Big Lead Sports Bar



NBC's Bob Costas took a minute from preserving the purity of Major League Baseball to interview Hines Ward, and the internet is already abuzz with viewer analysis considering the topic at hand:

"This game is almost like a playoff game," Ward told NBC's Bob Costas. "It's almost a 'must' win. So, I can see some players or some teammates kind of questioning like, 'Well, it's just a concussion. I've played with concussions before. I would go out there and play.' So, it's almost like a 50-50 toss-up in the locker room. You know, should he play, shouldn't he play. It's really hard to say.

"I've been out there dinged up. The following week, [I] got right back out there. You know, Ben practiced all week. . . . To find out that he's still having some headaches and not playing and it came down to doctor's didn't feel that they was gonna clear him. . . . It's hard to say, unless you're the person. . . . I've lied to a couple of doctors saying 'I'm straight, I feel good,' when I knew I'm really not straight. But I don't think guys really about the future when they're playing currently in the NFL. . . .

"Trust me, the players, they wanna go out there because these games, you don't get back. You're never gonna get this Baltimore-Pittsburgh game back."
I realize that Hines is looked at as the Ultimate Tough Guy around the NFL, but this is some pretty fragile ground he's tiptoeing onto. To suggest that Roethlisberger should've lied about his status and instead played against Baltimore is a pretty heavy suggestion. The words seem out of character for a perceived team guy like Ward, and it will be interesting to see how this interview will be dissected, re-dissected, and ultimately addressed this week.

Hines Ward rips on Ben's concussion [Morning Freak Show Blog]

Ward says locker room is "50-50" on whether Ben should have played [PFT]

Email: Twitter: Facebook: Facebook Group


Hanlon7117 said...

Wow. Let the unraveling begin.

Koz said...

I appreciate the honesty, because people definitely feel this way and not everyone would say it.

However, it is still ludicrous. Your life is more important than football - period.

Also, it was Tomlin's call to keep him out of the game. It would have been nice to have Ben, of course, but DD played admirably and gave us a chance to win. This game was lost, yet again, by the defense's inability to seal the deal.

okel dokel said...

@ Koz - I agree. The defense did it again. Letting the Ratbirds get a 3rd and 22 and a 4th and 5.

That is the third time that James Farrior has been beat like that this year. Twice against the BenGALS and now.

Hanlon7117 said...

I am quite the "Ben" fan, but I am not sure he plays significantly better in this game than Dixon, who destroyed expectations with a fantastic performance. While I understand what Hines is saying, (and by all accounts, Hines is a team guy), this kind of thing is inexcusable. "Ben" is his general, and it is Hines' job as a "team guy" to support him, much like he supported Hines when people called him a dirty player. Concussions are not some sissy injury, but rather are FAR more serious than some knee or ankle injury.

Andy said...

I think Hines is more upset that Ben, and the first team offense, practiced all week as if Ben would be playing. The blame for that lies with Tomlin though, he needs to manage the team and get them ready to play on Sunday. When your starting QB has not spent the week practicing with the first team offense you failed to do your job.

Insighter said...

Hines is an unbelievable competitor and hates to lose. I think this spirit motivated his comments. Upon reflection, he will see a teammate's health and career are more important than a game - as important as that game is. If the Steelers get healthy - they can make a run, make the playoffs and have a shot at it again. They MUST stick together as a team and not let this issue divide them.

Steve said...

How long do we have Farrior under contract? I hope they make drafting a middle linebacker a top priority next year because 1 more season would be 1 too many.

Dixon was adequate and played better than expected - thanks to Arians sticking with the run most of the night - but his peformance was far from "fantastic". Yes he ran for a score but his second half passing stats were abysmal and I do recall him throwing the pick the led to the winning score in OT for the Ravens, no?

Our secondary is the worst without Troy. Willam Gay's name fits him well and I hope to never hear about Ike's speed ever again seeing as how he had to take 2 penalties just to keep up with a 50 year old wide receiver who was never known for his speed anyway. Any player on defense wearing a number in the 20's should seriously consider finding another job.

We should just get used to the fact that special teams on both sides of the ball will never get better for this team. Squib kicks and punting out of bounds should be mandatory from here on out.

Tied with Jacksonville for a wild card? Hmmm, there isn't a fork big enough to stick in this team right now. They pretty much have to win out to even make the playoffs and I don't see that happening. Put Troy in the IR already so he can rest up for next season. Go Pens!

BurressWithButterflywings said...

William Gay got beat so bad last night he is going to change his name to Straight.

Farrior has fallen down in coverage a dozen times this year, I swear.

Dixon was amazing in the first half, abysmal in the 2nd half and OT, but I blame some of that on lack of balance in the playcalling (esp. abandoning play action fakes and not rolling him except on the TD). He did well for the situation, but ultimately made some poor reads and stared down his WRs late. Not a bad first start though, not bad at all.

We need to draft a dynamic safety next year, I think.

jmarinara said...

Oh my, Hines said something stupid. . . . knock me over with a feather. I love the guy, he plays an enjoyable brand of football. But he just picks the wrong times to say the most asinine things.

The Steelers aren't making the playoffs.

Yes, please draft a dynamic safety. Troy, for all his glorious awesomeness. despite the fact that he may be the best safety to ever play the game, is the most injury prone player in the NFL since Fragile Freddy.

Dixon played fine, I have no complaints. He couldn't handle the complicated Raven's defense late in the game. For a guy's first NFL start with, what, a week to prepare? He did fine. The quick slant on the last play, he looked off the receiver, threw the ball high to beat the zone, and did what he could to make the play. The Ravens just made a better play. I'm not sure Ben doesn't throw the same pic.

James Farrior is a lot of things, but he is not a man to man coverage guy. Great blitzer. Great leader. Tough as nails. Not a cornerback. The mistake on that play was sticking with the man coverage instead of audibling to a linebacker zone when Rice went in motion. As soon as Farrior followed him Flaco knew he had his play.

I'm honestly not sure what to expect from this team next year. Should be interesting to find out.

BURGH08 said...

Love Ward between the lines, but if you ask him what color the sky is and enough time, he will eventually get back to talking about himself.

That's just the way he is.

biggamekilla said...

Yeah Hines way to show up in the AFC Championship game last year. You just had a little knee injury in the biggest game of the year and couldn't even return for the 2nd half. Hines should just stick to trips to Korea during his spare time instead of doing interviews for Primetime games. Go get hit by a Buick sometime Hines then talk about head injuries.