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View Full Version : Hines Ward - A not so hidden Gem



NorthCoast
12-29-2010, 10:26 AM
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


Other than Randy Moss, no WR drafted before him comes close to his numbers. And keep in mind half of his career has been in a run-oriented offense.