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    Default Ward 10th on NFL all-time list

    Big game leaves Ward 10th on NFL all-time list
    December 16, 2010
    By: JIM WEXELL
    Herald Standard

    PITTSBURGH - Rex Ryan used to be the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens and now he's the head coach of the swashbuckling New York Jets. So you know he loves his old-school, slobber-knocker football.

    And you figure he loves Hines Ward.

    "Oh, I appreciated him. No question," Ryan said during a conference call Wednesday to discuss the upcoming game between the Jets and Steelers. "We tried to knock his head off and he was trying to knock our head off. So that is who he is and that is who he will always be.

    "He got somebody last week," Ryan continued. "I thought he knocked somebody out, but the kid popped up. Oh, I have seen it a million times. I remember Samari Rolle tried to tackle him once and he knocked him out. It was like, wow. He is a tough *** and I love him."

    It's got to be true love.

    Contrast that with how Ward's own coach, Mike Tomlin, greeted Ward at the front door of the locker room following Ward's 115-yard game last Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

    "Come on Ol' Yeller," Tomlin said. "I ain't gonna take you out back and shoot you today; maybe tomorrow."

    Now, there's some tough love.

    "He likes to mess with me," said Ward. "But I'm not even the oldest guy on the team."

    Perhaps the 34-year-old Ward doth protest too much. Perhaps Tomlin's dig bugged him a bit.

    "It don't bug me," Ward said. "It's just perception. People think that you get older and you start to fall off, which is naturally the case. I guess it's something he uses to motivate me. But I have self-motivation already."

    Don't let Ward fool you. He admitted to getting at least a little nervous after a 1-catch, 13-yard performance two weeks ago against the Ravens. After 12 games he had 41 catches. At the same point last year, Ward had 72 on his way to 95.

    "To come back and have the game like I did against Cincinnati, it proved there's still a lot of football left," he said of his 8-catch day. "I needed that. It does start to creep in. You start to wonder. You start questioning whether you're losing a step. You need a game like that to reassure."

    The game not only reassured Ward, it moved him into 10th place on the NFL's all-time receiving list. He displaced Art Monk with a 21-yard catch that gave the Steelers a first down at the Cincinnati 9. Ward's next catch converted a third-and-1, and the catch after that went for 29 yards on 2nd-and-30.

    None of those catches, though, ranked as high on Ward's personal highlight reel as the one Ryan mentioned. On a screen pass behind the tight ends, Ward lowered his head, initiated helmet-to-helmet contact with Roy Williams, and cast the safety back and to the side as if he were a rag doll.

    Go ahead. Make another new rule.

    "That's just want-to," Ward said. "When I leave this game, I want to be judged as a good football player. I don't want to be compared to anybody because I don't want anybody, really, to be compared to me. I like to think of myself as a different breed. I'm just someone who does whatever it takes to win. If it takes me ducking my head and running over somebody and trying to fight for extra yards, that's what I'm going to do."

    How many years does he have left?

    Or better: Would he call it a day if he were to win a ring in February?

    "I have no idea," he said. "If that were to happen, I'd have to ask myself if I want to practice and go through training camp again. But right now I'm just playing game by game, year by year, and I'm blessed to be able to leave this game when I want to leave. If I want to leave right now, I've overexceeded any expectation by anyone, even myself."

    If he were to leave now, he'd leave as the team leader in catches for the 12th consecutive season. He now has 49 for the season, three ahead of Mike Wallace.

    "The coaches still have faith in me to go out there and get it done," Ward said. "Coach Tomlin calls me Ol' Yeller, like Mr. Dependable, but I don't like that one because in the end Ol' Yeller dies."

    Ward laughed out loud, as if he'd just scored on the Ravens.

    "To be able to still get open, still make plays, still make some spectacular catches in year 13, I'm blessed" he said. "I'm blessed to be where I'm at."

    http://www.heraldstandard.com/news_d...time-list.html
    "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 10th on NFL all-time list

    Here’s another attempt at the top 10. How could ANYONE ever stop at just 10 is beyond me.

