Tag:Hines Ward
Posted on: July 19, 2011 1:46 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 1:51 pm

Rice to Ward on DUI: 'People look up to you'

Posted by Ryan Wilson

In the days before Twitter we never would have known Ray Rice's thoughts on Hines Ward's recent DUI arrest. Now information -- no matter how important, innocuous or irrelevant -- literally travels around the globe in seconds, and as news-gathering organizations our biggest job is sifting through it all to find the choicest nuggets.

Rice, a running back for the Ravens, tweeted last week that Ward, a wideout for the Steelers, "will miss week 1 when the lockout ends DUI charge not a good look." As it happens, Baltimore and Pittsburgh face off the first week of the season.

Eight days later, the story is in the news again. The Baltimore Sun caught up with Rice, who is hosting a football camp at Towson University, and he elaborated on his initial tweet.

"People look up to you, Hines," he said. "You just were on TV with Dancing with the Stars. Ravens fans were upset that you won Dancing with the Stars but they still watched you. That shows your charisma and character. You've got a legacy in the NFL that no one can take away from you. But if you hurt somebody drunk driving, that takes away a lot."

There's no disputing those last two sentences, but even as Steelers fans we couldn't bring ourselves to sit through DWTS.

And Rice isn't just speaking from the perspective of a division rival. Drunk driving is a personal issue for him; His cousin was killed by a drunk driver in 1998, and last August he worked with the state of Maryland to campaign against drunk driving.

"Drunk driving is one of those things that hits a soft spot in my life," Rice said. "I don't care if you're a Pittsburgh Steeler or a Baltimore Raven or whoever you are, if you get caught drunk driving, that's not a smart judgment. … We make enough money. It's $150 for a car service for the rest of the night."

All undeniable points, and the last one is mentioned most by fans whenever a professional athlete is arrested for driving drunk.

As for Ward, his manager told TMZ on July 9 that Ward wasn't impaired when he was pulled over. Seven days later, Ward posted the following message to Facebook: “Fans – I appreciate all the love and support. Thank you! It means a lot to me. I have a great respect for the legal system and am leaving things in the hands of my attorney.”

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Posted on: July 14, 2011 9:33 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 9:58 pm

Harrison's agent: 'A lot of it is bravado'

Posted by Ryan Wilson

On Wednesday, we learned not only how James Harrison feels about Roger Goodell but also his thoughts on teammates Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall. None of the remarks were laudatory.

While this would have been a news story no matter the time of year, that we're four months into a lockout guaranteed it would be the lead news story for several news cycle.

So here we are some 36 hours after the initial story broke … still talking about Harrison. Except now, it's less about what he said and more about how those around him can help stuff the genie back into the bottle. (Frankly, it might be easier to just build a time machine.)

Harrison said that his comments on Roethlisberger were taken out of context (and Thursday night he released a statement apologizing for, well, everything), teammate Lawrence Timmons came to his defense, and even the author of the Men's Journal piece that started it all tried to provide Harrison some cover.

It was only a matter of time, but Harrison's agent, Bill Parise, has weighed in as well. And to hear him tell it (via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), "A lot of [what Harrison said is] bravado."

Parise continued: "I think people have to be careful not to read that and think those statements are anything more than expressions of feelings, particularly in regard to the commissioner. The commissioner fined James $100,000 last year. What do you want him to say, he's my best friend? James is a tough individual, and that's the type of language he uses."

Wisely, Parise didn't make Harrison available to the Post-Gazette. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the paper: "We are not commenting on any aspect of the story."

Harrison's Big Day

Not until the lockout ends, anyway.

CBSSports.com's Gregg Doyel thinks the commissioner (who Harrison referred to as a clown and the devil) should suspend the Steelers linebacker for a game and fine him $250,000.

"I don't think we should get caught up in his cultural language," Parise said. "I think people will read that for what it is and move on. I don't think anyone truly believes James thinks the commissioner is the devil."

Neither Roethlisberger nor Mendenhall said they were concerned about Harrison's criticism of them, and Steelers President Art Rooney II didn't provide much in the way of details in a statement issued Wednesday. "I have not yet seen the article in Men's Journal nor have I spoken to James Harrison about his comments," he said. "We will discuss the situation at the appropriate time, when permitted, once the labor situation is resolved."

