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Steelhere10
11-13-2011, 09:29 PM
A healthy Hines barely seen the field today, he only played on running plays. Tomlin said he was healthy. Even Jericho played more.

bostonsteeler
11-13-2011, 09:31 PM
He's done. He has only about 270 yards for the season, the lowest ever in his career after 10 games.

Eddie Spaghetti
11-13-2011, 09:36 PM
he will have a clutch catch to help win us a game this year.

don't throw dirt on him just yet.

RuthlessBurgher
11-13-2011, 09:39 PM
He's averaging 3 catches per game this season. There are 6 more games left, which would come out to 18 more catches the rest of the way at his current pace. He is 19 catches shy of 1000 for his career. They'll make sure he gets there.

papillon
11-13-2011, 09:39 PM
Man, I hope he gets the 19 more catches he needs to get to 1,000; otherwise, it isn't happening for him and that would be a shame. I don't see how he gets 3 a game from here on out, but I hope he does.

Pappy

Chavezz
11-13-2011, 09:45 PM
Im sure that once we get a game where we have a good lead, they'll focus on getting him some catches.

skyhawk
11-13-2011, 09:50 PM
Hines was apparently NOT healthy today.

DukieBoy
11-13-2011, 09:57 PM
Man, I hope he gets the 19 more catches he needs to get to 1,000; otherwise, it isn't happening for him and that would be a shame. I don't see how he gets 3 a game from here on out, but I hope he does.

Pappy


There is always the ubiquitous bubble screen.

RuthlessBurgher
11-13-2011, 09:58 PM
Man, I hope he gets the 19 more catches he needs to get to 1,000; otherwise, it isn't happening for him and that would be a shame. I don't see how he gets 3 a game from here on out, but I hope he does.

Pappy


There is always the ubuquitous bubble screen.

After the Suggs INT last week, I thought we'd end that.

I had PTSD symptoms every time we threw that today.

DukieBoy
11-13-2011, 10:02 PM
http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/inde ... um=twitter (http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/steelers/113205-ed-ward-drops-on-depth-chart?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter)

Ed says Hines drops on the depth chart. He has been injured though.

SidSmythe
11-13-2011, 10:03 PM
Heath has replaced Hines as his "hole in the zone" guy

DukieBoy
11-13-2011, 10:04 PM
Man, I hope he gets the 19 more catches he needs to get to 1,000; otherwise, it isn't happening for him and that would be a shame. I don't see how he gets 3 a game from here on out, but I hope he does.

Pappy


There is always the ubuquitous bubble screen.

After the Suggs INT last week, I thought we'd end that.

I had PTSD symptoms every time we threw that today.

Yup, I was nervous about that, too. I guess Airhead had his way.

RuthlessBurgher
11-13-2011, 10:05 PM
Heath has replaced Hines as his "hole in the zone" guy

And Antonio Brown has replaced him as the "most dependable when we absolutely, positively need a 1st down" guy.

DukieBoy
11-13-2011, 10:08 PM
Heath has replaced Hines as his "hole in the zone" guy

And Antonio Brown has replaced him as the "most dependable when we absolutely, positively need a 1st down" guy.

Brown was spectacular today. I thought he was the best offensive player on the field today. I wouldn't mind having AJ Green on my team, though.

hawaiiansteel
11-13-2011, 10:19 PM
Brown was spectacular today. I thought he was the best offensive player on the field today. I wouldn't mind having AJ Green on my team, though.

AJ Green is definitely a stud.

but what is so impressive about Antonio Brown's play is while AJ Green was the 4th overall player chosen in his class Brown was the 195th player picked in his.

flippy
11-13-2011, 10:31 PM
When Sanders comes back, it's going to be hard justifying much playing time for Hines.

Getting Sanders going with Brown, Wallace, and Heath is going to be the key to winning SuperBowls. This offense is going to have to carry us.

JTP53609
11-13-2011, 11:03 PM
we all knew this would happen some day, I just did not think his fall would happen so fast, who knows he might be able to come back from this, but with sanders coming back and heath now being Ben's security blanket I dont know if Hines will get his 19 more catches to reach 1000 for his career. What looked to be a slam dunk in August looks to be a long shot now, I do not think we will have to worry about cutting him for next year because he will call it a career before he gets in that position.

Steelers>NFL
11-13-2011, 11:19 PM
When Sanders comes back, it's going to be hard justifying much playing time for Hines.

Getting Sanders going with Brown, Wallace, and Heath is going to be the key to winning SuperBowls. This offense is going to have to carry us.


Sorry, but this offense will NOT carry the Steelers to the SB!

pittpete
11-13-2011, 11:43 PM
Sorry, but this offense will NOT carry the Steelers to the SB!