    Blog 'n' Gold

    Must-See TV: Top 10 Pittsburgh Steelers
    User Rating: / 2
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    WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2010 05:50 PM WRITTEN BY DAN GIGLER
    At 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve (Friday), the NFL Network will debut the latest installment in its Top 10 series, this time featuring your Pittsburgh Steelers. National and local punditry, as well as some of the players themselves will chime in on the list in the hour-long program.

    The NFL Network is previewing a couple of the segments -- specifically Hines Ward at #8 and Rod "is God" Woodson at #4. Click on the images below to launch the videos.

    Here's a guess as to how the NFL Network list will play out:

    1. Joe Greene

    2. Jack Ham

    3. Terry Bradshaw

    4. Rod Woodson

    5. Mel Blount

    6. Franco Harris

    7. Jack Lambert

    8. Hines Ward

    9. Ben Roethlisberger

    10. Troy Polamalu

    Consider for a moment all of the greats that list doesn't include: John Stallworth, Lynn Swann, Mike Webster, Jerome Bettis, Dirt Dawson, John Henry Johnson, Donnie Shell, Carnell Lake, Casey Hampton, Jack Butler, Alan Faneca, James Farrior, Dwight White, L.C. Greenwood, Greg Lloyd, Rocky Blier, Andy Russell, Jason Gildon, Joey Porter ... it goes on and on ... and the funny part is there are a number of teams that would really struggle to fill out a respectable list of 10 guys. "Top 10 Cincinnati Bengals" sounds just slightly less compelling.
    The bold line is pretty ****ed funny.

    POLITICIANS AND DIAPERS SHOULD BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON!

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    Default Re: Ward 10th on NFL all-time list

    Is there a reference for the list....I'd love to see it!

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    Default Re: Ward 10th on NFL all-time list

    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
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    Is there a reference for the list....I'd love to see it!

    Bob Labriola recently put out a good article on this...


    Labriola's Top 10 Steelers

    By Bob Labriola - Steelers Digest
    Posted Dec 22, 2010


    Dick Hoak’s tenure with the team, first as a player and then as an assistant coach, spanned 46 years and included five Super Bowl rings. He said he couldn’t do it. “There were so many great football players,” said Hoak, whose spot as the No. 6 rusher in franchise history indicates he could play a little bit himself.

    Brent Musburger’s NFL broadcasting career on CBS began in 1973 and spanned 17 years, and he stood on same the stage as Pete Rozelle when the NFL Commissioner presented a Lombardi Trophy to Art Rooney Sr. for the fourth time in a six-season span. “I think it’s virtually impossible to take the Steelers and make a list of 1-to-10.”

    I’m with Brent on this one. Making a list of the greatest players in the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers is difficult but doable. Limiting the number to 10? Not so much. In fact, it’s a simpler matter to identify No. 1 than it is to determine the other nine, but more on that later.

    NFL Network has come up with its list, and it will premier the decision at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve when it airs “The Top 10 Pittsburgh Steelers.”

    The network has itself a series that’s both entertaining and interesting with its many variations of The Top 10, and the subjects run the gamut of “The Top 10 Quarterbacks” to “The Top 10 Players under 5-foot-10.”

    “The Top 10 Steelers” promises to be among the most debated once it’s announced, simply because it has to come down to personal preference. A strictly objective method can’t work.

    It has to come to personal preference, because if individual excellence is the criteria, there are 12 players already enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame who got there by what they did while wearing a Steelers uniform. If the winning of championships is the be-all-end-all, well, there are 14 players with four Super Bowl rings apiece who were named to the Steelers’ All-Time Team as part of the franchise’s 75th Season celebration in 2007. If toughness and a career spent playing the game in a physical fashion is the criteria, there literally are hundreds of players who qualify.

    Since it’s to be about personal preference, I will offer my Top 10. I offer it with humility, completely understanding that my perspective is limited. The honest truth is it was an assignment.

    “That’s like saying, which one of my children is my favorite,” said Tunch Ilkin about trying to pick only 10, and he was a player good enough to be on the Steelers’ All-Time Team.

