to get your heads out of your lil stat books and learn something about the sport.

  35. I was gonna say Cleveland Sucks but a better term might be IRRELEVANT!

    Naaaaa forget it CLEVELAND SUCKS!

  36. With the young corps of receivers under contract, time to move on, but Ward will eventually be in the Hall of Fame.

  37. steelerfanjo says:
    Jan 9, 2012 11:52 AM
    Sad, but the greatest WR of all time. Yes he is. No one played the game (fully) like him. Now if Bruce Arians would retire!

    ———————————————–

    Either you’re delusional, or you forgot an individual whose last name is Rice. He is the greatest wide receiver to have ever played the game, and no other receiver will likely come close to the career Rice had.

    And I can’t even say Ward was the greatest receiver the Steelers ever had, with the likes of Lynn Swann and John Stallworth in your franchise’s history. I’d take either of those guys over Ward.

  38. Let’s put it this way: He was a better tight end than Tony Gonzalez (who I actually really respect as a player, and would have liked to see him win a playoff game).

    He was never in a pass first offense until 2007.

    There will never be another receiver like him.

    A consistently productive receiver without a consistently productive QB, playing in an era in which tight ends don’t even block–I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t make it.

  39. Straight from the Peter King school of journalism. He MIGHT retire. Maybe. Call it a quasi87%ish chance.

  40. Smell you later, cheap shot.

    Tebow gave you a beating and you couldn’t get up. It happens.

  41. Hines will likely retire, since he clearly wasn’t a big part of the Steelers WR corp later in the year, and he will not play for anther team after wearing the Black and Gold. He had a wonderful and productive career. He was a very capable WR, and made so many huge blocks that people probably spent more time talking about them than his 1000 catches. He literally plowed people over. To me, he is a HOF player with his overall style of play. Probably never saw a better blocker as a WR than Hines.

    Thanks Hines, loved having you on my team. Enjoy your retirement.

  42. thomasjonesbicep

    I think it had more to do with the poor defensive game plan.

    They couldn’t get pressure with a four man rush, and LeBeau wouldn’t blitz.

    Any QB–even an admittedly awful one–can care up a secondary when there’s no pressure.

    The lack of pressure probably had something to do with the 4 injuries to the front 7.

    I give Denver credit for being ready to play, but they really lucked out with the injuries to Pitt’s D line.

    Pitt had only 3 healthy D lineman, which guarantees that they will get tired. They clearly were able to produce no pass rush.

    LeBeau should have changed up the game plan, and given Taylor some help. That was easily Taylor’s worst game of his career. He’s never looked that bad playing against future HOF receivers, let alone scrubs.

  43. Maybe he will be able to get a job in a night club. You know, where he can sucker punch all the drunks he wants.
    Sorry, his cheap shots will not be missed.

  44. All this talk about being such a great blocker. Running downfield looking for a guy to blow up who is looking the other way isn’t my definition of a great blocker.

    ” It will be the rare case when a wide receiver’s ability to hit somebody who isn’t looking plays a major role in the discussion.”

    Last line of the article fixed for accuracy.

  45. I always liked Ward. Respected his toughness. But, wow, did I ever get tired of them showing him on the sidelines every two minutes last night. He wasn’t even doing anything, but they apparently had decided he was their designated “concerned player.” A little of that goes a long way and we saw Ward about 10 times too often.

  46. Brian Billick’s ringing endorsement, “I HATE that guy…but I’d love to have him on my team” is one I always think about when it comes to Hines Ward. Tough player. Smart player. Borderline dirty, but he did it within the rules, player. Determined, not just WILLING run blocker, even though he was considerably small in stature compared to many of the men he blocked. If you had a team full of Hines Wards you would have a handful of rings. And this is from a life-long, die-hard Browns fan.

    I wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavors, Mr. Ward. Also, a poll I started 2 years ago on a forum, 72% said you deserved to be in the Hall. Respect.

  47. omments (You may use HTML tags for style) @Deb—-Avg production from a receiver that made his mark on questionable hitting. —that’s what his fellow players say..not only my opinion.

    As far as watching the game if you been following Steeler football he’s not even close to the best reciever they’ve had..

