Anthony Herrera calls Hines Ward "selfish" on concussion issue

When Steelers receiver Hines Ward awkwardly called out quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for missing Sunday night’s game with a concussion, most league observers assumed that any fallout would be confined to the Pittsburgh locker room.

It’s not.

On the same day that Ward said he has apologized to Roethlisberger, Vikings offensive lineman Anthony Herrera, who missed Sunday’s game against the Bears with a concussion, took issue with Ward’s attitude on the subject.

Hines is being selfish,” Herrera told Alex Marvez and Marty Schottenheimer of Sirius NFL Radio on Tuesday.  “Honestly and truly, in our locker room no one questioned my toughness or whether I could play or not.  They knew it was a concussion and it was bigger than just football.

“That’s why you see all these [ex-players] right now at 50 years old who are suffering from all kinds of different things. They put football ahead of themselves. That’s now how it should be. . . .

“Everyone knows Ben is a tough guy.  Look how many hits he takes, the way he plays.  You can’t challenge a man and say that about a guy who has proven the type of player he is.”

Ward did.  And now Ward has spent the past two days trying to mend fences.

But it remains to be seen whether Ward and any of his teammates will view Roethlisberger differently as a result of his absence from what turned out to be a close loss to the Ravens, or whether the league, in its revolutionary effort to protect a player from himself, simultaneously has come up with a way to protect the player from the other 52 guys on the team.

52 responses to “Anthony Herrera calls Hines Ward "selfish" on concussion issue

  1. Herrera really made a good point that when it comes to an individuals long term health, football is not worth the ailments that come from concussions not being treated properly.
    I wonder how Ward will feel when he gets a concussion…which i’m sure is just matter of time since every defender in the league is gunning to put mighty mouse on IR.

  2. Ben should say what any other man should say…tough shit. He doesn’t have to explain himself to Hines Ward or anybody else. When it comes to brain damage, who gives a shit what Ward thinks?

  3. Ward is getting hammered. It’s much deserved. I’ve always been a fan and supporter of him, but he was really stupid about this.

  4. Respect to Hererra for saying what needs to be said. Ward is a cheap shot artist and a crybaby, yet he thinks he can call out a guy like Ben, with all the adversity and injuries he’s faced in his career. I never saw Ward as being a typical diva WR, but clearly he is.

  5. Love Hines, but he went public on an internal matter that’s controversial and affects many more NFL players than Ben. So you can’t blame guys like Herrera from weighing in. He didn’t act in the best interest of his team, so in that sense, Herrera’s right: The comments were selfish–as well as reckless, immature, and uninformed.
    First, you don’t air family business in public. Second, despite the rantings of rival fans and bloggers stirring up page hits, Ben has more than proved his toughness. Third, how he suggest any player lie about concussion symptoms given all that’s been reported about potential side-effects? No game, no job, no macho reputation is worth being an invalid in your 40s. Finally, the Rooneys are at the forefront in pushing for higher concussion safety standards, so it wasn’t too bright to bite the hand that feeds him off the field in addition to biting the one that feeds him balls onfield.
    He may have worked it out with Ben, but he’s made himself look foolish with others and it’s going to take time to live that down.

  6. “simultaneously has come up with a way to protect the player from the other 52 guys on the team” … are we talking prison or a professional sports organization here ?

  7. OK have we now had enough of this non story?
    Hines said what he said and am sure him and Ben has cleared the the issue.
    Did none of you ever have a friend or co-worker you disagreed with?
    This is not news worthy.

  8. Not justifying Ward’s statement. But the Steelers were without their back-up QB so it was either Roethlisberger or an unproven 3rd stringer with no NFL experience in a must-win (or close to a must-win) for the Steelers playoff hopes. I can see the frustration from Ward’s perspective if Roethlisberger seemed fine yet sat out an important game as a precaution when the back-up hasn’t proven anything.
    Herrera sat out a game the Vikings could have tanked and still win the division, plus there was no drop off in talent from Herrera to Artis Hicks, who has about six years of starting experience.

  9. I don’t know why this is such a BIG story. This has been going on for years…Hines Ward is the biggest baby in the NFL. I guess the fact that this time the crying directed at his own teammate, rather than a bad call on the field is the difference! Oh, didn’t Ward miss a game or two because of a bad back? Someone give the guy a tissue! And maybe if Hines blocked better for his QB instead of worrying about the next cheap shot he’s gonna throw, Ben wouldn’t have gotten the concussion.