With Ben calling the plays, I'd say you're wrong.
Arians gets involved and we get the second half vs. the Bengals

DukieBoy
11-14-2011, 12:02 AM
Hines will make a great Steelers receivers coach for years to come.

hawaiiansteel
11-14-2011, 02:11 AM
Hines Ward benched during Steelers game

Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on November 13, 2011

http://nbcprofootballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/h-wardvscin.jpg?w=250

Hines Ward suffered benched-like symptoms during Pittsburgh’s win against the Bengals.

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes that Ward was not on the field in three receiver sets. Instead, it was Jerricho Cotchery who caught two passes and scored a touchdown.

Ward caught his only pass for four yards.

Perhaps the Steelers were playing it safe with Ward heading into the bye. But anyone that has watched Ward this season has to admit his knees look shot and he simply hasn’t been effective. When Emmanuel Sanders returns, Ward might fall to fifth on the depth chart.

Ward is due $4 million next season. It wouldn’t be surprising if this winds up being his last season in Pittsburgh, and quite possibly in the NFL.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... lers-game/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/11/13/hines-ward-benched-during-steelers-game/)

aggiebones
11-14-2011, 11:55 AM
He will not be a big play maker, but you have not seen the last of Hines this year. Yea, next year will be tough for him. He may make a Bettis like gift and play for minimum just to help and be a 5th-6th WR, but this year he will be a factor at different times. He can't carry the torch every week, but he has some gifts left to give.
Sanders has shown inability to stay healthy, Wallace has been in and out with his contributions and Heath will be required to stay at home more often at times. He'll still have 5-6 catches every now and then. Trust me, teams don't want their 4th best DB on him in 4 WR sets. He has too many tools at his disposal. He's clearly hurt a bit from the injury and possibly lingering concussion problems. As we get closer to playoffs, hopefully he's an extra healthy weapon. Will he get 1000? Hard to tell. May be 10 or less short.

snarky
11-14-2011, 12:13 PM
But if he comes back as a 5th or 6th receiver, doesn't that short-change the special teams. I don't think there's any way he avoids being cut (or taking a pay cut) after this year.

My heart is hoping that the whole DWTS thing, combined with the post-season run last year and the lockout meant he just didn't get into shape for this season -- and that he can come back next year and somehow earn a spot on the team. But I don't see it happening.

And I don't understand this fascination/belief that he will be a WR coach for the Steelers. Can't say I wouldn't love it but it never works that way. And who's to say he would be any good. There is a difference between being a good mentor and a good coach.

RuthlessBurgher
11-14-2011, 01:41 PM
But if he comes back as a 5th or 6th receiver, doesn't that short-change the special teams. I don't think there's any way he avoids being cut (or taking a pay cut) after this year.

My heart is hoping that the whole DWTS thing, combined with the post-season run last year and the lockout meant he just didn't get into shape for this season -- and that he can come back next year and somehow earn a spot on the team. But I don't see it happening.

And I don't understand this fascination/belief that he will be a WR coach for the Steelers. Can't say I wouldn't love it but it never works that way. And who's to say he would be any good. There is a difference between being a good mentor and a good coach.

Coaches work insane hours. Guys who have already earned the amount of money that Hines has do not want to work those kinds of hours. Marginal NFL talent (who never got the big time signing bonuses that Hines got) tend to make the best NFL coaches. What Hall-of-Fame caliber players have gone on to be successful coaches?

Steelhere10
11-14-2011, 04:16 PM
Hines days with the B@G is over, They want have 10+ million tied into two wr. Wallace will get his and HW will be released or retire. They wasnt looking at Plax or JC for this year it's for next year.

hawaiiansteel
11-14-2011, 09:01 PM
By Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Monday, November 14, 2011

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1361475/38844165E.jpg

Steelers receiver Jerricho Cotchery beats the Bengals' Leon Hall for a first quarter touchdown.

>> Receiver Hines Ward is the leading receiver in Steelers history. But he proved to be the odd man out Sunday, with Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace starting at wideout and Jerricho Cotchery getting more playing time than Ward.