    So uhh..HOF? No ma’am

  48. Everyone, STOP with the “one of only 8 guys with 1000 receptions” b.s. In 5 years, he’ll be one of 20. In 10, he’ll be one of 50. Cris Carter and Tim Brown are TWO of the current 8, and they’re not in yet. So, please, take a breath, and relax. Was he very good? Yes. Was he great? Sometimes. Is he a HOFer? I don’t think so, but since you Steeler fans think that Lynn Swann is a HOFer with only 336 receptions, then I guess I can understand your amazement (Stallworth too with ‘only’ 537 receptions, and he’s more worthy than Swann. At least he got to 500, which in the 70s was the benchmark number.) Hell, Stallworth and Swann combined didn’t get to 1000. Why are they in the Hall? Big playoff performances? Hell Deion Branch is a LOCK! But, in this day and age, Hines Ward is not a HOFer.

    Do yourself a favor and put Stanley Morgan’s numbers up against Swann and Stallworth (Yes, I’m a Pat’s fan.). Hines Ward should be your Stanley Morgan argument. He’s got the numbers at the time of his retirement, but he will quickly fall down the ladder because the league will change further, AND he’s not the first, second, or third WR you think about from his era.

    Sorry, but they can’t put EVERYONE at the position from one era into Canton. From Ward’s era, Carter, Brown, TO, Marvin Harrison and Moss are in. Then you have to look at Holt, Isaac Bruce, Larry Fitzgerald, and Wayne. It’ll be hard for Ward to get in with all of his contemporaries let alone the young bucks like Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Roddy White, and AJ Green to follow.

    Sorry, but Ward will not and should not be in the HOF. This statement is NOT a reflection on my respect for him and what he’s done. He was fun to watch. I loved when he cracked a LB (Keith Rivers–keep your head on a swivel, son!). I think he got more pleaure out of that than anything else. But, he is not in the same class as Carter, Brown, Moss, TO, Harrison, or Fitzgerald. He’s just not.

  49. Hines Ward Hall of Famer? Hell no. Derek Mason has similar numbers and 5,000 more yards returning punts and kickoffs. He also blocked for the Titans and Ravens running games. Nobody is even considering Mason a Hall of Famer because every other fan and media base can objectively view their players in the real world.

  50. @Deb,

    Well played.

    Better luck next year. Oh, Good luck tonight. I am not sa tide fan either. Never been a Saban fan.

  51. @ Deb

    HOF voters don’t give a rats ass about WR blocking. They just don’t. I completely understand what you are saying, but it just won’t be a factor. Ya know who else has been a pretty good blocker at WR over his career? Chad Johnson. But, no one will look at that when they assess his career credentials.

    Here’s another example from a different sport. Dwight Evans of the Red Sox. He has similar offensive numbers to Jim Rice, but he has 8 Gold Gloves to Rice’s zero. Voters never even LOOKED at Evans’ defensive prowess to get him over the hump. You could argue that Evans was the more complete player over Rice just like you can argue that Ward was more complete than say T.O. or Moss. He’s just not getting into Canton. I would be shocked if he did based on the history of voters. So, unless the voters have some sort of epiphany, don’t expect to see Ward in a gold jacket unless he gets a job at Century 21 for some reason.

  52. Maybe Ben will “warn” them about cutting Whines too. I mean Ward had his back during that concussion period and all a couple years back.

  53. steelerfanjo says: Jan 9, 2012 11:52 AM

    Sad, but the greatest WR of all time. Yes he is. No one played the game (fully) like him. Now if Bruce Arians would retire!

    This could be the dumbest statement I have ever read on here, or just the dumbest poster.

  54. If Hines is hanging them up, then I better salute the former Dawg star who threw for over 400 yards in a bowl game. This guy did it all in college and became a top WR in the NFL. Hines is a damn good Dawg and a Steeler great.

    As for the Hall, I think he’ll get in. It’ll take a while, though.

  55. He’ll not get in – “legacy” will always mean a lot and after a few years his will be Superbowl (big deal) and cheap shots.

