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Author Topic: Last Dance For Hines?  (Read 1551 times)
otismalibu
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« on: Jan 25, 2011 at 08:41 »

Ward said earlier this year that he'd hang 'em up if they won the belt this year.

Ya think?

A teary eyed pre-game speech by Money to motivate the fellas a little bit more?
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Big Virgil
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 25, 2011 at 08:53 »

With the rook WR's, that proposition of Ward retiring is a heck of a lot less scary than it was a year ago.

I like Brown a lot more than Sanders, and think he can fill Wards' shoes.  Possession guy and fast enough to go deep.
« Last Edit: Jan 26, 2011 at 08:20 by Big Virgil » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: Jan 25, 2011 at 08:57 »

I'd give the edge developmentally to Sanders right now.  Seems like he knows the playbook a little better. 

I don't buy it that Ward leaves even if we win, anyway.  Not with a shot at reminding everyone who's the only true dynasty in the game.
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Merman1983
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 25, 2011 at 08:59 »

He said that but I still see him sticking around in a Bettis type role, as a possession-guy, # 3 or 4 at a reduced rate maybe. He is still effective in that role imo, even with Wallace supplanting him as the #1 guy and Sanders taking over #2 probably as early as next year. And if they win it, the chance of winning back-to-back possibly entices him to hang around?

I guess he's the only one who really knows though. The guy has taken a fucking beating over his career and no one could blame him for hanging it up while he can still walk. It'll be a sad day though, he'll be on guy I'll really miss watching on Sundays when he retires.
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 25, 2011 at 09:36 »

I think it may be about time for him to retire. He's proven me wrong before, but it seems like his play has slipped quite a bit, as a receiver. Still a great blocker and leader, though. Our running game was so good against the Jets in part because Ward was really pushing people out the way, not just doint that half-hearted standing in front of the defender that most receivers do.

This Super Bowl is going to be a kind of farewell to a lot of guys on the team - not in the sense that all the old guys are leaving, but in the sense that this may be the last year some of these guys can hold it together at a high level for an entire season.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 25, 2011 at 10:24 »

It's time for Ward to retire when HE decides it's time to retire.  Sorry, he's not a glue horse, and he may want to ensure the HOF vote by getting to 1000 catches, or he may just want to come back for another year of popping up and laughing at the Ratties for thinking they can hurt him by tackling him.  He is an all-time great Steelers and he's still producing, unlike MIA Randy Moss, same draft class.  The great and vaunted Packers pass attack has one (1) receiver who put up more yardage than Ward this season (Jennings).  Hines had 59-755-1 in the regs and chipped in 5-39-1 in the post.  OK, boo hoo, he didn't hurdle 1000 yards and post double digit TDs.  There's still a roster spot for him as long as he wants it.

Going forward, there's no one replacing Ward in terms of what he does.  With all apologies to Swann and Stallworth, Ward is the GOAT Steelers WR.  I think we're going to have a very interesting young corps, but the character of that group is going to change.  Just will.  There's no one on the team or likely to join the team that can lower the boom like Hines, opening running lanes and jawbreakin' and such.  Much as I like the younguns, there's no guy on the roster that, if he gets the ball 5 feet from the EZ with a bunch of defenders draped on him, will eat through their guts like a deranged and rabid weasel.

Wallace is working towards becoming a more complete receiver, but I think one of the rooks will be the possession guy.  I've said before that they're seemingly interchangeable, and they've made great strides as rooks.  Sanders, as Penso notes, may have the edge in terms of understanding the offense and being an every down guy, and he's been clutch, but Brown has the flashier plays because he had some really favorable matchups as our WR4.  I see Sanders and Brown as a hybrid WR, half shifty Patriot-smurf who can carve you up underneath, half Holmes-type downfield big play guy.  It would be a wonderful irony if Limas Sweed battled back from injury and yips to become the big-frame possession guy, but it would also be wonderful and ironic if Glenn Beck fell in a chipper, and I'm not holding my breath for either.  I can see us going back to WR or TE in the draft if Ward does retire:  possession receivers offer good draft value.

Also have to wonder about Aaron Smith.  He seems to want to play more, but all these injuries seem to be piling up.  Would not surprise me if he calls it quits too, although it would be super sweet to have him back for the SB and rotate in to make some big key plays.  Parallels to Woodson in the Dallas SB, sans final outcome.

Sad, sad day when those two leave.  And frankly, Polamalu could play another 6 years or retire now and neither would surprise me.  He may leave when LeBeau does.  That day may make me cry.
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SCacalaki
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« Reply #6 on: Jan 25, 2011 at 10:26 »

Have Randle-El retire and draft someone else to fair catch.
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 25, 2011 at 10:32 »

Going forward, there's no one replacing Ward in terms of what he does.  With all apologies to Swann and Stallworth, Ward is the GOAT Steelers WR.  I think we're going to have a very interesting young corps, but the character of that group is going to change.  Just will.  There's no one on the team or likely to join the team that can lower the boom like Hines, opening running lanes and jawbreakin' and such.  Much as I like the younguns, there's no guy on the roster that, if he gets the ball 5 feet from the EZ with a bunch of defenders draped on him, will eat through their guts like a deranged and rabid weasel.

This is all highly reminiscent of the end of the Bettis era when everyone was wondering when we would draft the "Next Bus".  We needed a big bruising guy like TJ Duckett (I still have him rated higher than Willie Green!) or LenDale White.

There isn't going to be another Bus, and there isn't going to be another Ward.  Not ever, not on the Steelers or anywhere else in the league, because the greatest players are all unique.

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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 25, 2011 at 10:37 »

Going forward, there's no one replacing Ward in terms of what he does.  With all apologies to Swann and Stallworth, Ward is the GOAT Steelers WR.  I think we're going to have a very interesting young corps, but the character of that group is going to change.  Just will.  There's no one on the team or likely to join the team that can lower the boom like Hines, opening running lanes and jawbreakin' and such.  Much as I like the younguns, there's no guy on the roster that, if he gets the ball 5 feet from the EZ with a bunch of defenders draped on him, will eat through their guts like a deranged and rabid weasel.

This is all highly reminiscent of the end of the Bettis era when everyone was wondering when we would draft the "Next Bus".  We needed a big bruising guy like TJ Duckett (I still have him rated higher than Willie Green!) or LenDale White.

There isn't going to be another Bus, and there isn't going to be another Ward.  Not ever, not on the Steelers or anywhere else in the league, because the greatest players are all unique.


Good analogy.  I still like the idea of a possession type receiver to add to the mix if and when, but is he gonna be Hines Ward?  Is R. Lee Ermey the guy you want to listen to you from the therapist's couch?

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« Reply #9 on: Jan 25, 2011 at 11:01 »

I'm not knocking him to suggest that he seems to be having more trouble getting open than in previous years. Could also be a combination of scheme, protection, injuries, attention he gets from coverage compared to Sanders/Brown, and so on.

Ward is one of the greatest Steelers ever, I agree, period, full stop. You couldn't design a better possession receiver if you were God Himself, and yet, at the same time, I think Ward has been underrated as a big-play guy. That game he had against Atlanta in '06 when he outrunned the entire Falcon secondary a couple of times was something he did more often than casual fans remember. If you didn't have the right angle on him on one of his mid-range slants, he could break a tackle and take it to the house. didn't he have a 90-yarder against NE in '05?

Here's hoping that two weeks of rest allows Ward to heal up and bring holy hell on Super Sunday. Odds are, some Steeler WR is going to be MVP, after all. (Though I hope it will be Ben.)
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