    I may not have any children, but I feel the sentiment. Nevertheless, here goes, and you will notice there are no active players on this list because in my opinion it’s impossible to measure a career accurately until it’s over, and there are too many outstanding bodies of work already completed to get involved with projections:

    JOE GREENE (1969-1981): He is listed first because Greene is the No. 1 player in franchise history. Only the truly great can change history, and that’s what Joe Greene did. When Chuck Noll first met the team he inherited in 1969 he told the players that the goal was to win a Super Bowl championship but that most of them weren’t good enough to be a part of that. Then, the first player Noll added to that room was Joe Greene, whose legacy to the Steelers transcends any statistics. Greene was all about the winning, and his standing among his peers in the locker room led them in that same direction. In a 1972 game the injury-ravaged Steelers had to have to win the first division title in franchise history, Greene had five sacks and blocked a short field goal attempt by the Oilers; he recovered one fumble and forced another, and those takeaways led to two field goals in a 9-3 win. A defensive tackle, Greene was twice voted the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award. The Steelers have won more games and more championships than any other team since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, and Joe Greene was the player who set the tone for all of it. Hall of Fame Class of 1987.

    The rest of this list is presented in alphabetical order:

    JEROME BETTIS (1996-2005): The Steelers have built their success on the twin cornerstones of running the football and rock-ribbed defense. Bettis is one of the two best running backs for a franchise that has rushed for more yards than any other since 1970. Bettis was the unquestioned leader of the Steelers team that won Super Bowl XL, the fifth in team history. As the most productive big back in NFL history, Bettis will be enshrined in Canton one day.

    MEL BLOUNT (1970-1983): He was so big, strong and fast that Blount helped force the NFL to change its rules on pass defense after the 1977 season. Blount played 14 seasons and 200 games in Pittsburgh, and his 57 interceptions are tops in team history. In 1975 Blount recorded 11 interceptions and was voted NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He was a first-team All-Pro four times. Hall of Fame Class of 1989.

    TERRY BRADSHAW (1970-1983): Winning championships is what distinguishes the great NFL quarterbacks, and that’s why Bradshaw was a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee in 1989. While calling all of his own plays, Bradshaw quarterbacked the Steelers to eight division titles and four Super Bowl championships; Bradshaw was voted the MVP of Super Bowls XIII and XIV, and NFL Player of the Year in 1978. In 19 career playoff games, Bradshaw threw 30 touchdown passes, and his record as a starter in conference championship games and Super Bowls was 8-2. Hall of Fame Class of 1989.

    DERMONTTI DAWSON (1988-2000): His first season as a center was 1989, and his final season was ruined by persistent hamstring injuries. In the decade of the 1990s, Dawson was voted first-team All-Pro six times, and since there is only one center on the team that’s compelling evidence he was the best center in football throughout most of his career. If it’s my team, Dawson is the center over Mike Webster. A two-time finalist for induction into the Hall of Fame, Dawson eventually will have his bust in Canton.

    JACK HAM (1971-1982): There have been 60 Pro Bowls played, and the Steelers have had at least one linebacker in 42 of them. That’s an impressive legacy of linebackers, and Jack Ham was the best of them all. Ham earned All-Pro or All-AFC honors in seven consecutive seasons, played in eight straight Pro Bowls and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988. Ham never lost his poise and seemed immune to making mistakes on the field. Hall of Fame Class of 1988.

    FRANCO HARRIS (1972-83): Said team founder Art Rooney Sr., “We didn’t win too much until he got here. And then we didn’t lose very often after he did.” Harris was the kind of player who was always hustling to the football, which put him in position for the Immaculate Reception. Always at his best in the biggest of games, Harris was named Super Bowl IX MVP after rushing for a then-record 158 yards and a touchdown; in 19 playoff games, he rushed for 1,556 yards and 16 touchdowns to go along with 51 catches for 504 yards. Hall of Fame Class of 1990.

    JACK LAMBERT (1974-84): Forever, there will be the vision of Lambert throwing Dallas safety Cliff Harris to the ground in Super Bowl X, and when it came to passion and intensity few could match him. When asked after a 1981 game about a hit on Browns quarterback Brian Sipe that got him ejected, Lambert said, “Brian has a chance to go out of bounds, and he decides not to. He knows I’m going to hit him. And I do. History.” He was a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, eight-time All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowl selection. Hall of Fame Class of 1990.