  56. As Ravens fan, I’m going to miss the battles we had with him on the field. Hall of famer for sure.

    P.S. Too bad we couldn’t send him home to retirement instead of Tebow.

  57. Lets see…he is notably famous for his physical play which led to a rule change as it was generally considered dirty by everyone playing…so if he gets in based on that crock then open the doors for Roy Williams and the horsecollar tackle too…

  58. I’d be very surprised if Hines isn’t in Canton. I don’t think he’ll be a first ballot guy, but similar to Shannon Sharpe, he’ll get in five, maybe ten years after retirement.

  59. I watched this guys whole career and I don’t think this is a hall of Famer. He was good. Like a lot of receivers in this league but special, I don’t agree. He is one of the dirtiest players in the league and if he does get in then I hope it takes the next 30 years.

    Glad to see him go. Never a fan and I love that he is ending his career by getting Tebowed. He looked demoralized on the sideline last night.

    Love it. No case of the Monday’s here.

  60. @bcgreg
    It’s nice to read your stuff. Couldn’t agree more. The HOF seems to be a bigger deal to Steelers fans and media. They campaign for HOF status as soon as one makes the pro bowl.

  61. @Deb – no disrespect intended, but I think of Hines as being in the Hall of very good, but not the hall of fame. There is no doubt that he was a outstanding receiver in his time, but I just don’t think that he was the difference maker that should merit the hall of fame. feel the same way about Art Monk as well.

    btw – has anyone seen steelersownyou – i’ve put out an APB.

  62. I hope he retires. I remember seeing Franco play one season in Seattle and that shld not hve happened. Same with Hines. Retire with the team I helped build.

  63. All of u idiots out there…..last nites game has nothing to do with Hines retiring. Grow up. This is about the hardest working and hardest playing wr’s to play the game quitting. Give him his due and let him go into the sunset. He has earned it!

  64. I once thought about cheering for the steelers but then I realized I wasn’t tough enough and as we all know all steeler fans are tough.

  65. My half korean brother. Alot of people thought i looked like hines when i sang karaoke. Even as a ravens fan i think he should get in the hall but as long as ed reed does your introduction speech.

  66. @Deb

    Excellent points made about Ward. Very well said.

    I think he is the best all round receiver ever to play the game.

  67. He is only 1 of 4 Wrs to be named Superbowl MVP. 2 superbowl titles, 1,000 catches. Now those of u saying his numbers aren’t that of Carter, Harrison, etc…don’t forget, Hines played in the Bus era, pound and ground. Not a pass 1st offense. He belongs in the Hall. No doubt.

  68. @patriotsbestteamnever….hmmm superbowl xl, the MVP superbowl….2 long catches, one for a TD to seal the win, the other set up a goal to go situation. Get ur facts straight b4 u post something so stupid. I hate ur guys, but I give Brady his props and whoever else on ur squad that deserves it.

  69. I’m not a Steelers fan, but all you haters have never watched a football game if you talk junk about Ward. The dude was one of the toughest Wideouts to ever put on cleats.He made up for his lack of speed and natural talent with a big heart. Any team in the NFL would have loved for him to suit up.

  70. I love to hate Hines Ward, obviously.

    Objectively, Hines Ward was a good receiver. He knew how to get open, had reliable hands and always had a knack for making key plays for the Steelers.

    Objectively, I agree that Ward will only see the Hall of Fame as a member of the ticket buying public. Numbers aside, at any given point in his career, I don’t think there are many people outside of Pittsburgh that would have said Ward was a top 5 receiver. For two stretches of his career (first with Burress, and then with Holmes) he wasn’t even the most dangerous WR on his team.

    Peter King’s opinion carries about as little weight as possible for me. Peter King is like the Sports Illustrated NCAA bracket. Not only is it wrong, but it’s generally not even close, and the average 5 year old picking by mascots does a better job.

