Hines Ward has been a very good, clutch, tough wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers for many years. Even though Alge Crumpler could probably beat him in the 40 at this point in his career, he continues to make big plays when they are most needed.
No question, he deserves a lot of praise for being a key contributor for the Steelers for more than a decade now.
With that being said he is a studio gangster (read the definition). He has a reputation of laying players out on the field, but the majority of those hits are blindside borderline dirty crack back blocks.
The Jets have notice like the majority of the league that Ward rarely if ever throws a vicious hit when it is man to man.
ProFootballTalk has a few quotes from the Jets.
On Thursday, it was defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Our guys I think called him the toughest guy in the league when nobody’s looking,” Pettine said, per Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com.
On Friday, it was cornerback Antonio “Cee Lo” Cromartie, who told Adam Schein and Chris Carlin of SNY’s Loudmouths, “I know for a fact that he will hit you while you’re not looking. I don’t think he’s man enough to hit you while you’re looking at him.”
Safety Eric Smith stopped short of saying what would happen if Ward lays a guy out with a no-look block.
“If I finish what I said and then do what I planned on doing, I’m going to get fined,”
“We saw some of those plays, like in the Ravens game, he’s out there hitting Dawan Landry in the back, he came across and hit Ray Lewis in the back,” Smith said. “Ed Reed was 30 yards down field and he’s going down and hitting him. It’s just unnecessary things like that that make you mad as a defender.”
Ward has been voted one of the league’s dirtiest players for a few years in a row. Because he is a media darling they use words like “hard nosed” as oppose to dirty. When he trash talks after seriously injuring someone (see above pic) it is brushed aside. Must be nice to have that type of media protection.
The Jets better watch their back, because Ward is not going to be hitting them from the front.