    ERNIE STAUTNER (1950-63): “What made him was his strength,” said Dan Rooney. “This was a time players didn't have strength, they didn’t lift weights. I remember we were playing the Giants at Forbes Field one time and it was a very close game, and they were moving the ball. He sacked the quarterback three times in a row.” The franchise retired his No. 70 jersey in 1964 following his retirement, and he remains the only Steelers player to have received that honor. The Steel Curtain was one of the greatest defensive lines in NFL history, and Stautner would have taken one of that quartet’s jobs. Hall of Fame Class of 1969.

    ROD WOODSON (1987-96): He didn’t win his Super Bowl ring with the Steelers, and he played seven seasons after leaving the team. But if my life depended upon the outcome of a football game, my cornerbacks in that game are Woodson and Blount. One of only five active players selected to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team in 1994, Woodson was a six-time All-Pro cornerback during his 10 years in Pittsburgh and was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1993. Hall of Fame Class of 2009.

    Don’t forget, Christmas Eve, 8 p.m., NFL Network. Enjoy the show, and let the arguments begin.

    http://www.steelers.com/news/article...4-f5835634ead2

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    Default Re: Ward 10th on NFL all-time list

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteeler View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Bob Labriola recently put out a good article on this...


    Labriola's Top 10 Steelers

    By Bob Labriola - Steelers Digest
    Posted Dec 22, 2010


    Dick Hoak’s tenure with the team, first as a player and then as an assistant coach, spanned 46 years and included five Super Bowl rings. He said he couldn’t do it. “There were so many great football players,” said Hoak, whose spot as the No. 6 rusher in franchise history indicates he could play a little bit himself.

    Brent Musburger’s NFL broadcasting career on CBS began in 1973 and spanned 17 years, and he stood on same the stage as Pete Rozelle when the NFL Commissioner presented a Lombardi Trophy to Art Rooney Sr. for the fourth time in a six-season span. “I think it’s virtually impossible to take the Steelers and make a list of 1-to-10.”

    I’m with Brent on this one. Making a list of the greatest players in the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers is difficult but doable. Limiting the number to 10? Not so much. In fact, it’s a simpler matter to identify No. 1 than it is to determine the other nine, but more on that later.

    NFL Network has come up with its list, and it will premier the decision at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve when it airs “The Top 10 Pittsburgh Steelers.”

    The network has itself a series that’s both entertaining and interesting with its many variations of The Top 10, and the subjects run the gamut of “The Top 10 Quarterbacks” to “The Top 10 Players under 5-foot-10.”

    “The Top 10 Steelers” promises to be among the most debated once it’s announced, simply because it has to come down to personal preference. A strictly objective method can’t work.

    It has to come to personal preference, because if individual excellence is the criteria, there are 12 players already enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame who got there by what they did while wearing a Steelers uniform. If the winning of championships is the be-all-end-all, well, there are 14 players with four Super Bowl rings apiece who were named to the Steelers’ All-Time Team as part of the franchise’s 75th Season celebration in 2007. If toughness and a career spent playing the game in a physical fashion is the criteria, there literally are hundreds of players who qualify.

    Since it’s to be about personal preference, I will offer my Top 10. I offer it with humility, completely understanding that my perspective is limited. The honest truth is it was an assignment.

    “That’s like saying, which one of my children is my favorite,” said Tunch Ilkin about trying to pick only 10, and he was a player good enough to be on the Steelers’ All-Time Team.