Ward, who had one catch for 10 yards, returned from concussion-like symptoms he sustained a week earlier. But coach Mike Tomlin said health had nothing to do with Ward's limited snaps. "We were just looking at some personnel groups and looking at ways we wanted to attack these people," Tomlin said. "We'll do that from week to week. It may not be any indication of his participation moving forward."

http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburght ... 67158.html (http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_767158.html)

Steelhere10
11-14-2011, 10:09 PM
May not is the key word in that last article.

fezziwig
11-14-2011, 10:16 PM
I don't know if Hines lost something or not. He was never a speed guy so, I can't say that is what it is. He doesn't stretch the field but that wasn't what he was ever about. In the past Hines seemed to never get injured or allow hits on him to cause him injury. I don't mean to say he is allowing the injuries but, I just can't place it.
I think the only answer I have is, the other guys are doing a better job. AB is just spectacular and as someone mentioned, Heath is now the dump and and take his lumps receiver. I still think Hines is good but the other guys are getting in better position on the field or at least at the yard marks that Ben want to attack at with his passing.
I'm not ready to throw Hines from the team but it's hard to argue what Wallace, Miller, Brown and Cotchry brings to the game.
These other guys just seem to make more happen after they catch the ball.
I do believe Hines is more banged up than he is letting on. I doubt he wants to admit it in fear of the competition of the receivers and after calling Ben out that one season.

Another thing about this offense being or not being a Super Bowl offense. When they're clicking they can hang with any team in my opinion. The defense is what bothers me. They are not the same force they used to be. Maybe when Woodley returns that will not be the case and despite William Gays last performance.... he is not going to do well come playoff time.

Steel Life
11-14-2011, 10:39 PM
Hines days with the B@G is over, They want have 10+ million tied into two wr. Wallace will get his and HW will be released or retire. They wasnt looking at Plax or JC for this year it's for next year.
Don't get the glee you seem to be taking this news...

Steelhere10
11-14-2011, 11:24 PM
Hines days with the B@G is over, They want have 10+ million tied into two wr. Wallace will get his and HW will be released or retire. They wasnt looking at Plax or JC for this year it's for next year.
Don't get the glee you seem to be taking this news...There is no glee, but the time has come , when and how long do you hold on to a aging player. A Smith, Farrior are good examples, 2 years too late. The Ravens is a prime example, they dumped a lot of old guys at the start of the season and now we are down 0-2 to them.

Oviedo
11-15-2011, 05:17 AM
IMO if at all possible they will let Hines get his 1000 catches and then he can retire gracefully. They will be feeding him the ball against some of the lesser opponents in the final six games to make that happen.

We know they will want to lock up Wallace long term after the season, but I wouldn't wait too long on Brown or he may become to darn expensive.

We are seeing a generational change at WR this season. I think we complete the same type of change on the DL and DBs next season with Smith finally gone for good and possibly Hoke and Hampton on the DL and McFadden, Gay and Clark leaving from the secondary.

steelblood
11-15-2011, 08:34 AM
IMO if at all possible they will let Hines get his 1000 catches and then he can retire gracefully. They will be feeding him the ball against some of the lesser opponents in the final six games to make that happen.

We know they will want to lock up Wallace long term after the season, but I wouldn't wait too long on Brown or he may become to darn expensive.

We are seeing a generational change at WR this season. I think we complete the same type of change on the DL and DBs next season with Smith finally gone for good and possibly Hoke and Hampton on the DL and McFadden, Gay and Clark leaving from the secondary.

There is almost no way we can sign both Wallace and Brown this offseason. We are already way over the cap. I say we give Wallace the high (1st and 3rd tender) and then start negotiations and see if we can get something reasonable done (and not real long term as Wallace is a slight guy who relies entirely on his speed and is a major knee injury away from being worthless). IMO, Brown would be much less expensive to sign right now and a better value to sign long term. As fans, we need to get used to the fact that one of these receivers will likely leave with our salary cap issues.

feltdizz
11-15-2011, 09:52 AM
IMO if at all possible they will let Hines get his 1000 catches and then he can retire gracefully. They will be feeding him the ball against some of the lesser opponents in the final six games to make that happen.

We know they will want to lock up Wallace long term after the season, but I wouldn't wait too long on Brown or he may become to darn expensive.

We are seeing a generational change at WR this season. I think we complete the same type of change on the DL and DBs next season with Smith finally gone for good and possibly Hoke and Hampton on the DL and McFadden, Gay and Clark leaving from the secondary.

Gay isn't leaving anytime soon.. I know fans don't like him but the coaches do.

fezziwig
11-15-2011, 09:56 AM
I'm sure Ben will chime in with whom he feels is most important to the team for his taste and tie breaker on whom to keep. Is there any possible chance that Bens contract if he permits can be negotiated to keep both guys around ?
I have a lot of faith in the front office and they usually keep the important guys.

I have a stupid question for you guys. When an injured player gets placed on I R does his salary still affect the cap ? I mean you have Arron Smith out for the season and now you need to bring in someone to fill the roster spot so, does the new guy put the team over the cap ?

