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Thread: Ward looking forward to Ravens

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    Default Ward looking forward to Ravens

    Steelers' Ward looking forward to Ravens
    Wednesday, December 01, 2010
    By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward says he's the most hated man in Baltimore and he has the names of his enemies to prove it. It is a long list of former or current Ravens: Rod Woodson. Tony Siragusa. Chris McAlister. Corey Fuller. Bart Scott. Ed Reed. Terrell Suggs.

    Now, apparently, you can add another name.

    John Harbaugh.

    [IMGR][/IMGR]"I don't think their head coach likes me," Ward said the other day. "I tried to shake his hand before we played them the last time. He gave me a fake handshake. He didn't even look at me. That's fine. Whatever."

    You should have seen Ward grin. It's Baltimore week, one of his two favorite weeks of the year. You know his other favorite, right? The other Baltimore week.

    The more enemies, the better.

    "It's not the Super Bowl, but it's going to have a playoff feel to it," Ward said of the Steelers' hair-pull with the Ravens Sunday night in Baltimore. "The hitting will be the hardest in any game all year. It's the one game you circle. Prime time. They'll be dressed in all black. The last man standing ... "

    If it's Ward, he'll be talking. One of the best nights of his career came when the Steelers went into Baltimore in the 2008 season and beat the Ravens, 13-9. Did he ever give an earful to Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Reed after that game. "There is nothing like beating Baltimore in their house," he said that night. Of course, Ward had to take it big time from Lewis and Reed in October after the Ravens' 17-14 win at Heinz Field. "They deserved to talk that day. They won," Ward said. "You don't want 'em to talk, don't let 'em beat you."

    That's Ward's plan Sunday night. If the Steelers do win, he figures to play a huge role with a big catch or a big block or maybe just by driving Lewis, Reed and linebacker Terrell Suggs crazy. It seems as if he's always doing something to annoy the Ravens.

    "Ray and I are OK. We have the same agent," Ward said. "But the other guys? We're not so cool. Ed and I have seen each other at the Pro Bowl and we didn't even speak."

    Other players have added to the lunacy of the Steelers-Ravens rivalry. Steelers linebacker Joey Porter went to the Ravens' bus after a game and called out Lewis to fight. Scott, a former Ravens linebacker, put a hard hit on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, then bragged about feeling the air rushing out of Roethlisberger's body. Siragusa, a former Ravens nose tackle, suggested Baltimore fans follow Steelers fans into the rest rooms and beat the heck out of them.

    But, more often than not, Ward has been in the middle of all the hatred.

    That goes back to the 2001 season when Ward popped the Hall of Famer Woodson with a block, bloodying his nose and prompting him to swear to get even. Before the teams' next game, Ward revealed the Ravens had a bounty out on him and fellow receiver Plaxico Burress. "[Former Steelers teammate] Hank Poteat came to us at breakfast. His sister goes with one of the Ravens. She had told him. ... The first one to knock one of us out of the game got the pot."

    In the '05 season, McAlister, a former Ravens cornerback, left no doubt how he felt about Ward. "A [bleep]," he called him. Not much room for misinterpretation there.

    In the '07 season, Ward hit Scott and Reed so hard with blocks that Scott threatened to "kill" him. The next season, Suggs went on a national radio show and admitted the Ravens had a bounty on Ward and Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall. "Hines Ward is definitely a dirty player, a cheap-shot artist," Suggs said.

    Ward's reaction to all of this the other day? "I don't know why they don't like me. I just play football."

    It's nice to think Ward won't be involved in another controversy Sunday night, at least not one with his team. When the Steelers played in Baltimore last season, Roethlisberger sat out with concussion symptoms from a hit the week before in Kansas City. The Steelers lost, 20-17, in overtime with Dennis Dixon at quarterback, prompting Ward to all but call out Roethlisberger on national television, saying he would have played with a concussion.

    The good news is that Ward and Roethlisberger have made up. The same can't be said of Ward and Scott. "Oh, no, he hates me the most," Ward said, grinning again.

