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Ward’s spot in Canton should be a matter of when not if

HinesWard22912 Getty Images

With receiver Hines Ward retiring after 14 NFL seasons, all with the Steelers, the obvious question becomes whether he has done enough to secure a bronze bust in Canton.  Surprisingly, plenty of fans presume he has no shot, given an ever-growing logjam of wideout whose numbers have been pumped up by a proliferation of passing.

But Ward’s credentials include something the Andre Reeds and Cris Carters and Tim Browns and (in time) Terrell Owens and Randy Mosses don’t:  a Super Bowl ring.  More accurately, two of them.  (Having a Super Bowl MVP trophy doesn’t hurt, either.)

The fact that he generated 1,000 receptions (eighth on the all-time list) for 12,083 yards (18th) and 85 touchdowns (13th) despite playing for a team that doesn’t exactly air it out makes his numbers more impressive.

Them there’s the fact that Ward has more career catches that Steelers Hall of Fame wideouts John Stallworth and Lynn Swann, combined.

Throw in a reputation for being a tenacious blocker with an infectious smile and no inclination to act like a diva, and Ward becomes a legitimate candidate for Canton.

In the end, the rings likely will make the difference.  Championship teams tend to be well represented in the Hall of Fame, and Ward was one of the biggest contributors to the Steelers teams that got the elusive “one for the thumb” and then started on the other hand, or other appendages.

It may not happen on the first try, but Ward has done enough for his team and for the game to deserve a spot alongside Stallworth and Swann and the other Steelers great who will forever be honored and remembered.

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111 Responses to “Ward’s spot in Canton should be a matter of when not if”
  1. raidadon says: Mar 20, 2012 1:25 PM

    Ravens will celebrate wards retirement. Hines delivered som slobber knockers on them steelers

  2. bhcpaul1989 says: Mar 20, 2012 1:25 PM

    The fact Carter is not in is BS. The guy caught passes from Wade Wilson, Sean Salisbury early on, not exactly good QB’s and still put up spectacular numbers.

    Just because people say he was an A** doesn’t take away what he did on the field.

  3. savocabol1 says: Mar 20, 2012 1:25 PM

    You have to love the new age attitude that anyone who won a super bowl should be in the hall of fame…

  4. Sandra Lee's Cans says: Mar 20, 2012 1:26 PM

    They’re opening up a tool section?

  5. raqaiw says: Mar 20, 2012 1:27 PM

    SBs don’t mean jack when it comes to WRs. Stats do. The only ones SBs count for when it comes to HOF selection are coaches/GMs/owners and QBs. Facts are facts, Ward was extremely durable, and on a popular team that was very good over a period of time, but he was not a HOF WR. 13th and 18th in yards and TDs are not HOF worthy. The ONLY WR stat he’s top 10 in is receptions, and he’s only 8th in that. Not hating on dude, he just was great. The Hall of Very Good should be inducting him soon though.

    http://www.profootballresearchers.org/HOVG.htm

  6. scoops1 says: Mar 20, 2012 1:28 PM

    I hope het gets in before carter

  7. kurtzimmer says: Mar 20, 2012 1:28 PM

    Actually, I’d say it’s 30% If, 25% When, and 45% WGAF!

  8. icdogg says: Mar 20, 2012 1:28 PM

    no one gives a crap

  9. discosucs2005 says: Mar 20, 2012 1:28 PM

    It’s pretty simple: should the HoF be based totally or mostly on numbers? There are legitimate arguments for both sides, but I think that is the actual question that needs to be answered.

  10. dboskie says: Mar 20, 2012 1:29 PM

    I like the Steelers, but Ward is not a Hall of Famer in my book. He played in the passing era and while he has more career receptions than both Swan and Stallworth, so do other high-end receivers. He was never at any point a top 5 wideout in this league and even though I love how he plays, a smile and good blocking don’t cut it for me. Need more than that to be a hall of famer. He wasn’t a game changer in my mind. He probably will get in, but if I had a vote I would have to say “NO”.

  11. richardhurtz says: Mar 20, 2012 1:30 PM

    If Ward makes the Hall of Fame, you might as well rename it the Hall of Good.

    Ward was not a game breaker. Nobody game planned for or double teamed Ward. He didn’t scare defenses (except when he took cheap shots at guys away from the play). Those championship rings were won by the defense, not Ward.

    He is only 35 years old and has been forced out of the league. Real Hall of Famers like Jerry Rice were still going to Pro Bowls at that age!

    Ward belongs in the Steelers Ring of Honor but not in the Hall of Fame.

  12. cakemixa says: Mar 20, 2012 1:30 PM

    He especially deserves to be in because of his recent DUI.

  13. youngry says: Mar 20, 2012 1:30 PM

    No, he was a good player but never great, but he’ll get in simply because he was a Steeler.

    Meanwhile great players like Andre Reed, Tim Brown and Cris Carter have to pander to the sports writers that hold the keys to Canton.

    The HOF process is deeply flawed.

  14. oumoonunit says: Mar 20, 2012 1:30 PM

    I say yes, but he won’t get in until he is in his 70 or dead. With his numbers, although they are impressive, there will continually be people with better numbers in the conversation. Rings help, but we have all seen how hard it is for WR’s to get in these days.

  15. borderrivals says: Mar 20, 2012 1:31 PM

    If Ward is a HOF-er, then Cris Carter needs to be in too. Ward was a very good, team player. But, he was not an elite WR that opposing teams feared. Considering the difficulty some WR’s are having in getting in to the HOF, I think Ward might be in for a wait.