Steelhere10
11-15-2011, 11:20 AM
Yes

hawaiiansteel
11-17-2011, 03:17 AM
Hines Ward and Father Time

by CRAIG WOLFLEY on NOVEMBER 15, 2011


The addition of Jerrich Cotchery this past off-season was looked upon as an insurance move to replace the aging Antwaan Randle El. A hamstring injury shelved Jerricho for the first three games. While Hines Ward tweaked an ankle and got doinked in the second go-round with Baltimore, Jerricho did what he needed to do. He stepped up and caught 3 for 44 yards against the Ravens and added 2 more for 29 yards against Cinncinati including a 16-yard TD catch.

I know what the general thought out there is saying now. Hines is done, he’s in his 14th year and Father Time waits for no one. Cotchery is younger and ready to move “Old Yeller” to the 5th wideout position.

Though it was a reported “healthy” Hines Ward looking on from the sidelines in Cincy, nobody but Hines, Mike Tomlin and the medical staff know for sure. Such is the nature of injuries in the NFL these days.

If Hines had been the guy that had racked up Cotchery’s numbers on sunday, many would say that it was just another indicator that Hines was slowing down, not an indicator of a player on the rise. Two catches for 29-yards is just what a 3rd or 4th receiver would bag in the normal course of a game.

The real story is the emergence of Antonio Brown. His four catches on one drive in the 2nd quarter including hauling in a 21-yard pass on a 3rd and 19 was brilliant. The howitzer Ben launched at him on that 3rd down pass was thrown so hard i’m suprised Antonio has finger prints. But the man was on fire. And he deserves to have that fire fed in the future. With Manny Sanders re-habbing a knee, look for more from Brown.

As far as Hines is concerned, this man has been through so many battles, don’t ever count him out. Rare is the man of courage and strength, not to mention resilience that is Hines Ward. With six games remaining after the bye week, and hopefully a run deep into the playoffs, his number will be called upon again.

http://craigwolfley.com/2011/11/hines-w ... ther-time/ (http://craigwolfley.com/2011/11/hines-ward-and-father-time/)

phillyesq
11-17-2011, 11:11 AM
IMO if at all possible they will let Hines get his 1000 catches and then he can retire gracefully. They will be feeding him the ball against some of the lesser opponents in the final six games to make that happen.

I agree. I think the Steelers help Hines get his catches if at all possible. I also think that Hines can still be useful to the team this year. He has a nose for the end zone, and in the red zone, his ability to find soft spots in zones is an asset. I would also be surprised if he doesn't come up with a few third down conversions before the season is over.

Northern_Blitz
11-17-2011, 11:33 AM
IMO if at all possible they will let Hines get his 1000 catches and then he can retire gracefully. They will be feeding him the ball against some of the lesser opponents in the final six games to make that happen.

I agree. I think the Steelers help Hines get his catches if at all possible. I also think that Hines can still be useful to the team this year. He has a nose for the end zone, and in the red zone, his ability to find soft spots in zones is an asset. I would also be surprised if he doesn't come up with a few third down conversions before the season is over.

Especially since he may start to get overlooked by opposing Ds.

RuthlessBurgher
11-17-2011, 01:33 PM
I know what the general thought out there is saying now. Hines is done, he’s in his 14th year and Father Time waits for no one. Cotchery is younger and ready to move “Old Yeller” to the 5th wideout position.

Wolf just called an Asian guy "Old Yeller" :lol:

fordfixer
11-18-2011, 03:32 AM
I know what the general thought out there is saying now. Hines is done, he’s in his 14th year and Father Time waits for no one. Cotchery is younger and ready to move “Old Yeller” to the 5th wideout position.

Wolf just called an Asian guy "Old Yeller" :lol:
It's no wonder they get Angry :lol:

flippy
11-18-2011, 11:29 AM
I've always thought in the back of my head, Cotchery is the insurance plan in case they can't sign Wallace. We'd be in pretty good shape with Brown, Sanders, and Cotch.

Saunders development is the other wild card that could make Wallace less critical.

WRs are a dime a dozen. But somehow we got these 3 young superstars and we may not need them all.

steelblood
11-18-2011, 05:29 PM
Cotchery is a UFA after the season. There is no guarantee he will resign with us.

hawaiiansteel
11-20-2011, 02:51 AM
Bouchette on the Steelers: He says he's 'owed nothing,' but doesn't Hines Ward deserve a little more?

Sunday, November 20, 2011
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/images/201111/hines1120_500.jpg

Hines Ward: 14 years, two Super Bowl rings, nearly 12,000 yards ... and not one word last week?

The Steelers coaches could have displayed better bedside manners when they benched Hines Ward last week.

Maybe the coaching staff believes that veteran receiver Jerricho Cotchery, in his first season with the Steelers, can help the team more than Ward, in his 14th season with the Steelers.