    I may not have any children, but I feel the sentiment. Nevertheless, here goes, and you will notice there are no active players on this list because in my opinion it’s impossible to measure a career accurately until it’s over, and there are too many outstanding bodies of work already completed to get involved with projections:

    JOE GREENE (1969-1981): He is listed first because Greene is the No. 1 player in franchise history. Only the truly great can change history, and that’s what Joe Greene did. When Chuck Noll first met the team he inherited in 1969 he told the players that the goal was to win a Super Bowl championship but that most of them weren’t good enough to be a part of that. Then, the first player Noll added to that room was Joe Greene, whose legacy to the Steelers transcends any statistics. Greene was all about the winning, and his standing among his peers in the locker room led them in that same direction. In a 1972 game the injury-ravaged Steelers had to have to win the first division title in franchise history, Greene had five sacks and blocked a short field goal attempt by the Oilers; he recovered one fumble and forced another, and those takeaways led to two field goals in a 9-3 win. A defensive tackle, Greene was twice voted the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award. The Steelers have won more games and more championships than any other team since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, and Joe Greene was the player who set the tone for all of it. Hall of Fame Class of 1987.

    The rest of this list is presented in alphabetical order:

    JEROME BETTIS (1996-2005): The Steelers have built their success on the twin cornerstones of running the football and rock-ribbed defense. Bettis is one of the two best running backs for a franchise that has rushed for more yards than any other since 1970. Bettis was the unquestioned leader of the Steelers team that won Super Bowl XL, the fifth in team history. As the most productive big back in NFL history, Bettis will be enshrined in Canton one day.

    MEL BLOUNT (1970-1983): He was so big, strong and fast that Blount helped force the NFL to change its rules on pass defense after the 1977 season. Blount played 14 seasons and 200 games in Pittsburgh, and his 57 interceptions are tops in team history. In 1975 Blount recorded 11 interceptions and was voted NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He was a first-team All-Pro four times. Hall of Fame Class of 1989.

    TERRY BRADSHAW (1970-1983): Winning championships is what distinguishes the great NFL quarterbacks, and that’s why Bradshaw was a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee in 1989. While calling all of his own plays, Bradshaw quarterbacked the Steelers to eight division titles and four Super Bowl championships; Bradshaw was voted the MVP of Super Bowls XIII and XIV, and NFL Player of the Year in 1978. In 19 career playoff games, Bradshaw threw 30 touchdown passes, and his record as a starter in conference championship games and Super Bowls was 8-2. Hall of Fame Class of 1989.

    DERMONTTI DAWSON (1988-2000): His first season as a center was 1989, and his final season was ruined by persistent hamstring injuries. In the decade of the 1990s, Dawson was voted first-team All-Pro six times, and since there is only one center on the team that’s compelling evidence he was the best center in football throughout most of his career. If it’s my team, Dawson is the center over Mike Webster. A two-time finalist for induction into the Hall of Fame, Dawson eventually will have his bust in Canton.

    JACK HAM (1971-1982): There have been 60 Pro Bowls played, and the Steelers have had at least one linebacker in 42 of them. That’s an impressive legacy of linebackers, and Jack Ham was the best of them all. Ham earned All-Pro or All-AFC honors in seven consecutive seasons, played in eight straight Pro Bowls and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988. Ham never lost his poise and seemed immune to making mistakes on the field. Hall of Fame Class of 1988.

    FRANCO HARRIS (1972-83): Said team founder Art Rooney Sr., “We didn’t win too much until he got here. And then we didn’t lose very often after he did.” Harris was the kind of player who was always hustling to the football, which put him in position for the Immaculate Reception. Always at his best in the biggest of games, Harris was named Super Bowl IX MVP after rushing for a then-record 158 yards and a touchdown; in 19 playoff games, he rushed for 1,556 yards and 16 touchdowns to go along with 51 catches for 504 yards. Hall of Fame Class of 1990.

    JACK LAMBERT (1974-84): Forever, there will be the vision of Lambert throwing Dallas safety Cliff Harris to the ground in Super Bowl X, and when it came to passion and intensity few could match him. When asked after a 1981 game about a hit on Browns quarterback Brian Sipe that got him ejected, Lambert said, “Brian has a chance to go out of bounds, and he decides not to. He knows I’m going to hit him. And I do. History.” He was a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, eight-time All-Pro and nine-time Pro Bowl selection. Hall of Fame Class of 1990.