  16. 1bbfan says: Mar 20, 2012 1:32 PM

    As a Bills fan I have always had a great deal of respect for Hines Ward.It really is rediculouse how anti Steeler fan can not come to grips with the fact that he is one of the toughest WR/player to ever put on a helmet.That beieng said..Why the hell is’nt Andre Reed in all ready ?

  17. mrizzo44 says: Mar 20, 2012 1:32 PM

    Yes, he’s definitely a HOF’er.

    I don’t get why people hate him so much. Just because he blows people up? Shouldn’t we WANT WR’s to lay people out?

  18. richardhurtz says: Mar 20, 2012 1:32 PM

    PS- If Chris Carter (whom anyone who knows the game will tell you was a much better WR than Ward ever was) is having trouble getting in, how in the heck can you justify Ward getting in?

    I’m guessing Ward must be a friend of the site and many of the negitive comments about him will be deleted soon….

  19. folkcrusader says: Mar 20, 2012 1:32 PM

    You are making up measures. The most important historically is “was he ever the best at his position”? The answer for Hines is clearly no, in fact it’s difficult to place him at better then the 5th best receiver in his best season. The superbowl rings are nice, but one win is tainted and the MVP he was given simply because his rookie QB sucked that day.

    Stat accumulators do not automatically qualify for the HoF. If he had played for the Carolina Panthers and had the same stats you wouldn’t even be suggesting he belongs in the hall.

  20. jenniferxxx says: Mar 20, 2012 1:33 PM

    He’s had a stellar career … and really seems like a stand-up guy. But it’s very hard to excuse those blindside, off-the-play, designed-to-injure blocks he used to throw. Especially in this day and age where you can hardly touch a WR.

    It’s like that old political joke … “You kiss a million babies and no one cares, but take one little bribe … “

  21. fancyleague says: Mar 20, 2012 1:34 PM

    Anyone who made Ravens fans this nutsy deserves to be in the Hall.

    The #1 form of employment in Maryland is clicking the thumbs down button on PFT articles about Hines Ward.

  22. sackofnuts says: Mar 20, 2012 1:34 PM

    But Ward’s credentials include something the Andre Reeds and Cris Carters and Tim Browns and (in time) Terrell Owens and Randy Mosses don’t:

    A Dancing with the stars championship

  23. redguy12588 says: Mar 20, 2012 1:34 PM

    Damn straight

  24. danielcp0303 says: Mar 20, 2012 1:35 PM

    Not a Hall of Famer

  25. abgroove says: Mar 20, 2012 1:35 PM

    Hines is definitely the best Steeler wide receiver of all time and he should definitely go into the Hall of Fame. And, yes, I saw Swann and Stallworth play.

  26. natigator says: Mar 20, 2012 1:40 PM

    If Tim Brown, Andre Reed, and Cris Carter are not in the Hall, Hines Ward shouldn’t be either.

    If you give Ward the nod for his Super Bowl rings, you have to knock him for all the cheap shots and dirty play he did as well.

    He will probably get in far sooner than he should, and while I think he is probably a HoFer he should be waiting in line

  27. southpaw2k says: Mar 20, 2012 1:42 PM

    The question of whether Hines Ward is a Hall of Famer comes down to a simple question: Was he, at any point in his career, one of the five best wide receivers currently playing in the game? How did he stack up against the likes of Moss, Owens, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, Fitzgerald, Marvin Harrison, Joe Horn, and Steve Smith? He never led the league in receiving yards (2002 was the closest he ever came and he finished 4th), nor did he lead the league in touchdown receptions in any season (finished 2nd in 2002). He’s the wide receiver equal to Curtis Martin – he had a productive career that led to him winning two championships, but he’s not one of the league’s elite receivers for his career.

    That’s not to say he doesn’t belong in the pantheon of great Steelers of all time; that’s an entirely different argument. He definitely is one of the most memorable Steelers ever, along with Swann, Harris, Mean Joe Green, Bradshaw, Bettis, and Lambert.

  28. olskool711 says: Mar 20, 2012 1:42 PM

    Hall of Good- Yes
    Hall of Very Good- Maybe, Possibly
    Hall of Fame – Only in today’s society. He’s no Hall of Famer. No way.

  29. bigjd says: Mar 20, 2012 1:42 PM

    Cheap shot hall of fame 1st timer.

  30. kane337 says: Mar 20, 2012 1:42 PM

    “The fact that he generated 1,000 receptions (eighth on the all-time list) for 12,083 yards (18th) and 85 touchdowns (13th) despite playing for a team that doesn’t exactly air it out makes his numbers more impressive.”

    Umm, the Steelers throw it all the time. What games have you been watching since 2004?

  31. wverticelli says: Mar 20, 2012 1:43 PM

    I have to wonder about of many of you football fans. Everyday I read hundreds of completly absurd statements. I wonder if you really know anything about the NFL at all.

    H

  32. YouMadCauseImStylingOnYou says: Mar 20, 2012 1:44 PM

    It brings me great joy the last time I saw Hines Ward on the field he was being concussed by Ray Lewis, a real Hall of Fame player.

    Hines Ward is not, and never will be a Hall of Famer.

  33. kane337 says: Mar 20, 2012 1:44 PM

    Not a Hall of Famer.

  34. morm3993 says: Mar 20, 2012 1:47 PM

    Nobody ever worried about whether or not they needed to double cover Hines Ward.

    His numbers are a result of longevity, not greatness.

    If Hines Ward gets in, then why not Rod Smith for the Broncos? Same argument, longevity and super bowl wins – not greatness, not the fear that he will beat you unless you double team him.