And maybe they are correct. Hines Ward himself said Tuesday that he is "owed nothing" by the coaches. But this someday Hall of Fame candidate deserved one thing -- more respect through a simple, quiet meeting with one of his coaches to tell him that his role had changed.

This isn't some fly-by-night player here. This is the most decorated and productive receiver in Steelers history, a Super Bowl MVP and often the face and spokesman for the team.

It's not wrong that he lost his starting status or was dropped to No. 4 or even No. 5 on the depth chart. But someone owed him at least a heads-up that it was going to happen and maybe even an explanation as to why. Ward obviously could see it coming by how he was used in practices, but would it have hurt to have someone tell him before the practice week started?

It could have come from Mike Tomlin or Bruce Arians, who was Ward's position coach before he became offensive coordinator.

It would have taken them two minutes, somewhere in private so Ward could be given the chance to talk about it before the game on his terms, and he, the fans and the media were not blindsided by it.

Would that have been too much to ask?

Ward took the high road Tuesday, saying all the right things when a gaggle of media gathered around him in the locker room.

It comes time for everyone, sooner for athletes. The great ones, the ones who contributed to two Super Bowl victories and countless memorable moments, those who played through injuries and concussions and gave what Hines Ward did to play the game, deserve a little more respect when their time comes.

The Florida Factor

The runaway leader for the Steelers rookie of the year is Marcus Gilbert, their second-round draft choice from the University of Florida.

Gilbert, who was going to be groomed for their left-tackle job of the future, is their starting right tackle of the present. He stepped in after Willie Colon's season-ending injury in the first game and quickly ended the calls to bring back Flozell Adams.

Gilbert, like all rookies, had to do without the preparation time that the spring practices and study sessions would have afforded him. Then, he had a lengthy stay on the sideline in training camp with a hamstring injury.

"I studied my playbook and I knew when I got back on the field, I'd push harder," Gilbert said. "When Willie went down with his injury, I felt I was caught up, and they knew they could count on me."

When Max Starks rejoined the team Oct. 5 and started immediately at left tackle, it gave the Steelers three former Gators in their starting line, including Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey. Gilbert credits Starks, who has started at both tackles, for helping his progress.

"Bringing him back has really helped us a lot. I'm grateful to have a dude like him; he's like a brother helping me out. Without Max, I don't think I would be progressing as I have."

The whole line has progressed since Starks' arrival and since the five starters have been able to stay healthy. After seven different starting offensive line combinations through seven games, they have started the same five the past four.

They'll come ... but when?

Like a .350 hitter batting .198 in June, the Steelers defense is due for a gaggle of turnovers over the final six games.

Through 10 games, they have six turnovers, four interceptions. That puts them on a pace to get 9 or 10 for the season. Last season, they had 35. Four NFL players have more interceptions than the entire Steelers defense.

They may be the first 7-3 team -- tied for the best record in the AFC -- to have a turnover disparity of minus-10.

Troy Polamalu led the Steelers with seven interceptions last season on the way to being named NFL defensive player of the year. He has none this season, although he did score the only touchdown by the defense on a returned fumble to help them beat Indianapolis.

"It comes down to a little bit of everything," Polamalu said, explaining what goes into turnovers. "How prepared you can be, how comfortable you feel with the offense, how comfortable you feel with the defense, seizing those opportunities you may have, playing your technique.

"All of it obviously comes down to whether you can be in position to make turnovers. We just haven't been making any. Hopefully, we'll be better at that."

Shedding new light on an old theory

James Farrior, who turns 37 in January, does not think the Steelers' heavy veteran presence necessarily will help them down the stretch.

He said that because he was fooled into thinking, as many were, that veteran presence would help at the start of the season after the lockout prevented all those spring practices.

"We said that at the beginning of the season, how we should have an advantage being that we're an older group of guys, a veteran group and with the lockout we didn't need that much preparation and work," the defensive captain said.

"But it showed that wasn't really true because we're 7-3, we're not 10-0. So I don't think it really makes a big difference. It's about what you put on the field."

And, as they have moved through this season, many veterans have lost some of their status. Bryant McFadden went from starting cornerback to No. 5. Hines Ward went from starting receiver to, at least Sunday, No. 4. Starters Aaron Smith and Willie Colon were lost for the season. Young backup Steve McLendon has been getting more time playing nose tackle, and Marcus Gilbert took over at right tackle.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11324/11 ... z1eDotItxU (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11324/1191240-66-0.stm#ixzz1eDotItxU)

Oviedo
11-20-2011, 10:11 AM
I've always thought in the back of my head, Cotchery is the insurance plan in case they can't sign Wallace. We'd be in pretty good shape with Brown, Sanders, and Cotch.

Saunders development is the other wild card that could make Wallace less critical.