    ERNIE STAUTNER (1950-63): “What made him was his strength,” said Dan Rooney. “This was a time players didn't have strength, they didn’t lift weights. I remember we were playing the Giants at Forbes Field one time and it was a very close game, and they were moving the ball. He sacked the quarterback three times in a row.” The franchise retired his No. 70 jersey in 1964 following his retirement, and he remains the only Steelers player to have received that honor. The Steel Curtain was one of the greatest defensive lines in NFL history, and Stautner would have taken one of that quartet’s jobs. Hall of Fame Class of 1969.

    ROD WOODSON (1987-96): He didn’t win his Super Bowl ring with the Steelers, and he played seven seasons after leaving the team. But if my life depended upon the outcome of a football game, my cornerbacks in that game are Woodson and Blount. One of only five active players selected to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team in 1994, Woodson was a six-time All-Pro cornerback during his 10 years in Pittsburgh and was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1993. Hall of Fame Class of 2009.

    Don’t forget, Christmas Eve, 8 p.m., NFL Network. Enjoy the show, and let the arguments begin.

    http://www.steelers.com/news/article...4-f5835634ead2
    I meant the list that has Hines 10th all time recieving. Not sure what the author is referring to....I think Hines is 21st of all time as of now, right behind Derrick Mason, he could surpass Don Maynard and Michael Irvin this year.

    But nice read anyway....
    Last edited by Stone; Dec-23-2010 at 07:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Ward 10th on NFL all-time list

    Steelers' Ward has secured place in football history

    By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Sunday, December 26, 2010



    Man of respect
    Chaz Palla/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


    The individual accomplishments are as staggering as his blocks.

    Hines Ward has scored more touchdowns — 83 — than any Steeler not named Franco Harris, holds almost every notable franchise receiving record and is 10th on the NFL's all-time receiving list with 11,657 yards.

    What has cemented his legacy, at least in his eyes: He has won two Super Bowls and has a chance to add a third ring with the Steelers (11-4) on track for a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs.

    "That's what changed me," Ward said of winning. "I remember when I was young, I always used to complain because I thought stats were what made somebody because that's what everybody looked at."

    Ward is on pace for his worst statistical season since 2000, but he was hardly complaining after a recent practice. The 13-year veteran flashed the smile that has infuriated opponents and fans alike, as he recalled a blocking drill at the University of Georgia.

    A running back had to run between two cones that were several yards apart — and past a defender in that space. The drill called for receivers to dislodge a defender from an imaginary line of scrimmage or lock down one who had gotten a running start at the running back. If the defender even touched the running back, he won.

    The collisions were so violent that former Georgia receivers coach Darryl Drake said, "You probably couldn't do those kinds of drills today, but that's kind of what we did. Hines just absolutely loved that drill."

    Looking back, Drake sees a deeper sense of purpose in those drills for Ward, something beyond just showing that he was a tough guy, as New York Jets coach Rex Ryan admiringly — and more bluntly — referred to Ward as recently.

    "His No. 1 goal was to be able to have a chance to provide for his mother," said Drake, who recruited Ward to Georgia and is now the Chicago Bears' receivers coach. "He was obsessed with success for one reason, and that's so he could make a better life for her."

    BREAKING THE MOLD

    Twelve receivers were selected before Ward in the 1998 NFL Draft. That is still a point of contention with him.

    Ward slipped to the end of the third round because of questions about his left knee — he has no ACL — and his inexperience at receiver. Ward has outperformed nearly every receiver in his class.

    He has more receiving yards in six different seasons than the four players taken ahead of him in the third round have combined — in their careers. His four Pro Bowl appearances are four more than any receiver drafted ahead of him not named Randy Moss.

    Moss and Ward are two of the top players from a class that included Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, and they couldn't be more different physically.

    The 6-foot-4 Moss is rangy with blinding speed and superior leaping ability. He is a dream receiver, at least from the neck down. Ward has a thick neck and torso that call to mind a fullback or linebacker. The 6-foot, 205-pounder has long endured jokes that he could be timed in the 40-yard dash with a sundial.

    "He's the worst-built receiver in the league," Steelers free safety Ryan Clark said with a smile. "He's just a guy that will block his butt off to the whistle, that spends extra time studying defenses and learning coverages."

