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Ward: ‘It’s about the team’


Hines Ward did not start in Cincinnati, and he played a limited number of snaps in the Steelers’ 24-17 win over the Bengals. If the Steelers’ all-time leading receiver has been demoted he is taking it in stride.
“It’s not about me, it’s about the team,” Ward said. “We won the game that’s the bottom line.”
Ward said his health wasn’t an issue, and that the coaches didn’t tell him before the Bengals game that his playing time would be diminished.
When asked if he thinks his play warrants more time on the field, not less of it, Ward said, “It doesn’t matter what I think. It was a coach’s decision to change the game plan. It is what it is. I just have to move forward. I am not going to be angry. I have to go out and continue being the player I am and a leader on this team.
“It’s different. It’s a different role. I am still going to be the biggest cheerleader because I want to win. Whatever I can do to help this team win ball games, giving advice or when my number is called making a play. Just continue doing that and have a positive attitude.”

— Scott Brown



  1. David says:

    yes, a team player you are Hines, but you deserve better then what was just described here, you know and we all know you have been a workaholic from day one, and you worked and earned your way into the starting line up… it was a thrill watching all that unfold throughout your hall of fame career, but all that aside, you need to be respeceted by everyone in the organization top to bottom cause that is what you displayed over the years, i know you can still contribute and would love to see u break the 12,000 yard barrior, heres to you Mr. Ward.
    to the coaches, you need to let everyone know whats going on, on game day, no blindside…… even I expect better that you let all players know whats on the menue of the day…..

  2. Scott P says:

    Hines Ward = consummate pro. Can you imagine T.O., or Randy Moss having the same “team first” attitude? Hines is a rarity as far as Wide Receivers go. The position is dominated by “me first” prima donnas. I am proud to call Hines Ward a Pittsburgh Steeler.

  3. Michelle says:

    I’m sure Hines is well aware that his role on the team will be somewhat diminished going forward. This is necessary in order to allow for the development of Wallace, Sanders and Brown. You see the results. These guys are getting better and better as the year goes by. This trio is Hine’s personal project, which shows his character. Cotchery needs some touches too. Hines is a self-less team player and I’m so glad he’s a Steeler. He’ll get his touches and his records and we will have had the joy of watching one of the greatest and most unique players in history.

  4. Edgybear says:

    I have to agree with Scott P. but even more, I want Hines to know that I enjoyed his ‘blocking’ more often than his ‘catching’. All great athletes come to the end of their career, but I would hope that the Steelers front office recognizes what this man has contributed to their lore and makes sure he is honored for it!!!!

  5. jason says:

    Hines is the man. You know he’s not done. I want that chip on his shoulder. He has helped our young wideouts a lot and will continue to do so, but he has some more football left.

  6. Coach Al says:

    Hines is the man. They need to find a way to get him is 19 catches and 30 yards over these next 6 games.

  7. cerone says:

    Hines deserves better than this uncharacteristically poor treatment by the Steelers. I have seen nothing so far to suggest he deserves to be demoted behind Sanders let alone Cotchery. Hines deserves the benefit of the doubt in general and certainly after a couple of injuries. If Tomlin is looking to generate some bad vibes in the locker room, this is a fine way to do it. I hope that last week for Hines was an aberration and that Hines is back in action in two weeks.

  8. Jim says:

    Hines is a pro and whether he’s playingon the field or giving advice from the sideline I will allways be his biggest fan the steeler nation owes Hines a big debt of gratitude and a big smile

  9. Dick says:

    I think everyone so far is reading too much into the Hines Ward situation. No doubt he is one of the best to ever put on a Steeler uniform but Hines took a vicious helmet to helmet hit in the Ravens game. He is a competitor and will always say he is ready to go but I think that hit played into the coaches decision. Although he will be back, and I believe he still has some football left in him, it is obvious his production has declined. That said, Hines Ward will always hold a special place in Steeler history. He has been an inspiration to all of us.

  10. Doug Halfen says:

    Hines is just like Jerome: let the young bucks take center stage, but occasionally remind them what a seasoned, intelligent, and _physical_ veteran can do with a big catch, block, or TD. I know we don’t retire numbers, but seeing _anyone_ else wear #86 in the black-and-gold would be weird. ;^>

    As for the future: I see a role as receivers coach, maybe even OC. 8^D

    In the meantime, Hines can just keep plugging away like the champ he is!!!

  11. […] not about me, it’s about the team,” Ward said. “We won the game that’s the bottom […]

  12. […] Cotchery playing in three receiver sets. “It’s not about me,” Ward said, via The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “It’s about the team.” Hensley’s slant: Ward is one of the […]

  13. […] not about me, it’s about the team,” Ward said. “We won the game that’s the bottom […]

  14. Chris Schnell says:

    I find it ironic to read this on the day Coach K passed Coach Knight with such humility and class. I’m a 33 year Steelers fan (and a 30 year Duke Fan)and I’m here to say that Hines Ward (a.k.a. “Smiley” according to my bride) is just such a humble, Class Act….which puts him in very special company! To both of them….it’s always about the Team! Congratulations Hines.

  15. […] Ward: ‘It’s about the team’ Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Hines Ward did not start in Cincinnati, and he played a limited number of snaps in the Steelers’ […]

  16. Bill Weichler says:

    Hines Ward’s action poster adorns the wall in my cave. Hands outstretched, ball in foreground, and that big smile on his face. It says something about how I feel that the only other sports figure on the wall in my cave is Roberto Clemente. Long life Hines and plenty of more great plays in the black and gold. I hope I retire before you do, and I’ve got quite a ways to go.

  17. Kevin says:

    It was becoming fairly clear that Ward was no longer a deep threat anymore. Other things such as blocking and helping to guide the team counts for something, but in the end if you don’t have deep threats on both sides of the ball defenses don’t have to play you honestly. They can stack up against the deep WR and cover man to man on the one who isn’t. It’s good that Ward is accepting the inevitable and I hope he plays one more season if for no other reason than to join the 1,000 catch milestone. To do it this year he would need to play every remaining regular season game and average about 3 catches a game. Unless he gets more playing time it will probably have to wait until next year.

  18. George Snyder says:

    How do you spell class: HINES WARD

  19. John says:

    This is life in the NFL, and Hines Ward said all the right things.

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