WRs are a dime a dozen. But somehow we got these 3 young superstars and we may not need them all.

Brown and Sanders are not in the class of Wallace. Wallace is a the type of players that opposing defensive coordinators spend hours worrying about and make constant in game adjustments to deal with. Right now Brown is flourishing because opponents are more worried about Wallace than him.

Wallace is a once in a decade player and losing him is not the end of things but it would make our offense much less potent. Also, the jury is out on Sanders. To me he has it all except for the ability to stay healthy. I would not be counting on him as a long term asset.

With the possibility of Hines and Cotchery being gone next year, we must keep Wallace and probably on top of that add another WR or two to keep a solid four available for games.

fezziwig
11-20-2011, 11:36 AM
I hope we have players that look or view their careers with being happy with the team they are with and the wins that will come instead of trying to get every last dollar that other teams may throw at them.
I would much rather take a little less if I know I'm going to be with a team like the Steelers and I don't need to tell you guys what, it means to be a Steeler as a player.

Heard someone on the radio today still upset that we didn't get Plaxico. I myself thought it would have been nice but, Plax won't be the reason that we do or don't have success. I didn't think Plax was a bad receiver but he wasn't the end all of receivers. Plax had a lot of drops in his day that I recall and there were the complaints that he took off plays. Don't know how true that part was but, we made it to a couple of Super Bowl wins without him.
Also, who would sit out if Plaxico was on the team and maybe it would be Plax himself not making it to the first team.

I hope we sign the young guns that we have and the future will look good.

hawaiiansteel
11-22-2011, 12:48 AM
Ward's role in passing game could be waning

by Mike Wilkening - Senior editor PFW
Posted Nov. 19, 2011


What will WR Hines Ward's role be down the stretch? It becomes an issue to monitor after Ward played less than usual in the Week 10 win at Cincinnati and caught only one pass.

Ward left the previous week's game after a helmet-to-helmet hit from Ravens MLB Ray Lewis but was cleared to play vs. the Bengals. The injury didn't lead to Ward's lack of playing time, head coach Mike Tomlin said.

"No, I think he was ready to go, but we were just looking at some personnel groups and looking at ways we wanted to attack (the Bengals)," Tomlin said after the game, according to the club. "We'll do that from week to week. It may not be any indication of his participation moving forward, it's just an indication of his participation today."

While Ward's playing time waned, and with Emmanuel Sanders (knee) out, Jerricho Cotchery's role increased. Cotchery, the ex-Jet, caught a TD vs. the Bengals and regularly played in the slot.

The first signs of the potential for a squeeze on Ward's playing time came late last season, when Sanders and Antonio Brown started to assume bigger roles. Brown has taken his game to another level this year — he has been targeted even more than Mike Wallace, the Steelers' leading pass catcher — and has played frequently as an outside receiver.

Long regarded as one of the game's toughest players, Ward, in his 14th NFL season, has two years left on his contract and is slated to make $4 million in 2012, according to Rotoworld.com.

"Is the end near? Yes, it is. He knows it, and they know it," said one NFL personnel man, speaking in general terms, and on condition of anonymity, of where Ward, 35, is at in his career.

However, the evaluator believes Ward isn't done being a contributor and believes the Steelers are "saving him some (for) down the stretch." Ward still can be effective, especially on early downs, the evaluator said, and the Steelers use him correctly, with underneath crossing-route patterns he runs well.

Ward, who is 30 yards short of 12,000 yards receiving, and 19 receptions short of 1,000 in his career, has handled his apparent role change well, saying all the right things. The sense is he won't disappear from the offense in the games to come. But the Steelers' succession plan at wide receiver is rather clear.

http://www.profootballweekly.com/2011/1 ... -be-waning (http://www.profootballweekly.com/2011/11/18/wards-role-in-passing-game-could-be-waning)

fezziwig
11-22-2011, 04:02 PM
I would like to see Ward reach his milestones but, not at the expense of not having the best game plan or players on the field. I'm sure Hines will get close if not meet the yards and catches that would get him to the promise land of stats.
Had the Steelers used him earlier in his career and if the previous regime was more pass happy this would have happened for Hines three years ago IMHO.

hawaiiansteel
12-05-2011, 09:45 PM
Steelers Notebook: Ward reaches 12,000-yard milestone

Monday, December 05, 2011
By Sam Werner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Hines Ward has seen his role in the Steelers offense diminish over the course of this season, but the 14-year veteran once again took center stage Sunday.

Ward led the team with five catches totaling 30 yards in the win against Cincinnati. His second reception put him at 12,008 yards for his career. He is the first Steelers receiver to reach the mark and just the 19th player in NFL history.