    T.O. and Moss tore up the league, Ward never did. People feared Moss and TO. Nobody feared Ward doing anything other than blocking with a smile. TO and Moss required double teams. Ward never did.

  35. wverticelli says: Mar 20, 2012 1:48 PM

    Hines Ward. Above average wide reciever. good football player. He was a wheel in the cog, not a transendent talent, or a championship catalyst.

    I really believe that many people have zero perspective on the NFL. Many of you wouldn’t know Paul Warfield from your ass. Yet you speak of hallof fame credentials.

    Get some persepctive.

  36. ahs2 says: Mar 20, 2012 1:48 PM

    When they open the “Hall of Good” annex, he’s a shoo-in…not good enough for Canton, though.

  37. lovestheravens says: Mar 20, 2012 1:49 PM

    as a Raven fan, he is the man I love to hate the most, but he is a very good (or was in his prime) wide receiver but to me, he was never considered the best at the position. I think he has been more of a stat accumulator rather than a dynamic player. I think his game was good all around, but he was never the kind of guy that was pegged as the best in the league. Swann and Stallworth dont really belong in the Hall either, but that is just my opinion. They were just the lucky recipients of being on one of the best teams ever, and being at the right place at the right time for a few fortunate catches. Swann and Stallworth are a different discussion, different day. Hines Ward may make it in, but he is very borderline at best.

  38. mac3333 says: Mar 20, 2012 1:51 PM

    Not good enough for the HOF.

    Tim Brown, Cris Carter & Andre Reed were all WAY better than Ward.

    Put Ward on a mediocre franchise and he’s an afterthought.

  39. Keyser Söze says: Mar 20, 2012 1:51 PM

    I believe that phrase I’ve heard from the selection commitee members who will go on record is that they use the following criteria:

    “Can you tell the story of the NFL without this person?”

    …and the answer with regards to Mr Ward is… YES

  40. truthfactory says: Mar 20, 2012 1:51 PM

    Please dont confuse a WR with longevity and steady production with a H.O.F. career.

    He never dominated his position. He was a good reciever for a long time. Great career, but falls short of H.O.F

  41. melikefootball says: Mar 20, 2012 1:53 PM

    Way deserves it beforde C Carter, he won SB’s and was MVP. Was way more a team player and could not only catch but block. Played on a team mostly known to run the ball yet still had a lot of yeards. All around good player and should be in the HOF.

  42. ningenito78 says: Mar 20, 2012 1:53 PM

    I’m not Steeler fan but the guy is a lock for the HOF. He resembles the old school era of player with the stats of the new age pass happy NFL. Lock.

  43. purplecitybirdgang52 says: Mar 20, 2012 1:55 PM

    It will take him a couple years IF he makes it Ray Lewis will get in the hof before him easily

  44. spedman24 says: Mar 20, 2012 1:58 PM

    Hines Ward is in no way a hall of famer

  45. footballfan01 says: Mar 20, 2012 1:58 PM

    For those of you who believe that only statistics should get a person into the HOF, my rebuttal is simply “Pat Tillman”. He definitely should be inducted.

  46. bostongiant says: Mar 20, 2012 2:06 PM

    Can we stop using the “Ward has more career catches than John Stallworth and Lynn Swann, combined” argument? Do you know who else does? Derrick Mason and Keenan McCardell.

    Ward shouldn’t be compared with 2 receivers who played over 30 years ago just because he wore the same uniform.

  47. scrapingthefloorioforstorios says: Mar 20, 2012 2:08 PM

    “future hall of famer” is the most over-used term in sports. especially for wide receivers- it is meaningless. ward, i think, is not even close to being in. he’s like donald driver. long career and beloved, but not elite.

  48. hardpeaches says: Mar 20, 2012 2:08 PM

    Absolutely, unequivocally not a Hall of Famer. This mushy gushy pitch proves that. No one who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame needs a gooey fluff piece to get them in there. Stick to rumor mongering.

  49. pskotte says: Mar 20, 2012 2:08 PM

    Voted “Dirtiest player in the league” by his NFL player peers (fact). If Hall of Fame credentials include sportsmanship and character, he is disqualified.

  50. cscfriarbob says: Mar 20, 2012 2:09 PM

    Whines Hard should be in the Hall of SHAME, not the Hall of Fame.

  51. leksington says: Mar 20, 2012 2:10 PM

    2 Words for you: Jimmy Smith

    -2 super bowl rings (as many as hines)
    -Nine 1000+ yard season (ward had only 6)
    -Had more career receiving yards than Ward (in 2 fewer years).
    -5 Pro Bowls (to ward’s 4)
    -Averaged 14.3 yards/reception (to Ward’s 12.1)
    -69 yards/game (to Ward’s 55.7)

    If Jimmy Smith can’t get a sniff at Canton, neither should Hines Ward. Sorry Steelers fans.

  52. gbaird25 says: Mar 20, 2012 2:11 PM

    Where to begin?

    There is not a single season in Ward’s career in which he was among the 5 best receivers in the NFL. The fact that Tim Brown even has to be compared to Hines Ward is pretty ridiculous.

    And what does his stupid smile have to do with anything?

  53. sparky151 says: Mar 20, 2012 2:13 PM

    Hines Ward isn’t remotely a Hall of Fame player. There are already too many players who have bootstrapped themselves into the HoF based on team achievements. Ward was mvp because Roethlisberger was terrible that game. Usually the winning QB gets the award but Ben had a stinker. Ward’s big play was also a gift from the refs who tried to figure out if BR was past the line of scrimmage when he threw the ball instead of flagging the O-line for being downfield as ineligible receivers on the scramble.