The sooner the lockout ends the better for the Steelers, an outfit that can't seem to steer clear of trouble in recent offseasons. If anybody in the organization is glad to see Harrison hogging the spotlight, it's probably Hines Ward, who was arrested for DUI in Georgia last weekend.

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Posted on: July 12, 2011 4:25 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 5:21 pm

Hot Routes 7.12.11: Is July 17 date for new CBA?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL)
  • Hines Ward denied allegations that he was driving drunk but he reportedly blew a 0.128 on something called an Alco-Sensor FST test, which is above the Georgia legal limit of 0.08.
  • Browns first-round pick Phil Taylor paid his own way to take part in the team's informal minicamp that began Monday.
  • Barry Sanders admits that it would have been nice to win a Super Bowl but adds, "I don't know what else I could have done." He also says that "I would never say that (I was better than Emmitt Smith). He was too great of a player, and I loved competing against him.”
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Posted on: July 11, 2011 1:26 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Rice thinks Ward will miss Week 1 for DUI arrest

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It started early Saturday when Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward was arrested in Georgia on drunk driving charges. Later that day, Ward's manager told TMZ that not only did Ward "cooperate fully with the police and truthfully answered all of their questions … From our preliminary investigation we can tell you that we are confident that the facts will show that Hines was NOT impaired by alcohol while driving."

Whatever legal fate awaits Ward, it didn't take long for Ravens running back Ray Rice to share his thoughts on the matter, tweeting Saturday: "Well it looks like Hines Ward will miss week 1 when the lockout ends DUI charge not a good look." 

As it turns out, the Steelers face the Ravens in Baltimore in Week 1.

Shortly thereafter, Steelers safety Ryan Clark came to Ward's defense. "So glad you could Weigh in. Thx," he tweeted at Rice.

And then, much like high school, it suddenly felt like a showdown in the hallway between classes. (Only lamer because these are grown men going back and forth on Twitter.)

Rice responded with "it's whatever u wanna do bro you know how to find me," before Clark took the high road. "I hear ya brother. Thought we were all better than that. Wouldnt speak negative of you. I'll find you! It's not hard. God bless."

PFT's Michael David Smith points out that drunk driving is a personal issue for Rice. His cousin was killed by a drunk driver in 1998, and he worked with the state of Maryland to campaign against drunk driving.

Whether NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would suspend Ward is another matter entirely, although he has said that players who violate the personal conduct policy could face sanctions once the lockout ends.

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Posted on: July 9, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2011 4:59 pm

Ward's agent: Hines not impaired while driving

Posted by Will Brinson

This morning, some weird news broke that Hines Ward was arrested in Georgia for driving under the influence.

Everything about the story was strange -- that it was Ward who was (allegedly) committing the criminal act, that it was so close to a potential new labor deal and that it was in Georgia (which has not treated the Steelers well).

But there's apparently a chance it's not as big a deal as previously thought -- Ward's manager Andrew Ree told TMZ on Saturday afternoon that his client didn't, in fact, drive under the influence of alcohol.

"He cooperated fully with the police and truthfully answered all of their questions," Ree said. "We are currently in the process of ascertaining all the facts. From our preliminary investigation we can tell you that we are confident that the facts will show that Hines was NOT impaired by alcohol while driving.

"However, Hines is deeply saddened by this incident and apologizes to his fans and the Steelers organization for this distraction."

Ward doesn't seem like, as Mike Freeman pointed out, the type of guy you'd expect to get nailed like this.

And maybe it'll end up turning out that Ward didn't deserve to get busted and that he didn't do anything wrong.

That'd obviously be good news for everyone in the Steelers organization, Ward and his fans.

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Photo via TMZ
Posted on: June 25, 2011 3:03 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2011 5:56 pm

Ward's goal is not to be like Favre

WardPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Steelers WR Hines Ward will enter his 14th season in the NFL this year. He’s a four-time Pro Bowler who ranks in the top 20 all time in career receptions (eighth with 954) and receiving TDs (19th with 83) -- he also ranks 21st in receiving yards -- and, strangely enough, ranks No. 3 all-time with five two-point conversions made.

He’s got a pretty good case for the Hall of Fame, and he’s still one of the toughest (or dirtiest, depending on your perspective) players in the NFL. Plus, he’s not a bad dancer.

But Ward isn’t ready to give up on pro football yet. And he got pretty good advice from a Hall of Famer who told Ward to play as long as possible.