The catch that put him over 12,000 was, fittingly, a 12-yard pass over the middle. It's the kind of route that has defined Ward's time with the Steelers.

"Mike [Wallace] was teasing me on the sidelines, saying 'Not bad for a lot of option routes and choice routes,'" Ward said. "That's a lot of passes, considering I don't really go deep all the time."

Ward said Wallace, Antonio Brown and the other Steelers receivers were some of his biggest supporters when he reached the milestone.

"The guy's a class act," Wallace said. "He's humble. He doesn't cry when he doesn't get the ball. His role has decreased a little bit, he doesn't cry about that. I'm always happy for him to see things go his way."

Ward was in the game for 20 plays against the Bengals. The past two contests he was on the field for just nine and 16 snaps, respectively.

Ward also became just the third player with 12,000 receiving yards and multiple Super Bowl championships. The other two -- Jerry Rice and Art Monk -- are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Ward also inched closer to another milestone Sunday. After his five catches, Ward is 10 away from becoming the eighth player in NFL history with 1,000 career receptions.

"To go over 12,000 yards, do it at home and to beat the Cincinnati Bengals, today was a trifecta," Ward said. "It was an all-around good day."

Special performance

The Steelers received three big plays from the special teams Sunday -- two of which they hadn't gotten in a while.

First, defensive lineman Cameron Heyward blocked Mike Nugent's 33-yard field-goal attempt on the Bengals' first drive of the game. It was the first time the Steelers had blocked a field-goal attempt since Aaron Smith did so against the Tennessee Titans in the 2009 season opener.

"I'm not going to sit up here and tell you I meant to do it," Heyward said with a smile. "I was just in the right place at the right time."

The kickoff coverage unit came up with the next big play, forcing a fumble after the Steelers' first touchdown. Stevenson Sylvester knocked the ball loose from Cincinnati returner Brandon Tate and Emmanuel Sanders recovered. The Steelers extended their lead to 14-0 three plays later.

Finally, Antonio Brown put the game away with a 60-yard punt return for a touchdown late in the second quarter. It was the Steelers' first punt return for a score since Santonio Holmes took one back against the Chargers in the 2008 playoffs.

More broken records

With his 15 completions, Ben Roethlisberger moved to 2,026 all time, passing Terry Bradshaw's team record of 2,025.

Bradshaw set his mark in 14 seasons with the team, while Roethlisberger is in just his eighth year in the league.

"It's obviously an awesome honor," Roethlisberger said. "I didn't know anything about it until everyone came up to me. Anytime you break a guy like that's record it's a great thing."

Running back Rashard Mendenhall also moved up in the franchise record books. His first touchdown of the game was the 27th rushing score of his career, moving him to fifth place all time in Steelers history and passing John Henry Johnson and Barry Foster. Mendenhall has scored 15 rushing touchdowns in his past 17 games.

Injury update

Linebacker LaMarr Woodley made his first appearance since Week 8 after missing three games with a hamstring injury, but left after the fifth play of the Steelers' second defensive series in the first quarter.

Woodley said his hamstring just felt "fatigued" and that he could have gone back in had the game been closer. Jason Worilds, who started the past three games in place of Woodley, replaced him.

"I wasn't expecting to go out there and play the whole game any ways just because it's my first game back and we didn't want to do anything to pull the hamstring," Woodley said.

Woodley said he expects to be ready to go for Thursday night's game against Cleveland.

Starting right guard Ramon Foster went down with a left ankle sprain in the third quarter and did not return. He was replaced by Trai Essex. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he wasn't sure whether or not Foster would be able to play against the Browns.

Hometown flavor

The Steelers honored three local high school teams during the third quarter.

WPIAL Class A champion Clairton, WPIAL Class AAA champion Montour and City League champion University Prep were all shown on the jumbotron at Heinz Field.

Later in the game, the WPIAL got even more exposure, this time on the field. When starting quarterbacks Roethlisberger and Andy Dalton left the game late in the fourth quarter, they were replaced by Charlie Batch and Bruce Gradkowski, both former WPIAL quarterbacks.

Batch graduated from Steel Valley in 1992; Gradkowski from Seton-LaSalle in 2001.

Big call

Penalties ravaged the Bengals all day. In all, they were called for 10 penalties for 109 yards. Conversely, the Steelers were called for four penalties and 29 yards.

But it was a pass interference call on Bengals safety Chris Crocker in the second quarter that might have been the killer for Cincinnati.

With the Steelers up, 7-0, and the ball at their 35, Roethlisberger went deep down the middle to Wallace. Crocker was called for interference on the play, and the ball was placed at the Cincinnati 20.

The Steelers scored three plays later.

"We got a big pass interference penalty down the middle of the field on a ball that wasn't catchable," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said.