  10. Hines was asked a question and he had the audacity to voice an opinion.
    Hardly a jailable offense.
    At least the guy took ownership and admitted he was wrong after he had time to reflect.

  11. Florio, he’s saying exactly what you should have been saying when this story first broke. Instead, you posted this story http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2009/11/30/steelers-in-danger-of-imploding/ wherein you said this:
    “Instead, Ben complained of headaches. (Based on his history and reputation, Roethlisberger might have actually said, “My head hurts so bad I think I almost died.”)”
    and this:
    “And if their starting quarterback hasn’t lost 50 percent or more of the locker room by not sucking it up and saying whatever he had to say and doing whatever he had to do to play in the biggest game of the year.”
    You’re seemingly so jazzed by taking pot shots that you ignored the bigger picture (concussions in the NFL) that you yourself were pushing leading up to this story.
    Everyone knows Ben is a drama queen anyway. Getting a couple more cheap digs in serves little purpose when compared to actually giving the guy props for making the right decision on this one.

  12. “…They put football ahead of themselves. That’s now how it should be. . . .
    Did he really say NOW how it should be, or NOT how it should be?

  13. @ Deb
    Are you finally realizing what we have been telling you about Hines Ward? You are almost there Deb!

  14. Herrera is right and props to him for backing up a fellow brother in what is supposed to be a fraternity of players in the NFL. Also, Dixon did great in stepping in and filling in a huge void against a division opponent. I’m not sure Ben wouldve done much better…

  15. Hines went out with a knee injury in the AFC title game last year, didn’t he? He could’ve just taped a hinge to that puppy and popped some Advil. What a wimp.
    He’s a great player, but that was a dick move.

  16. I guess we all know now that Ward not only takes cheap shots at opponents; but teammates are fair game also!!!
    WAY TO GO HINEY HOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. No one questioned Herrera because the dude is a bad ass. Plays mean and has toughness. At least a guy like him comes out to speak,people listen.

  18. I still don’t understand why Hines Ward was upset about the quartervback change. The Steelers had the lead in the fourth quarter and lost several times this year. Ben was playing.
    Neither Ben nor Dennis play on defense. If anything this episode may be evidence that Coach Tomlin has been too nice to the team this year. I’m talking about team discipline. Keeping issues in the club house. But have no fear, the kinder, gentler, take the week off Coach Tomlin no longer exists. Lessons learned.
    GO STEELERS!

  19. Hines Ward has joined the group “For The Love Of God I’m Not Even Remotely Asian, So Enough With The Engrish Jokes”.
    If that isn’t awesome I don’t know what is.

  20. # The Real Shuxion says: December 1, 2009 8:53 PM
    Hines Ward has joined the group “For The Love Of God I’m Not Even Remotely Asian, So Enough With The Engrish Jokes”.
    If that isn’t awesome I don’t know what is.
    _____________________________________
    ON facebook, I should have added that

  21. @chap …
    Well, I’d like to apply my foot to the seat of his pants and slap him upside his head a couple of times … but that doesn’t diminish my affection.
    You know, chap, that’s kinda how I feel about you most of the time 😉

  22. With what happened to Westbrook I don’t know how anyone else could question Ben or another player siting out..
    Ben plays and gets hit again – suffers another concussion, like Westbrook, and he is probably done for the year.
    Still likely with Ben set to play against the Raiders, don’t know if anyone has a real time table to follow when dealing with concussions.

  23. how many times did Marvez use the phrase “and go ahead” or “go ahead and…” in that interview? he’s a decent personality on that channel, but my god…go listen to him for an hour, he’ll say those phrases AT LEAST 15 times.

  24. FIRST I WANT TO SAY I’M TRULY A BIG BEN FAN, ALSO A HINES WARD FAN.
    I HEAR WHAT HINES SEEM TO BE TALKING ABOUT, IF YOU CAN PLAY -PLAY. I HAVE PLAYED FOOTBALL PERSONALLY ON THE COLLEGIATE LEVEL AND I HAVE HAD A FEW CONCUSSIONS, TO THE POINT MY EYES WHERE BOUNCING IN MY HEAD AT A STAND STILL. BUT, WARD IS A COMPETITOR AND WANTS TO WIN, AND I THINK HE WANTED THE BEST CHANCE FOR THE TEAM TO WIN. FOR SOME GUYS THIS MIGHT BE THEIR ONLY CHANCE EVER. SO I FEEL ON BOTH SIDES OF THIS COIN.

