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Crocker: Ward is 'dirty,' and a Hall of Famer

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08:16 AM ET 03.21 | If he were looking for media attention, Hines Ward couldn't have picked a worse day to announce his retirement. According to Elias, in 14 seasons Ward caught 131 balls for 1,588 yards, and 15 TDs against the Bengals, the most ever in all three categories against Cincinnati. Safety Chris Crocker, always an outspoken critic of Ward's approach, reiterated Tuesday he thinks Ward played a dirty game. ... "He was a dirty player, but he made a lot of plays. They used him perfectly to suit his abilities and he was a big-time player for them. Some people might think of him as a borderline Hall of Famer, but I think the fact he helped them win two Super Bowls and all the things he did for that team make him deserving."

Bengals.com

Hines Ward, Getty Images Hines Ward, Getty Images
Comment #1 has been removed
March 21, 2012  09:11 AM ET

Had to reread this, it's pretty high praise coming from a Bengal player.

March 21, 2012  09:23 AM ET

The HOF was founded by dirty players. Jeesh.

March 21, 2012  09:24 AM ET

I'll miss this guy.

March 21, 2012  09:36 AM ET

I guess I never get it when people describe Ward as being dirty. He made legal hits on players whose goal it was to put hits on his teammates. Considering that the recipients of his "dirty hits" were linebackers and defensive backs, you'd think that his physically aggressive style of play would have been appreciated.

March 21, 2012  09:43 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I'll miss this guy.

I watched a snippet of his press conference yesterday. He said it was more important for him to go out as a Steeler, that it wouldn't feel right to be in any other uniform. Regardless of how anyone might feel about the Steelers, one has to respect that dedication to his team. We're less likely to see that in the future from most players.

It'd be great if the Rooney family could give him any type of front office position.

March 21, 2012  09:43 AM ET

saying he is a dirty player is a good excuse for getting beat/outplayed - gets the fans off the player, and against the opponents

March 21, 2012  09:43 AM ET

LOL! Funny coming from a DB that took his fair share of licks from Hines.... Jerry Rice might have been the greatest pass catcher ever, but even he wasn't the complete WR that Ward was......imagine what Ward's stats would have been had he played with a Joe Montana (or any pass-oriented offense in the NFL)....

March 21, 2012  09:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I'll miss this guy.

I watched a snippet of his press conference yesterday. He said it was more important for him to go out as a Steeler, that it wouldn't feel right to be in any other uniform. Regardless of how anyone might feel about the Steelers, one has to respect that dedication to his team. We're less likely to see that in the future from most players.

It'd be great if the Rooney family could give him any type of front office position.

March 21, 2012  10:01 AM ET

People who call him dirty are LB's who can make hits but can't take them.

March 21, 2012  10:26 AM ET

Isn't Chris Crocker the nancyboy who's famous for "LEAVE BRITTANY ALONE!"? Didn't really look like a football player, but sure looked like a whiner.

Comment #12 has been removed
Comment #13 has been removed
March 21, 2012  11:32 AM ET

Hines was the ultimate competitor.

March 21, 2012  11:48 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

It'd be great if the Rooney family could give him any type of front office position.

Or add him to their coaching staff!!!

March 21, 2012  12:11 PM ET

Wait just a minute. Cincinati has a football team??? When did this happen?

Ward made legal, hard hits. It's just fine for a defensive player to level a quarterback, even blindsided on an interception return, but let Ward make a hard shot on a play and "oh he is dirty." I'm sorry, I thought this was a contact sport.

March 21, 2012  12:29 PM ET

Wait, is Chris Crocker trying to sing some Journey; "who's crying now"

March 21, 2012  12:43 PM ET

I had two thoughts when I read the title of the Post: 1. Of course, Ward is dirty. 2. Who is Crocker?

March 21, 2012  01:00 PM ET

I have always thought the "dirty" comment form opposing DBs was hypocritical.

If a DB hits someone, it's a great hit. But when a WR blows up a DB on a block, it's dirty?

No it's not...Ward played the game the way it should be played.

These guys are just used to the way all the WRs are these days...they run a route with effort when they are a pass option, they dog it or stop their routes when they are not an option, and they do not block on running plays.

Ward is one of the few that would've played well in any era...he could take and give a hit and jump up smiling because he loved it.

Ward was by far the classiest NFL WR, in the "Prima Donna" era of WRs.

Even his last act was class "As much as I'll miss football, my teammates, coaches and everything about the game, I don't want to play in any other uniform. I will remain a Steeler for life."

 
March 21, 2012  01:02 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Or add him to their coaching staff!!!

I would be very surprised if the Steelers don't keep him on as a receivers coach.
He would be a great one...he was already doing that for the last couple of years.

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