Crocker agreed: "I touched him, but I thought it was uncatchable. But what can you do? You have to keep playing."

Second quarter issues

The Bengals lost the game in the second quarter, when the Steelers outscored them, 28-7.

That's nothing new for this year's Bengals, though. Counting Sunday's game, Cincinnati has been outscored, 119-39, in the second quarter.

"I don't know what it is," Dalton said of the team's poor second quarter play this season. "I think we've got to start faster and continue playing in the second quarter, and we've got to change that around for the last four games."

Inactives

The Steelers' inactives were quarterback Dennis Dixon, linebacker Larry Foote, linebacker Chris Carter, defensive end Al Woods, offensive tackle Jamon Meredith, nose tackle Chris Hoke and wide receiver Arnaz Battle.

The Bengals' inactives were cornerback Nate Clements, linebacker Dontay Moch, offensive lineman Clint Boling, tight end Donald Lee, wide receiver Ryan Whalen, defensive lineman Pat Sims and defensive lineman Carlos Dunlap.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11339/11 ... z1fi7jSJKI (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11339/1194644-66-0.stm#ixzz1fi7jSJKI)

aggiebones
12-06-2011, 10:52 AM
They really should have throw to Ward alot late in that game to get him closer to 1000 catches in garbage time. You know the players are going to try and force it as the season progresses.
If we get up on the Browns late, keep him on the field and tally them up. I want to get it over with before it gets in the way of something meaningful. I want him to get it however cause I think that will truly cement him into the Hall.
WRs have had trouble getting in lately. 1000 catches looks better than 996. Just 12000 yards looks good. 2 SBs with an MVP. Not to mention the toughest WR and best blocking WR in the last 40-50 years.

That said...get it over with!

hawaiiansteel
12-07-2011, 12:30 AM
Future can wait as Brown gives Steelers glimpse of future

By Andy Fenelon NFL.com
Published: Dec. 6, 2011


While the torch hasn't been passed officially, Antonio Brown can feel the heat of the flame.

Like with any hard-charging 14-year vet, Hines Ward's NFL days are coming to a close. And while retirement might not be in the wide receiver's vocabulary just yet -- and it probably shouldn't be with the way he's playing of late -- the topic will surface sooner rather than later and will gain momentum as Brown, along with Mike Wallace, continue to become forces in the Steelers' passing game.

It's been a pattern this season for Brown, who has become Ben Roethlisberger's favorite target over the last five games as opponents have shifted more attention to Wallace. Brown, Pittsburgh's second-year wide receiver, has a team-high 32 receptions for 512 yards and a touchdown in that span.

"It's just being precise, being on timing with Ben and getting to areas and spots where I can move the chains," Brown told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last week. "That's what it's about."

On Sunday, in a 35-7 win over Cincinnati, he did it all, returning a punt 60 yards for a touchdown, recording a team-high 67 yards on two catches (marking the fifth consecutive game he has led the Steelers in receptions or receiving yards), ran a 9-yard reverse, and even laid a key block on one of Rashard Mendenhall's two rushing scores.

In the week leading up to last year's Super Bowl, Ward was asked about retirement. Conventional thought was he would hang it up if the Steelers won the game, but Ward punched back each time the subject came up, saying at one time, "I don't want to make an emotional decision."

Ward likely will be in his familiar starting spot, opposite Wallace, when the Steelers line up for their first series against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football this week (8:20 p.m., NFL Network), one he's been a fixture at every year but his rookie season in 1998. But Brown will get his share of snaps, too.

On Sunday, Roethlisberger targeted Ward a team-high six times and he caught five of the passes for 30 yards to become the 19th player in NFL history to reach 12,000 receiving yards. The three receptions also left him 10 shy of becoming the eighth player in NFL history to reach the 1,000-catch milestone.

If what Brown has done in the past while filling in for Ward is any indication of the future, the Steelers will see little-to-no dropoff once Ward ultimately leaves Pittsburgh. When Ward was sidelined with a sprained ankle in Week 7 against Arizona, Brown caught seven passes for a career-high 102 yards. Two weeks later against Baltimore, Ward left the game with a stinger and Brown increased his career high in yards to 109 on five receptions.

While Brown and Ward have the same propensity to come up big on third down (Brown is tied for third in the NFL in third-down receptions), where they differ is in big-play ability. This season, Brown has seven receptions of more than 20 yards; Ward has one.

Brown, Ward and Wallace give Pittsburgh tremendous depth at receiver and will make the Steelers a tough out in the playoffs. For now, the future -- whether it includes Ward or not -- can wait.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8 ... r_features (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d824ccecc/article/future-can-wait-as-brown-gives-steelers-glimpse-of-future?campaign=Twitter_features)