  54. sbxxix says: Mar 20, 2012 2:14 PM

    raqaiw says:
    Mar 20, 2012 1:27 PM
    SBs don’t mean jack when it comes to WRs. Stats do. The only ones SBs count for when it comes to HOF selection are coaches/GMs/owners and QBs. Facts are facts, Ward was extremely durable, and on a popular team that was very good over a period of time, but he was not a HOF WR. 13th and 18th in yards and TDs are not HOF worthy. The ONLY WR stat he’s top 10 in is receptions, and he’s only 8th in that. Not hating on dude, he just was great. The Hall of Very Good should be inducting him soon though.

    http://www.profootballresearchers.org/HOVG.htm

    ————————————————-

    He won a Super Bowl MVP. That right there should automatically place a guy with “questionable” stats in the HOF. He has accomplished a lot more than some HOF WRs. Just because a guy is not top 10 in multiple categories doesn’t mean he’s not a HOFer. I would rather have a guys with one top 10 stat with a SB MVP than a guys who crushes all stats with no SB because at the end of the day these players get paid to win SBs and not stats and good numbers in the postseason is way better than good numbers in the reg season. Ward was that guy. He stepped up when he had to and never heard him B**** about anything.

  55. s1366050 says: Mar 20, 2012 2:16 PM

    If you make Hines ward a HOFer, then you are going to have to expand the building in canton to the size of an airport terminal. There are probably 10-15 receivers ahead of him during the same time frame, and only 3-5 will/should get in.

  56. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Mar 20, 2012 2:23 PM

    Hines Ward doesn’t pass the eye test. Nobody ever gameplanned to stop Hines Ward. He was a better than average player for a while who hung around long enough to amass a lot of receptions and he happened to play on a team that was good enough to win a couple of Super Bowls. I will grant that he is one of the all-time great self-promoters.

  57. bullcharger says: Mar 20, 2012 2:25 PM

    There is a long list of WR not in the hall yet that need to go ahead of Hines.

    Terrell Owens
    Isaac Bruce
    Tim Brown
    Randy Moss
    Marvin Harrison
    Cris Carter
    Torry Holt

    Considering there are are only 17 pure WR in the hall as of now that’s way too many guys ahead of Hines for him to get in any time soon.

  58. thapurrinlion says: Mar 20, 2012 2:28 PM

    Torry Holt in 12 seasons: 920 Receptions , 13,382 yards, 74 TDs, 1 ring, 7 pro bowls, only receiver in NFL history to post six consecutive years of 1,300 yards receiving.

    Isaac Bruce in 16 seasons: 1024 receptions, 15,208 yards, 91 TDs, 1 ring, 4 pro bowls

    Not sure how Ward would be a lock while these two from “The greatest show on turf” wouldn’t be considered.

  59. steeelfann says: Mar 20, 2012 2:28 PM

    The reason Ward ranks above the Cris Carters and the Andre Reeds of the world:

    -People forget all the running plays he was involved in. He ran the ball alot of times some years out of the backfield and on pitches. The aforementioned do not compare.

    -He has rings, they do not.
    -He was super bowl MVP, they were not
    -He was bone-shattering blocker, perhaps best of all time
    -He threw far more passes as well than they ever would dream of

    He was big-time clutch and he had the speed needed in his earlier years.

    He also was never cut from a team. Hall of Famers do not get cut. Nobody was tougher and could carry tacklers for extra yards than Hines. The guy is a man on the field and he is a hall of famer.

    Carter and Reed were just in shoot out style offense. Jim Kelly and the Kgun. Minnesota threw constantly with Jake Reed, Moss and Carter. Carter played indoors at home. Had Moss on opposite side to scare defense. Moss is hall of famer. Carter is not. Hines Ward had to survive with Kordell Stewart, Tommy Maddox, and other slugs at QB before Ben got there.

    No contest really. Hines goes, they don’t.

  60. Tyler says: Mar 20, 2012 2:28 PM

    @dboskie and others:

    I don’t think he’s a first-ballot HOF’er.. but to say he’s never even been a top 5 or ‘dominant’ at his position is silly.

    What about the 2002 season? He was 2nd in receptions (behind Marvin Harrison), 2nd in receiving touchdowns (behind TO), and 4th in receiving yards (behind Harrison, Moss, and Toomer) that year. Not bad company if you ask me.

  61. pens5829 says: Mar 20, 2012 2:29 PM

    bigjd says: Mar 20, 2012 1:42 PM

    Cheap shot hall of fame 1st timer.

    *****************************

    Cheap shot HOF’r? No more than Ray Lewis. Only difference between the two is Hines played offense.

  62. dexterismyhero says: Mar 20, 2012 2:29 PM

    Hell, Swann & Stallworth shouldn’t be in the HOF as far as I’m concerned. And Swann got in before Stallworth and JS was better than LS..

    Ward should not be in the HOF.

  63. pens5829 says: Mar 20, 2012 2:31 PM

    sparky151 says: Mar 20, 2012 2:13 PM

    Ward’s big play was also a gift from the refs who tried to figure out if BR was past the line of scrimmage when he threw the ball instead of flagging the O-line for being downfield as ineligible receivers on the scramble.
    **************************

    Let it go Sparky. Let it go.

  64. Deb says: Mar 20, 2012 2:33 PM

    Thank you, Mike. Your article is a reminder that the Hall of Fame is supposed to be about great football players, not just great stat amassers. It’s supposed to be about the impact players made on the game during the era they played. If you want to know the impact Hines made on the game, ask the defenders Hines played against in his prime. The fact that they respected #86 as a blocking threat and always reminded young players to be aware of his presence says everything. He was one of the most complete receivers ever to play the game.