  71. I like Ward. He is a football player who happened to play wide receiver. Many fans of today can only appreciate stats and highlights because that is what the NFL money machine has fed them over the last decade or so. Ward contributed to his team winning even in games where he had minimal catches himself. He was a team leader for the Steelers and always came to play. He was not the fastest receiver in the NFL, didn’t have the best hands of all but he was steady and consistently good. He is the kind of receiver I would want on my team. His hall of fame resume is debatable but he is without a doubt the greatest receiver in Steelers history. It’s a shame the Steelers don’t have some sort of Ring of Honor or team Hall of Fame type thing. He is one guy that should be recognized.

  72. He needs to retire. Last night was thrown at twice and had zero catches. In 2009, had 95 catches for 1167 yards. In 2010, 59 catches for 755 yards. This year the numbers continue to go down. 46 catches for 386 yards. The last time he had those kind of numbers was in 2000. His 3rd year in the league.

  73. @formervikingsfan …

    That’s what his fellow players say? You really are a fool, aren’t you? Your lack of football knowledge is embarrassing. How did you get in here? LOL

    @bunkmcnulty …

    I like to say Nick is an SOB … but he’s our SOB 😉

    @bcgreg & ppdoc13 …

    Considering the backlog of receivers waiting to be inducted, I’d be surprised to see Hines recognized. It just irks me that people don’t understand the value of someone who was such a well-rounded receiver. My personal opinion is that until Chris Carter gets in, no more wideouts should get in.

    @ravensfan4life52 …

    Thanks. I know t-sizzle will be missing him big time 🙂

  74. If John Stworth and Lynn Swann can get in the HOF, then dammit, Hines Ward should get in too………GREAT RUN, 86!!!!!!

    “Here we go Steelers, HERE WE GO!!!!!!”

  75. Can you start your articles with the word “Rumor” instead of “Report”

    Everything you punched into the keyboard was based off of a complete rumor and you couldn’t even cite the source of the rumor in the article.

    Amateur bloggers.

  76. Did someone hack into the PFT website and post a headline from 3 years ago? Could of sworn i haven’t seen this guy on the field in a few years.

  77. It’s great that Hines Ward could block but he wasn’t such a threat that he could line up and take a safety and corner completely out of run support without touching either one of them.

  78. A good football player but not a Hall of Famer. He never dominated games like Hall of Fame players do. If Chris Carter has struggled to get the votes to be in the Hall of Fame, no way I can see Ward getting in.

    He was a compiler of numbers over a long career and never dominated games. He was probably never the best receiver on his team Burress and Wallace were more of a threat then Ward ever was.

    If Reid (Buffalo Bills) isn’t in no way Ward gets in.

  79. And I thought RAY threw him a retirement party he’ll never forget their last meeting. GO RAVENS!

  80. Hines is not the greatest receiver of all time. He’s not even close.

    But he might be one of the greatest football players of all time.

    He put up respectable numbers without guys like Peyton Manning, Joe Montana or Steve Young throwing to him, but that’s all secondary as far as I’m concerned.

    He’s the only WR that has ever been asked to block defensive ends. And I know there is no stat for blocks, but it shows how complete of a player he is.

    Hines did everything that any other receiver has done plus everything that any other football player has done.

    T.O. and Moss were WAY better receivers, but who would you rather have on your team? The guy who will and can do anything to help win? Or the guy who will quit on his team and be a locker-room distraction?

    Those guys were great at catching the ball and making big plays, but there’s a reason that they each played for several teams and not just one–they weren’t football players. They were just receivers. They didn’t want to do anything else but run and catch, and when they were asked to do anything else, they caused problems.

    I’d take Randy Moss on my fantasy team over Ward 1 million times. But I guarantee a coach like Belichick would take Ward over a distraction like Moss.

    With that being said, Carter HAS to get in first.

  81. Great Player.

    Never went down on first contact.

    Dragged many players all over the place.

    Great hands.

    Good speed when younger.

    Great clutch player.

    Brutal blocker, best of all – time.

    Pound for pound, strong and physical as any receiver.

    Smart.

    Total heart.

    In the “dictionary” they should a picture beside the definition of “NFL PLayer”

    Love you Hines.

    PS: Enjoy your next “Life’s Work”

  82. @ jkearse2005

    I didn’t say best receiver, I said best all round receiver. Catching deep balls, short, over the middle in traffic. Running after the catch. Great blocking, never taking plays off. He can pass too.