"Deion Sanders told me, he said, 'Play 'til the wheels fall off, because once it's gone, it's gone,’” Ward said earlier this month on the NFL Network, via USA Today. “You don't want to miss a day wondering if I still could have played.

"I'm gonna play as long as the Pittsburgh Steelers want me to play. I don't want to play for any other team. And, you know, if God's willing -- if I stay healthy, I stay in shape -- I'll play a couple more years."

Coming off a season in which he caught 59 passes for 755 yards and five touchdowns -- it was his worst season in a decade, but it’s not like he was a terrible player or anything; he’s still pretty damn good -- there’s no reason to retire if he feels like he can still contribute to his team.

But Ward also doesn’t want to be wishy-washy about his future plans once he questions whether he should continue on with his career.

"I definitely don't want to be Brett Favre," Ward said, chuckling.

We’ll assume he’s referring to Favre’s inability to make a decision regarding retirement and not, um, other extracurricular activities (though Ward would be better off not engaging in the latter either).

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Posted on: June 22, 2011 9:24 am
Edited on: June 22, 2011 9:27 am

Big Ben backs Plax return to Steelers

On Tuesday, my colleague Ryan Wilson wondered whether or not Plaxico Burress could end up back with his original team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. As Ryan noted, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about the possibility.

Apparently not one of them, though: Ben Roethlisberger's support. That's because Ben apparently is down with bringing Plax back to Pittsburgh.

"I've talked to Plax a number of times in the last couple of weeks," Roethlisberger said, per Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "I told him, 'Hey, if you came back here that would be awesome, but I'm just happy to see you playing again' because he's a good guy."

As Wilson pointed out, there are a number of problems with bringing Burress back to Pittsburgh. Namely, are there even enough footballs to go around in order to find out if Plaxico's still got it after 20 months in the hole?

Right now, the Steelers are staring at a wide receiver corps that features Mike Wallace, Hines Ward, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown. (Presumably, Antwaan Randle El would be the casualty of a Burress signing.)

But maybe -- as we've noted in previous discussions tying Plax to Philly -- that's the best possible situation for the former first-rounder. After all, if he can step in as a big end-zone target, he'll only help to diversify an already stout group of wideouts.

And as far as public relations go, well, it's not as if dealing with off-field issues would be something new for the 2011 Steelers either.

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Posted on: June 21, 2011 11:09 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 11:30 am

Could Plaxico Burress end up back in Pittsburgh?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We spent a lot of time Monday explaining why the Steelers should pass on 36-year-old running back Tiki Barber (you'd think the phrase "36-year-old running back" would suffice in scaring off potential suitors; apparently not). But Barber's not the only former NFL player on the wrong side of 30 looking for gainful employment.

Plaxico Burress, fresh out of prison and more than two years removed from his last NFL game, wants to get back in the league. Interest has been lukewarm, although that may change once the lockout ends and free agency begins.

For now, though, Sports Illustrated's Peter King is "mind-boggled" by the tepid interest in Burress. King writes: "Just stupid. In the right offense he'll be the big target many teams lack, and, if healthy, he'll catch 60-plus balls and be a good deep threat. At worst? He's not going to cost much. What's the downside? Rams, Browns? Tell me. I'm dying to know."

Well, one team that appears to be interested also drafted Burress in 2000. Yep, the Steelers.

Twitastic details via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette beat reporter Gerry Dulac.

"Steelers coaches are interested in Burress but depends on price. They would release Randle El to make room."

We have little trouble believing the Steelers would release Antwaan Randle El. By the end of the season, he had lost his job to rookies Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown. And while Randle El is a valuable locker room presence, he doesn't have much left as a player.

Whether that means Burress could replace him is another conversation. Ben Roethlisberger has long supported Burress and lobbied the organization to keep Burress when his contract expired after the 2004 season.

Roethlisberger has also said previously that he likes throwing to tall targets, even though, on average, height doesn't have any bearing on a wide receiver's effectiveness. For recent proof, just look at Limas Sweed. Of course, if Dulac is right, Steelers coaches might consider Burress the type of player they were hoping Sweed would grow into.

In the end, we remain skeptical about Burress returning to Pittsburgh. The Steelers have Mike Wallace, Hines Ward and Sanders at the top of the depth chart, and Brown will likely be the No. 4 wide receiver. We're not sure there are enough snaps to go around. Or more importantly: what type of player Burress will be after spending more than 20 months in prison.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com