    Wish I had your faith that his service to the league will be recognized by the Hall of Fame, but like you, I believe the HoF voting system needs a serious overhaul. However, Hines leaves the game with two Super Bowl rings, three AFC Championships, a Super Bowl MVP, and the undying love and gratitude of a fiercely loyal fanbase. Not a bad take.

  65. richardhurtz says: Mar 20, 2012 2:34 PM

    I think Hines Ward will get in the Hall of Fame in the same class as Donovan McNabb and Vinny Testaverde.

  66. holeinone09 says: Mar 20, 2012 2:35 PM

    Mike, agree with your analysis. Hines has the credentials to make it into the HOF. Hopefully he will be voted in at some point, since there are many deserving former players.

    Never saw so many lame excuses/opinions from so many people above that can’t be honest about a player’s talent just because he didn’t play for their team.

  67. brainsmasher says: Mar 20, 2012 2:36 PM

    Otis Taylor.

  68. savocabol1 says: Mar 20, 2012 2:37 PM

    I’ll sum up the comments easily. Steelers fans say yes….everyone else says no.

  69. discosucs2005 says: Mar 20, 2012 2:37 PM

    Judging by most of the logic in the comments we should stop the HoF voting entirely and just out in the top people at each position with the best stats.

  70. savocabol1 says: Mar 20, 2012 2:40 PM

    sbxxix says:
    Mar 20, 2012 2:14 PM
    raqaiw says:
    Mar 20, 2012 1:27 PM
    SBs don’t mean jack when it comes to WRs. Stats do. The only ones SBs count for when it comes to HOF selection are coaches/GMs/owners and QBs. Facts are facts, Ward was extremely durable, and on a popular team that was very good over a period of time, but he was not a HOF WR. 13th and 18th in yards and TDs are not HOF worthy. The ONLY WR stat he’s top 10 in is receptions, and he’s only 8th in that. Not hating on dude, he just was great. The Hall of Very Good should be inducting him soon though.

    http://www.profootballresearchers.org/HOVG.htm

    ————————————————-

    He won a Super Bowl MVP. That right there should automatically place a guy with “questionable” stats in the HOF. He has accomplished a lot more than some HOF WRs. Just because a guy is not top 10 in multiple categories doesn’t mean he’s not a HOFer. I would rather have a guys with one top 10 stat with a SB MVP than a guys who crushes all stats with no SB because at the end of the day these players get paid to win SBs and not stats and good numbers in the postseason is way better than good numbers in the reg season. Ward was that guy. He stepped up when he had to and never heard him B**** about anything.

    __________________________________

    You heard it here first folks, sbxxix doesn’t think Dan Marino should be in the HOF because he never won a SB or a SB MVP

  71. bbillsfan01 says: Mar 20, 2012 2:47 PM

    Get in line behind Reed and Carter tough-guy. You ain’t that good

  72. normcfh says: Mar 20, 2012 2:58 PM

    There should never be another receiver added to the HoF until Carter gets in.

  73. goodguyattorney says: Mar 20, 2012 2:59 PM

    Not only should you run spell check, but proof reading your posts will go a long way toward credibility.

  74. pcoz99 says: Mar 20, 2012 3:00 PM

    Absolutely not a HOFer. Who cares he was a good blocker! Thats like saying a LB has good hands. Pitt didnt throw much because Ward isnt Moss. NE barely threw the ball before Moss got there. Ward was a gritty solid ballplayer but not one of the best ever. He never saw a doubleteam in his life and shouldnt see a bust in Canton either.

  75. fancyleague says: Mar 20, 2012 3:01 PM

    Jimmy Smith had zilch to do with those rings he got while with the Cowboys. Without the three SB appearances, two SB victories, and one SB MVP, Ward wouldn’t be going to Canton. They happened though, and he was a huge part of it.

    Hines has stats, rings, and legend. That’s what makes a Hall of Famer.

  76. Steeler's Will says: Mar 20, 2012 3:07 PM

    I don’t think the rings should count, because those were a team effort. The SB MVP, however, should count, because at worst he was the least bad of the winners of SB XL. Like it or not but every Super Bowl has an MVP.

    I think he gets inducted to the Hall eventually, but it won’t be for a long time due to a logjam of more deserving players. Unfortunately I’ll be old and in no mood to log on to PFT and relish the anger. All of you will probably be gone from here anyway. Well, “richardhurtz” will still be here.

  77. godofwine330 says: Mar 20, 2012 3:09 PM

    Funny to hear people say that defenses didn’t scheme for him but he was constantly making catches on third down, so maybe they should have. Being a Browns fan and seeing them twice a year for his entire career, when it was 3rd down I would be like, “It’s going to Hines. It’s going to Hines…DAMN IT!!! They threw it to Hines. First Down. $@%^

    Fans seem split, but it isn’t down the middle as 2/3 of people seem to think he should get in. Me included.

  78. monroviaman says: Mar 20, 2012 3:09 PM

    What you haters seem to ignore is what the receiver position is. Its not just a position where you run a route and catch a ball. You are SUPPOSED to do the other things on the field to help your team when the ball isn’t coming your way i.e. block. Sure most of the great receivers have fantastic numbers, but thats all they contribute on the field. Ward is in every offensive play of every game and he does it with a smile and without crying like many of the current NFL Divas. Most of you Ward haters i would associate with soccer fans, people that don’t like contact. Calling him a cheap-shot…it’s called the NFL. If you don’t like it go watch soccer.