  83. As a Ravens fan, naturally, I can’t stand this guy. However, he did have a good career and he would’ve been a good fit in Baltimore all these years.

    Hall of Fame? No… Hall of very good is more like it. If Chris Carter, Andre Reed, Tim Brown, etc can’t get in, being an above average receiver and good blocker doesn’t put you over the hump.

    Just more bad news for Steeler Nation today. Sorry folks!

  84. One of the great possession receivers. If give him a look for the HOF. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure he caught 1000 yards in 3 straight seasons with three different quarterbacks. Great blocker and has 2 superbowls.

  85. One of the great possession receivers. If give him a look for the HOF. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure he caught 1000 yards in 3 straight seasons with three different quarterbacks. Great blocker and has 2 superbowls.

  86. One of the toughest receivers to ever play. Pure heart. I think he gets in the hall of fame. It’ll probably take a long time, but I think he gets in.

  87. @DEB As usual You nailed it. Fans today think football is like a playstation video game where QB’s throw for 350 yards a game, and receivers get 100 yards every game.

    Theres a reason Hines is only the 8th WR in footlball history to get 1000 receptions. Its because at this moment in time its a huge accomplishment. Thats “8”, not 100, not 50 not even 25, only 8 al time. 15 years from now there will probably be 25-30 receivers with 1000 receptions, simply because of the current rule changes.

    You can have your Randy Moss’s with all his yards, but who takes off half a game by not running his whole route, simply because the ball isnt being thrown to him.

    I want a receiver who runs his routes regardless of getting the ball thrown to him, a receiver who isnt afraid to go across the middle, (when going across the middle meant the possibility of being destroyed by a linebacker or a DB, because the term “Defenseless Receiver” didnt exist yet) I’ll take a receiver who gets hit but hangs on, a receiver who fights for extra yardage, a reciever who isnt afraid to block a linebacker or a DB.

    In short I’d take a receiver like Hines Ward over many of the primadonna recievers in this new game. Hines never took a play off, never shyed away from taking on a linebacker, and who made defensive backs complain because they werent used to a receiver hitting them harder then they could hit.

    In the next fewdecades a lot of offensive records will be a joke, due to Goodells areana style rules. But right now, under the rules hines had to play in, on a running first team, Hines is a true ALL around receiver.

    As many before have said, hate him when he is on the other team, but you would have loved him if he was on yours.

    We all can hate on our rivals, but a true fan recognizes elite players, and gives them their due regardless of who they played for. For those of you who cant be objective, just go sit on the bench with the rest of the “Homer” fans, because your opinions dont mean jack to those of us who understand the game.

  88. I hope he gets smoked by a drunk diver on his way to the unemployment line. Absolute trash. Karma will catch up to him 5 years down the road when he can’t talk or piss without a catheter.

  89. @ koenig61

    Randy Moss took plays off? Never saw that. [That’s sarcasm].

    Hines Ward was a very good all around WR, but he is not a HOFer and not “elite”. You say that a true fan recognizes their rival and gives them their due credit. Just because I don’t think Ward is HOFer doesn’t mean, as a Pats fan, that I don’t recognize what he’s done. Also, fans of teams have to stop overrating their own players too. That’s the other side of the spectrum too. You can say what you prefer (Ward over Moss), but that doesn’t make what you prefer a HOFer.

    And, I’m with Deb. Until Cris Carter gets in, then no more WRs get in.

  90. Canton will be tough for Hines but two SB rings and one MVP *might* help. Playing for the Steelers will surely hurt him now that Swann and Stallworth are finally (and rightfully) in the HOF.

    Among his contemporaries who entered the league within 3-4 years of Ward, Isaac Bruce, Marvin Harrison, and Terrell Owens rank ahead of Ward in both receptions and yards. Randy Moss and Torry Holt rank ahead of him in yards.

    Other contemporaries entering in the same time frame who rank behind Ward in both receptions and yards (as of today) include Derrick Mason, Reggie Wayne, Donald Driver, Steve Smith (CAR), Chad (Johnson) Ochocino, Rod Smith and Muhsin Muhammad.