    Ward showed plenty of football acumen at Georgia. He shuttled among quarterback, running back and receiver his first two seasons before settling in at receiver.

    "He's one of the top three smartest players at any position I've ever (coached)," said Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, Ward's position coach from 2004-06. "He knows what his body can do. He knows what the defense is trying to do, and he can take his offense and beat you. That's what separates him."

    So does his physicality.

    Ward may be the best blocking receiver in NFL history, and he boasts a collection of made-for-YouTube hits — which hasn't always endeared him to opponents, particularly in Baltimore.

    "We tried to knock his head off, and he was trying to knock our head off," said Ryan, the Ravens' defensive coordinator before taking the Jets' head job. "That is who he is, and that is who he will always be. I remember (cornerback) Samari Rolle tried to tackle him once, and he knocked him out. It was like, 'Wow.' "

    Ward has never apologized for his style of play. That has made him beloved in a city that lost its steel mills long ago but never its blue-collar sensibilities.

    "A lot of (receivers) are just fast and use their speed," he said. "I like to think of myself as a football player."

    THE SACRIFICES OF A MOTHER

    Ward has spent his career trying to disprove his doubters — real or perceived. But that's only half of his story. He also has been driven to show his mother that she raised him right.

    Young Ward prepared airline meals, cleaned hotel rooms and worked nights as a convenience store cashier to provide for her only son. The sacrifices his mother, a native of South Korea, made impressed upon Ward the importance of fulfilling what he considered his end of the deal.

    "I could have skipped class and gone down the wrong street, but I knew my mom was working her tail off providing for me, and I wanted to be able to repay her," said Ward, who grew up in suburban Atlanta. "I was being teased, guys calling me nerds or 'You're a sellout.' I didn't really care for that. I just wanted to get to the next level and play football."

    He could have gone to just about any school, as Drake learned one night when he showed up for Ward's high school basketball game and spied Notre Dame's Lou Holtz and Florida State's Bobby Bowden in the stands. Ward opted to stay close to home, and his exploits at Georgia are legendary. He thew for a Peach Bowl-record 413 yards — with a badly sprained right wrist — and left the school trailing only Herschel Walker in all-purpose yards.

    Ward also graduated in 3 1/2 years, becoming the first member of his family to earn a degree. That is the accomplishment, he said, that his mother is most proud of.

    "I was scared of failure, and I always wanted to be successful," said Ward, who has a degree in economics. "Not just for my mom's approval but just myself in general. That's all the motivation I need."

    WILL THE HALL CALL?

    Ward, 34, has found extra incentive from perceived slights throughout the years, namely the Steelers using three first-round picks on receivers since 1999.

    "Still to this day, I feel like I've got to climb over Mt. Everest just to solidify that I'm pretty good wide receiver," Ward said. "Even if I do, there's still the (perception) of, 'Is he one of the elite guys in the league?' Or 'Is he still a top-tier wideout in the league?' "

    The larger question of Ward's place in NFL history ultimately will be decided by the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee. His eligibility clock for Canton starts ticking when he retires — whether that is after this season, after 2013 when his contract expires or somewhere in between.

    It has become increasingly difficult for receivers to gain entrance into football's most exclusive club. Cris Carter is a prime example.

    Carter, third on the NFL's all-time list in receptions and fourth in touchdown catches, has been passed over three times in large part because voters have cast a wary eye on numbers posted during a pass-happy era.

    If that hurts Ward when he becomes eligible, his blocking might make him stand out on the ballot. So would a third Super Bowl title. Ward said last spring he would retire if the Steelers win the Super Bowl this season.

    When he does leave, he will do so with no regrets.

    "Everything I got to this point, I worked my (behind) off to get," Ward said. "I wouldn't ask for it any other way because nothing was ever given to me.

    "I've earned everything."

    SOUNDING OFF

    Steelers receiver Hines Ward weighs in on ...

    • His longevity:

    "I didn't expect myself to be playing this long, maybe five years. I started off behind the 8 ball. I was a special teams guy. Once I got my opportunity, I (never looked back). Then, they started drafting guys, and it didn't bother me because it wasn't what other guys were going to do. It was all about me. If I started messing up, then that's on me."