  79. Deb says: Mar 20, 2012 3:11 PM

    normcfh says:

    There should never be another receiver added to the HoF until Carter gets in.
    ————————————————-
    Much as I love Hines, I absolutely do agree with this statement. Carter should have gone in on his first year of eligibility. You could argue that Rice was better during that era. But only Rice. If personality is affecting the vote, then it’s time to get new voters.

  80. jkr32 says: Mar 20, 2012 3:14 PM

    So just so I have this straight Ward is a lock but those other guys with far better numbers aren’t? Got it! Hines Ward is a cheap shotting BITCH with small mans syndrome!

  81. fsf7 says: Mar 20, 2012 3:26 PM

    Over his best years, 2001-2004, Ward had more receptions than anyone in the NFL except for Harrison and Holt. So his production was elite as anyone in the league. (by comparison, take away Emmitt Smiths best 4 year stretch and you have a guy who averaged 16th in the NFL in rushing)

    He was the only receiving option on the 2005 Steelers, commanding double teams, but still managed to stand out in the playoffs and emerge as Super Bowl MVP.

    He is third in consecutive games with a catch, average 85 receptions for over 1000 yards from 2000-2010.

    He is the most physical and best blocking WR of all time.

    He was a great leader, a consummate team player and would bring it hard on every play (the exact opposite of Terrell Owens and Randy Moss)

    People who say he is in the Hall of Very good have no idea what football is all about because THEY CANNOT SEE PAST FANTASY FOOTBALL STATS

  82. quittsburghstoolers says: Mar 20, 2012 3:34 PM

    Sounds like PFT is trying to butter up the Stooler fans again…

  83. monroviaman says: Mar 20, 2012 3:36 PM

    jkr32 says:
    Mar 20, 2012 3:14 PM
    So just so I have this straight Ward is a lock but those other guys with far better numbers aren’t? Got it! Hines Ward is a cheap shotting BITCH with small mans syndrome!

    ————————————————-

    sounds like someone has small mans syndrome of his own

  84. farvite says: Mar 20, 2012 3:41 PM

    A simple NO is the correct response.

  85. canedaddy says: Mar 20, 2012 3:43 PM

    The Hall of Fame is already a joke for overemphasizing Super Bowl rings… putting Ward in there would take it another step (just what Canton needs, another undeserving Steeler).

    It would be nice if the voters would recognize that football is the ultimate team sport and even the greatest player at the most important position (i.e. Marino) can’t will a team to a ring the way, say, Jordan could in basketball, while plenty of mediocre or below average players have rings. In football, a ring is a ridiculous measure of individual achievement or greatness… this should be obvious.

    Instead of talking about Ward, who was never in the top 5 WRs during his entire career, how about putting in guys who dominated or redefined their position but didn’t win a ring… Robert Brazile, Randy Gradishar, Curley Culp, Mick Tingelhoff, etc.

  86. bigbadal21 says: Mar 20, 2012 3:45 PM

    Can you tell the story of the NFL without mentioning his name? Well they made a rule which is called the “Hines Ward rule” There has never been and may never be another wide receiver of his caliber who not only caught the ball but blocked for his team like no other wide out in the history of the game. To say Hines was never double teamed is ludicrous. Of course these statements are from people who sparingly watched the Steelers play. Here’s a list someone posted saying these players were better: Terrell Owens
    Isaac Bruce
    Tim Brown
    Randy Moss
    Marvin Harrison
    Cris Carter
    Torry Holt Not one of these players could sniff the blocking ability of Ward. Being a wide receiver means more than just catching passes.

  87. enutpenfry says: Mar 20, 2012 3:46 PM

    Although a PFT poll is hardly scientific, the fact that the vote is 50/50 means Ward is no Hall of Famer. If Ward’s career is not enough to sway a large majority of football fans, I do not see how there would be sufficient support by the HOF voters. I doubt he’d even become a finalist.

    Winning a Superbowl MVP is not sufficient either, otherwise the HOF would include Jake Scott, Harvey Martin, Jim Plunkett, Phil Simms, Doug Williams, Ottis Anderson, Mark Rypien, Larry Brown, Desmond Howard, and Terrell Davis.

    Ward deserves to be considered an all-time great Steeler, but I doubt they’ll be retiring his number.

  88. dickroy says: Mar 20, 2012 3:54 PM

    I just don’t see how there can be any question whatsoever as to whether Hines is HOF bound.

  89. ssamick says: Mar 20, 2012 4:08 PM

    Are we going to put everybody in the hall? Come on!

  90. sasattack says: Mar 20, 2012 4:08 PM

    Thanks Mike. Finally a pro Steeler stance. It’s concerning though about the HOF that one of its voters Peter King voted for Steve Tasker due to his special teams prowess. Any award voted on by guys in suits, or in Peter’s case khakis and a polo, impacts the integrity. I’m a huge Steelers fan but why is Lynn Swann in HOF and not Cliff Branch?? That’s a disgrace!

  91. leksington says: Mar 20, 2012 4:13 PM

    “Can you tell the story of the NFL without mentioning his name? Well they made a rule which is called the “Hines Ward rule””

    “Not one of these players could sniff the blocking ability of Ward.”
    ———————————————-

    That “Hines Ward” rule was enacted because Ward played so dirty. The “Story of the NFL” you want Ward in for is rules outlawing his dirty play. lol

    Of course those other receivers didn’t want to “sniff” the filth of hines ward blocking ability.

  92. bullcharger says: Mar 20, 2012 4:26 PM

    For those folks who posted justification for why Hines should get in before some of the other guys, they are all good points.