    Then there are those who are climbing both lists who entered the league more than 3-4 years after Ward: Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Andre Johnson.

    Ward will be up against a crowded field of receivers with more dazzling statistics. There is an argument to be made that Ward might have been the single biggest factor in changing the value teams put blocking skills at WR – not just downfield but at the line of scrimmage. Ward did it so well and so aggressively that the league changed the rules because of him. Keith Rivers, Rod Woodson and Ed Reed might not like blind side blocks, but Ward played to win on every play. Period.

    Perhaps that will be the greatest asset he carries over most of the rest of these WRs: Ward is a football player who plays WR. He brings his best on every play in every game, puts the team first, has never been a prima donna, and has never been a distraction like some of these other clowns. Sure, he might actually shed tears when he loses a big game, but that just proves his heart and determination are true.

  91. Hines was the best wr in the AFC North for alot of yrs. All of those other guys like Stinko and whosyourmamma from Cinn and noone from cleve and maybe someone from the ravens could not hold his jock. Good Luck Hines

  92. @Deb
    Yes , they do. And if you got your football news/takes from anywhere other then Steeler nation you’d see that..
    Not a HOF’er period.
    You’re a Steelers homer, nothing more, and like most Steeler homers you think every player that’s ever been on your roster is a first ballot HOf’er. They’re not, Ward is not.
    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news..

    PS: #1 defense against the pass? El oh El 🙂

  93. @koenig61 …

    Great comments. And you’re right about fans of the game recognizing great players regardless of rivalries. Was watching the Ravens w/my family during the holidays and Ed Reed was on screen. My 10-year-old nephew asked who he was. I said, “Ed Reed, the best in the league at his position.” My brother gave me a dirty look, said something about getting me a purple jersey, and asked if I’d forgotten Troy. I said “They don’t play the same position.” My little nephew immediately said, “Oh, he’s a free safety.” Wonder why the adults can’t grasp the difference so easily? 😀

    Yes, I am getting very tired of Goodell’s arena league. It was a pleasure watching the Giants’ running attack Sunday. Hope they go far.

  94. formervikingfan …

    The Ravens fans on here will tell you I can be objective about my team and others. Or just check out the threads on last night’s game. I’m not saying that Hines will get into the Hall. Frankly, I doubt it. And if you read my previous posts, you know I think your … uh … “former” team’s Chris Carter is much more deserving than Hines. I’m just trying to explain to a football neophyte that receiving used to be about more than making big downfield catches and padding stats. And that’s why some knowledgeable people like Peter King–who has a HOF vote, btw–are pushing him for a spot.

    As for how Hines is viewed by other players, maybe you need to get out more. I’ve read interviews with a lot of other players–like the Ravens’ Terrell Suggs (the t-sizzle I referenced to Ravens4life52) who respect him so much they don’t want to play us if he can’t be in the lineup because it takes the fun out of the game. Apparently you’re taking your cues from the results of a two-year-old dirtiest player poll that was completed by only around 12 percent of the league’s players–probably the guys who ride the bench and have time to fill out surveys.

  95. @Deb

    Fair enough Deb, however our whole back & forth started because I said Ward is no HOF’er..then you lashed out at me..

    Personally not a fan of Goodell’s “arena league” style either..ie: whinny Pats recievers flopping around after every dropped ball motioning for a flag, Brady screaming at refs for a roughing flag if a defender even looks at him wrong, players flopping etc etc..

    Just said Ward is not HOF, nothing more. As someone said above “Hall of very good” yes..Carter too. personally don’t think either should be there. Apparently the committee agrees with me so far on Carter, and I reckon they will agree with me on Ward..
    Time will tell.
    Peace.

  96. Ward fans and haiters alike, we should all go celebrate an end to his career. Let the beer flow and let the good times roll! Perhaps, with a little luck, one of us will send him his good karma on the way home?

  97. So many people saying mean things about Ward. What if he reads this? All he’ll have to comfort him are his friends and family, his millions of dollars, his Super Bowl rings, his Super Bowl MVP award, his elite status among all time reception leaders, and the countless loyal Steeler fans who adore him. How are any of those things going to make him feel better when he finds out that people on the internet think he’s just a “cheap shot artist” and that he “isn’t a HOFer?”