  25. asteeler4life says:
    December 1, 2009 9:59 PM
    FIRST I WANT TO SAY I’M TRULY A BIG BEN FAN, ALSO A HINES WARD FAN.
    I HEAR WHAT HINES SEEM TO BE TALKING ABOUT, IF YOU CAN PLAY -PLAY. I HAVE PLAYED FOOTBALL PERSONALLY ON THE COLLEGIATE LEVEL AND I HAVE HAD A FEW CONCUSSIONS, TO THE POINT MY EYES WHERE BOUNCING IN MY HEAD AT A STAND STILL. BUT, WARD IS A COMPETITOR AND WANTS TO WIN, AND I THINK HE WANTED THE BEST CHANCE FOR THE TEAM TO WIN. FOR SOME GUYS THIS MIGHT BE THEIR ONLY CHANCE EVER. SO I FEEL ON BOTH SIDES OF THIS COIN.
    That’s lovely! Next time feel your caps lock key.

  26. asteeler4life:
    Couldn’t even finish reading what you wrote. Caps GIVE ME A HEADACHE.
    Deb:
    Quality comments as usual.

  27. @PGHDON
    This situation is far from just an argument over a co-worker. Think this through kiddo.
    Hines is mad at Ben because Ben was/is ill in the head after having a concussion. If you are still feeling symptons and get another concussion or get banged up it will effect your entire life. Suppose Ben would have “been a man” and play the game, if he got a concussion again than he would have brain damage and suffer with serious side effects for the rest of his life.
    You know these players are actually people and not just figures running left and right on the screen as you eat Hot Cheetos? This is a person, a competitor and a tough man, would you risk getting life injures to play one game?

  28. Hines Ward better stay out of the shower when he’s at Harrahs…..If I was Ben I’d hang him out to dry maybe someone on the Raiders will grow a pair and put Ward in his place…..its been a long time coming.

  29. Deb –
    Great posts, both of them!
    Hasn’t Florio already started the speculation of the Steelers, at some point soon, moving on to Dixon as QB and moving Big Ben to another team? Can anyone else see the mad professor Florio concocting a Roethlisberger to Minnesota trade rumor once (if) Favre retires? Big Ben already has a Viking standing up for him, he knows the lockerroom is supportive of such a condition (no “schism” here) and the Vikings could replace one Super Bowl winner with another. Florio is using his abacus as we chat, calculating the massive hits his site will have from Steeler, Viking, Packer fans. He’s hit the motherlode!!

  30. Look at all the comments for (what some say is) a washed up 33 year old receiver! He must still be in people’s heads one way or another.
    ….continue venting your hate for Hines. **smile**

  31. First of all I think Ward was flat out wrong to blab to the media about his feelings. Never a good idea.
    BUT. Lost in all of this is the team’s, and Mike Tomlin’s total mishandling of the situation. From Ward’s perspective, he comes in on Saturday and is told Roethlisberger, who has practiced and been declared healthy all week, is suddenly not healthy enough to play in an important game against the Steelers biggest rival. He IS however healthy enough to dress and be the emergency quarterback. It seems that would send the signal to alot of people that Roethlisberger wasn’t badly injured. Tomlin bears a lot of blame in the whole mess. Even if Ward hadn’t run his mouth to Costas, it appears to me that the feelings were planted in the locker room by the way the situation was handled. They should have deactivated him.

  32. Hines is awesome. He speaks the truth, Ben should’ve played. But I trust Ben’s judgement and I’m glad he didn’t. The only foul here is Hines talking to that sh*t-stirrer Bob Costas.

  33. @Tompadre …
    Thanks! Love your scenario! I can just feel Florio’s heart speeding up with anticipation!
    @The Jimmy …
    You’re right. Although Hines should have kept his feelings in-house, Tomlin’s mishandling of the internal PR set this thing in motion. It was a rare misstep on his part, but a big one.

  34. I agree with Herrera, but I just couldn’t stop thinking as I was reading this article is why out of all the players that have suffered concussions is Anthony Herrera being interviewed? Hey, I’m a Viking fan, but geez, it must be hard to get guests on that show.

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