    The problem is a huge selection of all-time great receivers are out there. It’s not going to be a slam dunk at all as they only vote in a WR once every 2-3 years on average.

    Hines might be waiting 20 years or longer.

  93. emperorzero says: Mar 20, 2012 4:29 PM

    I’m not sure Hines Ward is even in the same class as Issac Bruce. he’s more in the Torry Holt class. Good, but not great

  94. gappy92083 says: Mar 20, 2012 4:31 PM

    Keep complaining about his blocks and “dirty Play” but he took just as well as he gave and never bitched about it. Quit your complaining. He was the most well balanced recvr of his time. Sure Randy, and the others ran by everyone but what did they do when the play was on the other side of the field? They took the play off. Not Hines he looked for someone not paying attention “Head on a Swivel people” to lay a hit on or block for a big run. So yes he should be in Canton for all the intangables he provided that do not show up on his excellent WR stats.

  95. raidermon says: Mar 20, 2012 5:11 PM

    Nobody, NOBODY should get in before Calvin Branch. That includes Brown, Reed, and Carter. And… Jimmy Smith??

    Super Bowls XI, XV, and XVIII.

  96. ezwriter69 says: Mar 20, 2012 5:16 PM

    He’s football’s Bert Blyleven… good player, lasted a remarkably long time, but NEVER at any time during his career, ANY time, was he among the absolute elite at his position. He’ll be the last among this crop of receivers, if he ever gets in.

  97. steeltroll says: Mar 20, 2012 5:22 PM

    He’s the most talented Safety and TE to ever play WR. Let ‘im in.

  98. sbxxix says: Mar 20, 2012 5:26 PM

    raqaiw says:
    Mar 20, 2012 1:27 PM
    SBs don’t mean jack when it comes to WRs. Stats do. The only ones SBs count for when it comes to HOF selection are coaches/GMs/owners and QBs. Facts are facts, Ward was extremely durable, and on a popular team that was very good over a period of time, but he was not a HOF WR. 13th and 18th in yards and TDs are not HOF worthy. The ONLY WR stat he’s top 10 in is receptions, and he’s only 8th in that. Not hating on dude, he just was great. The Hall of Very Good should be inducting him soon though.

    http://www.profootballresearchers.org/HOVG.htm

    ————————————————-

    He won a Super Bowl MVP. That right there should automatically place a guy with “questionable” stats in the HOF. He has accomplished a lot more than some HOF WRs. Just because a guy is not top 10 in multiple categories doesn’t mean he’s not a HOFer. I would rather have a guys with one top 10 stat with a SB MVP than a guys who crushes all stats with no SB because at the end of the day these players get paid to win SBs and not stats and good numbers in the postseason is way better than good numbers in the reg season. Ward was that guy. He stepped up when he had to and never heard him B**** about anything.

    __________________________________

    You heard it here first folks, sbxxix doesn’t think Dan Marino should be in the HOF because he never won a SB or a SB MVP

    ————————————————–

    Look at the first sentence of your first post. You said that not me. I simply said I would rather see a guy with a SB MVP with 1 top 10 category(Obviously I meant WR) than a guy with a bunch of top 10 stats and no superbowl. Not eliminating anyone or saying anyone isn’t worth making it I was just simply stating my opinion on all this. The HOF should be 65% postseason play 35% regular season. Perfect example would be Larry Fitz. He usually kills it in both… QBs are a different story specially when you’re talking about one of the best to ever play the game. You did say however “SBs don’t mean jack when it comes to WRs. Stats do. The only ones SBs count for when it comes to HOF selection are coaches/GMs/owners and QBs.” Personally I think the HOF is stupid. Too many players shouldn’t be there and too many aren’t in it.

  99. theysone says: Mar 20, 2012 6:25 PM

    He should be in because he had decent stats and has a SB ring?

    Uh, how about Charles Haley? Dominant pass rushed with FIVE SB wins. His attitude sucked and he was a psycho. Who cares, he should be in the hall.

    And no, Hines doesn’t belong.

  100. mdavid36 says: Mar 20, 2012 6:43 PM

    Ed Reed has to be sooooo happy hearing this news. Now he doesn’t have to keep one eye up the field when he goes to make a tackle.

  101. steel2372 says: Mar 20, 2012 7:23 PM

    Hines Thank you for the great years you have given to Steeler Nation!! Black n Gold for life!!! Give the man his respect on his official retirement from the NFL today.

  102. steelymcbeam6 says: Mar 20, 2012 7:27 PM

    one of the all time great steelers. its a shame some fans are to ignorant to just give a great player his dues. he played ever down 100%, best run blocking WR ever, not to metion a solid sure handed pass catcher. hit like a LB so hard fans and even players called him dirty but anyone with any football IQ knows thats not the case…its just players dont like getting lite up and fans dont like seeing their players get lite up, especially by a WR. glad to see him not go to another team. his jersey can be worn by steelers fans forever. well done hines…very well done

  103. eezyxyz says: Mar 20, 2012 7:52 PM

    Hines Ward will get in the Hall of Fame, and will prove that the Hall is not in fact the individual honor it’s supposed to be. Just as an individual player Ward is not a Hall-of-Famer. During his career, at the very least Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Steve Smith (Carolina) and Torry Holt were all more feared playmakers than him and other guys like Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Marvin Harrison and Isaac Bruce have at least as good a claim to HoF as Ward based on their career productivity. Then, there’s players who came before Ward like Andre Reed and Cris Carter who have way, way better HoF claims than Ward. Now, some of these people I’ve mentioned are idiots who maybe shouldn’t be in the Hall because of that, but that’s an argument for keeping them out, not for putting Ward in.