    In the Steelers' win at Baltimore in '08, Ward peeled back to block Scott only to go over top of him when Scott ducked. "They put a bounty on me and then he ducks!" Ward crowed afterward. Of course, Scott responded before the Steelers beat the Ravens in the AFC championship game that season. "His time will come. He'll get his," he said of Ward.

    Scott, who has moved on to the New York Jets, probably has Dec. 19 circled. That's the day the Jets play the Steelers at Heinz Field. But Scott will have to get in line for a shot at Ward. The Ravens have him lined up this week. Then, the Cincinnati Bengals play at Heinz Field Dec. 12. They haven't liked Ward since he broke linebacker Keith Rivers' jaw with a crushing block in the '08 season.

    I'm guessing Ward will show up for all of the games.
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Ward looking forward to Ravens

    Good read! Basically a timeline of Ward's awsomeness
    Hidden Content Chuck Norris wears Steelers Pajamas!!!

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    Default Re: Ward looking forward to Ravens

    This never gets old.

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    Default Re: Ward looking forward to Ravens

    Updated: December 1, 2010, 4:31 PM ET

    Hines Ward lashes out at NFL

    Associated Press

    PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward lashed out Wednesday at the NFL for what he calls its hypocritical stance on player safety, arguing the league recently toughened its stance only because it wants to expand to an 18-game season.

    "They don't care about the safety of the game. If the league was so concerned about the safety, why are you adding two more games on? You talk about you don't want players to drink ... and all you see is beer commercials. You don't want us to gamble, but then there are [NFL-endorsed lottery scratch-off games]."

    -- Hines Ward

    Ward said there is considerable confusion among players about which hits are legal and which aren't since the league stepped up its policing of dangerous hits. Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been fined $125,000 for four separate hits since mid-October, two of which weren't penalized.

    Ward also predicted a team will lose a game -- possibly in the playoffs -- because an official makes an incorrect call out of fear of being disciplined by the league for not adhering to its new policy.

    "It's going to change the outcome; somebody's going to lose a game because of it," Ward said. "It's going to be a huge play in a playoff game, somebody's going to hit a quarterback or do something and the referee is going to be too scared to call it. So he's going to call it anyway so he can save his tail. He [the player] may not even get fined or not, but it will come down to the outcome of a ballgame.

    Ward's comments reflect the growing anger among the players on one of the NFL's showcase franchises. The Steelers are becoming increasingly upset over the near-weekly fines levied Harrison, a perceived lack of protection for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and hits that are fined and penalized one week, but aren't subject to any penalty a week later.

    "We don't know what the league wants. ... If a quarterback gets hit within the play, you can't hit him in the helmet, you can't hit him in the knees," Ward said. "Where can you hit a quarterback? I keep seeing our quarterback getting hit all the time."

    Ward and several other Steelers players argued the NFL wouldn't hesitate to fine a player who injured the Colts' Peyton Manning or the Patriots' Tom Brady, yet did nothing when Roethlisberger appeared to be roughed up by Buffalo's Arthur Moats and Marcus Stroud after being sacked Sunday. Replays of the hit appear to show Moats twisting Roethlisberger's right leg while he is on the ground.

    Neither player drew a penalty or fine. Roethlisberger, who injured his right knee and foot, wore a walking boot on Wednesday, although he said he expects to play Sunday in Baltimore.

    Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs took the unusual stance of agreeing with the rival Steelers during a conference call with Pittsburgh reporters.

    "The league has their favorites," Suggs said Wednesday. "One being in Indy [Manning] and one being with that team up north [Brady]. Besides those two, everybody is fair game. Like I always said, [the Bengals'] Carson Palmer got his knee hurt in 2005, but there was no rule made. Then Tom Brady got hit in the knee and all of a sudden there is rule and possible suspensions, excessive fines. It's just getting ridiculous."

    Roethlisberger, asked about Suggs' comments, said, "He seems to know some things about the game of football."

    Despite the weekly confusion they're expressing, the Steelers won't change their playing style to adopt to the ever-shifting rules, according to Ward.

    "We're going to keep playing the way we always have been playing," Ward said. "If they fine us, they fine us. It's football. I don't care what type of rules you do, you can't protect [against] the physicality of this game. It's always going to be a physical ballgame."

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