  98. @discosucs2005

    You forgot to mention his Dancing with the Stars championship. That will surely aid in his lasting enjoyment of life, don’t you think?

  99. @discosucs2005 says:Jan 11, 2012 7:55 PM

    So many people saying mean things about Ward. What if he reads this? All he’ll have to comfort him are his friends and family, his millions of dollars, his Super Bowl rings, his Super Bowl MVP award, his elite status among all time reception leaders, and the countless loyal Steeler fans who adore him. How are any of those things going to make him feel better when he finds out that people on the internet think he’s just a “cheap shot artist” and that he “isn’t a HOFer?”
    =================================

    We don’t care how he feels and he is not a HoFer.

  100. @dexterismyhero

    He’s probably not going into the Hall, but it’s a pretty stupid accolade. I love it when the same people (almost everyone) who talk about how stupid the Pro Bowl is, get into huge heated debates about the Hall of Fame.

    I think Ward should get in as a football player. I think what determines Hall of Fame shouldn’t be purely statistical, but how much a player meant to his team. Ward’s numbers in some areas are lower than his contemporaries, but he played in a very different offense. He’d probably have more touchdowns if he didn’t play with Jerome Bettis for so long, and he’d probably have more yards if…he didn’t play with Jerome Bettis for so long. Just like Randy Moss would never be a HOFer in a million years if he stayed with the Raiders. There can be good WRs in any offense, but there can only be good statistical WRs in a few.

  101. Hines Ward needs to come to Cleveland. He’s way better then anything we have. He plants seeds of success. If he wants to play.. he may need to go elsewhere, but unless he’s banged up instead of underutilized, then keep going Bro.
    Steelersnation will never abandon you or your legacy if you go somewhere else. It’s a business first and sport second. Don’t let them make decisions for you… but if YOU feel it’s time, then pound the nail in the wall and hang em’ up. If not… and you Love the game… and are healthy… then why not? Joe Montana and Marcus Allen both played for the Kansas City Chiefs and those guys were winners and tried to make them a winner and from what I have read, neither have any regrets.
    Hines.
    Don’t deny us the chance to see you shine on.
    Leave by choice.. not by decisions that are on the business end.
    Good Luck !

  102. Dirty or not he plays hard. Guys know they better be paying attention when he is on the field. He is getting older and just not what he used to be. (like all of us) HOF or not he won’t soon be forgotten.

  103. He does not play dirty. Please. You all cheer when a defensive player takes somebody down hard especially when they don’t see it coming or when a blocker totally annihilates someone on a kickoff return especially when the person being annihilated doesn’t see it coming. Hines took hundreds if not thousands of hits coming across the middle. He is one tough man.

    So many blind rabid jealous haters on this site. Grow up.

  104. Rodney Harrison disagreed with the poll’s dirtiest player — Hines Ward. “Hines Ward, he’s an offensive Rodney Harrison,” Rodney said. “Hines Ward is a guy who plays the game truly the way it’s supposed to be played.”

    As far as the poll itself I have to laugh. 18 percent of the players voted and Ward received 11 percent of the 18 percent. So in other words he received what accounts to the votes of around 2 percent of the players. What a joke .

  105. 1. Ward is HOF bound- no matter what;
    2. Roethlisberger ought to be cut but who’d take the loser now?
    3. Tebow isn’t worthy to touch the shoe laces of Hines Ward- if YOU are stupid enough to credit frankenstein Tebow with winning in OT the steelers, then please, see if he ever does that again in the NFL. Never again.
    4. Ward has suffered from an oaf moronic QB who can easily see a wide open Ward and ought of priggish selfishness wouldn’t throw a pass.
    5. Ward has been burdened with an oaf of a QB who has a skill of MORE INCOMPLETE passes- simply uncatchable passes during games.
    6. Steelers fall and fade away has ZERO to do With Hines Ward.
    7. If Ward wants to be a Steeler let him Gosh darn that franchise doesn’t have any star quality players in the news but HINES WARD.

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