    Ward will make the Hall of Fame because he played for the Steelers. He has the exact same career with any other team and there’s no way he gets in. I expect plenty people to deny that, but that won’t make it any less true.

  104. doe22us says: Mar 20, 2012 7:57 PM

    Ferocious blocker, good to borderline great WR, Super Bowl Rings, Super Bowl MVP, decent to great stats, not a prima donna. I also caught a glimpse of the montage ESPN had of him, sure thing hall of fame right there.

  105. mmmpierogi says: Mar 20, 2012 11:30 PM

    I’m not honestly saying I view Ward as a shoe-in for the HoF; might get in, might not – I don’t really care at this point. But another thing that’s not really being mentioned is the QBs throwing to some of the other guys whose names are being tossed around. Take Carter and Reed, as they got mentioned a million times above.

    Cris Carter played for a sizable chunk of his career with Warren Moon throwing to him (as well as McMahan and Gannon); Andre Reed had Jim Kelly.

    Until 2005 (i.e., the first eight seasons of Ward’s career, over half of the guy’s career), Ward played in a run-heavy offense and took passes from … Mike Tomczak, Kordell Stewart, Kent Graham, Tommy Maddox, and finally Ben Roethlisberger in 2004 (who was a rookie game manager that year, as the Steelers were still not a passing team – they were in the bottom of the league in most major team passing stats). Nothing against Tomczak, Stewart, Graham, Maddox, or a rookie game-managing Roethlisberger, but they’re not Warren Moon or Jim Kelly. And if we want to nit-pick, the guys backing up Roethlisberger since 2005 (e.g., Dixon, Leftwich, and Batch) are arguably not even on par with a McMahan or Gannon.

    I don’t think such considerations should serve as a handicap in terms of how one might judge a guy like Ward when looking at WR stats. That said, they do render between-player comparisons with guys like Carter and Reed, who played far different roles in far different offensive systems with different QBs, pretty problematic.

  106. dirtyharry1971 says: Mar 21, 2012 1:19 AM

    first off ward is NOT a HOF player so lets get over that. #2 i live right here in PA and i HATE the steelers and all their players and i will click down on any dumb steeler article or dumb comment like this so lets not pretend all steeler haters are in maryland cause they aint bud

    fancyleague says:Mar 20, 2012 1:34 PM

    Anyone who made Ravens fans this nutsy deserves to be in the Hall.

    The #1 form of employment in Maryland is clicking the thumbs down button on PFT articles about Hines Ward.

  107. sojumaster says: Mar 21, 2012 8:52 AM

    kane337 says:Mar 20, 2012 1:42 PM

    “The fact that he generated 1,000 receptions (eighth on the all-time list) for 12,083 yards (18th) and 85 touchdowns (13th) despite playing for a team that doesn’t exactly air it out makes his numbers more impressive.”

    Umm, the Steelers throw it all the time. What games have you been watching since 2004?

    ————————————————-

    Really? Just because the Steelers have become more pass-friendly since 2004, it does not mean they have become an elite passing team.

    Since 2004 the Steelers’ team rankings for passing are the following:
    2004 (28th), 2005( 24th), 2006 (9th), 2007 (22nd), 2008 (17th) 2009 (9th), 2010 (14th), 2011 (10th)

    Not exactly the team numbers you would expect to help produce a receiver with such numbers that Hines has produced.

  108. raqaiw says: Mar 21, 2012 8:56 AM

    Thought about this some more, and if you were to take away SB wins from everyone up for HOF enshrinement or in the hall, would they still be worthy of enshrinement?
    With Ward I’d say no. Thomas,Kelly,Smith and those guys from the great Bills teams still had the #’s to back up their enshrinement,ditto for Marino. Without his SB victory Peyton still has the #’s for HOF induction. Tomlinson has the #’s to back it up and he never got a ring.Jerry Rice would’ve still been the best player ever without the SB wins, his 200 TDs alone would’ve gotten him in. Something for the voters to consider. SB victories do not guarantee you a spot in the HOF, nor should they.

  109. raqaiw says: Mar 21, 2012 9:18 AM

    steeelfann says: Mar 20, 2012 2:28 PM

    He also was never cut from a team. Hall of Famers do not get cut.
    ______________________________________

    This has got to be the single stupidest thing I’ve ever read on this site, and that’s saying something.

    Montana was cut. Herb Adderly was cut twice. Marcus Allen was cut.Larry Csonka,Dave Casper,Charlie Joiner…look them up because you clearly have no idea. I bet you think Peyton Manning isn’t HOF worthy because he got cut,right?

  110. modellforprez says: Mar 21, 2012 10:35 AM

    he should get in. it may take some time that’s understandable I get it. maybe 6-10 years maybe longer but he should get in. as a ward diehard I would like to thank the reporters in arizona jacksonville and everywhere else who shared opinion with pgh tribune review for their story on hines. its also worth mentioning NO ONE in ohio maryland or seattle or dallas would ever acknowledge him as a hof and I can’t blame them but do you think for one second they wouldn’t pull for him if he was one of theirs and not a member of the HATED steelers. I don’t think so. take baltimore for example their secondary for years taunted him about being part asian with slanders including chop sticks and soy sauce so he got back at them really the only way he could. brutal blocking to knock them into kingdem come. first 76 hoke then 91 smith and finally the uniquvical leader on defense 51 farrior. what a offseason for steelhearts. can’t wait till next offseason kiesel hampton foote. here’s to hoping colbert can reload even somewhat compared to this fading bunch. thank you men

  111. azpackfan says: Mar 21, 2012 11:34 AM

    ward will definetly

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