    • Lasting until the final pick of the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft:

    "I think (Patriots quarterback) Tom Brady said it best. Still to this day he always plays with a chip on his shoulder because of all the teams that passed him over. You're always going to have that feeling."

    • Not putting up big numbers this season like Bengals receiver Terrell Owens:

    "T.O.'s having a great year, but they're losing. For me, I'd rather be winning and, when my number's called, help make plays for our team. I'm all about success. I want to win."

    • His approach to the game:

    "I keep lobbying Coach (Dick) LeBeau to let me get in the game and blitz a little bit. I've always had that defensive mentality playing offense."

    HIGH PRAISE

    What others are saying about Ward:

    • "To put up the numbers he put up here, especially when we were truly a run-first offense, it's pretty incredible, given that they've also drafted four or five first-round receivers, and he's still the only one here." — Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu

    • "I could talk all day about the effort, the will to win, his determination and his toughness. But we've been seeing that for 15 years or however long he's been playing. He's a warrior." — Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger

    • "I remember my first meeting, he helped me organize my folder. Something that small meant a lot. It showed me how to organize my plays, how to study, what to write down." — Steelers rookie receiver Antonio Brown

    • "I remember our first scrimmage, we were scrimmaging the Redskins, and I got into a scuffle with a linebacker, and he was the first guy to jump into the fight. I could tell right then that this dude is a warrior." — Former Steelers running back Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala, who was in the same draft class as Ward

    • "Probably the best free safety I had ever seen. He would just absolutely kill you." — Chicago Bears receivers coach Darryl Drake on his recruitment of Ward when Drake was at Georgia

    • "He always has to play with that chip on his shoulder, practice with that chip on his shoulder. I always love it when he's real edgy because I know he's ready to play." — Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians

    HIDDEN GEM

    Twelve receivers were selected before Ward in the 1998 NFL Draft. A look at how their careers have played out:

    Player, Selecting team, G, Rec. Yds., Avg., TD

    First round

    • Kevin Dyson, Titans, 59, 178, 2,325, 13.1, 18,

    • Randy Moss, Vikings, 200, 953, 14,840, 15.6, 153

    Second round

    • Jerome Pathon, Colts, 101, 260, 3,350, 12.9, 15

    • Jacquez Green, Buccaneers, 66, 162, 2,311, 14.3, 7

    • Patrick Johnson, Ravens, 70, 84, 1,286, 15.3, 10

    • Germane Crowell, Lions, 54, 184, 2,722, 14.8, 16

    • Tony Simmons, Patriots, 49, 58, 998, 17.2, 6

    • Joe Jurevicius, Giants, 133, 323, 4,119, 12.8, 29

    Third round

    • Brian Alford, Giants, 4, 2, 18, 9.0, 1

    • E.G. Green, Colts, 29, 54, 665, 12.3, 2

    • Jammi German, Falcons, 35, 20, 294, 14.7, 2

    • Larry Shannon, Dolphins, 2, 0, 0, 0

    Hines Ward, Steelers, 201, 949, 11,657, 12.3, 82

    CHART TOPPERS

    A look at the top five receivers, statistically, in Steelers history:

    Player, Years, G, Rec. Yds., Avg., TD

    Hines Ward, 1998-present, 201, 949, 11,657, 12.3, 82

    • John Stallworth, 1974-87, 165, 537, 8,723, 16.2, 63

    • Louis Lipps, 1984-91, 108, 358, 6,018, 16.8, 39

    • Lynn Swann, 1974-82, 115, 336, 5,462, 16.3, 51

    • Elbie Nickel, 1947-57, 131, 329, 5,133, 15.6, 37

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_715454.html

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Ward 10th on NFL all-time list

    Hines is the best all-round receiver to ever play the game. Bar none.
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    Default Re: Ward 10th on NFL all-time list

    I've neer even heard of most of these receivers that they've listed.

    I wonder if there is a way to see how many Steeler receivers Ward outlasted ?

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