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Big Ben Disses Hines; Ward Fires Back


Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward is hurting after remarks made by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that the Steelers should acquire a tall wide receiver, specifically to help in the “red zone” and for a bailout target when he’s under pressure. Roethlisberger cited 6’5” Plaxico Burress, a former Steelers receiver, as they type of receiver the Steelers should acquire.

Ward was taken aback by those comments saying “I don’t hear Tom Brady or Peyton Manning asking for that”. It should be noted that since 2002 Ward is tied for second in the league in percentage of touchdowns in the red zone with 33-percent. The New England Patriots Randy Moss is first with 36-percent. “I don’t see Tom Brady caring about who’s tall or not. He got Randy this year, but he did it before without him” Ward said. Ward is one of four finalists for the NFL Man of the Year, which will be awarded next week at the Super Bowl.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.



  1. mark

    January 25, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    I think Hines might have taken that a bit to personally.I have a hard time believing Ben was intentionally trying to “diss” Hines.Whats wrong with a QB wanting another target? Whats wrong with that target being a “big” one? Ben throws to Hines a lot in the red-zone, just look at the numbers. Its not as though Ben does not look Hines way!I hear that Ben is not well liked in the locker room, if this is one of the reasons why, the Steelers must have a bunch of gals in there. Maybe thats why they arent playing this weekend!

  2. Dave Rombach

    January 26, 2008 at 7:42 am

    Ben,like Anthony Smith, needs to learn when to keep his mouth shut. Even if he did not mean to dis Hines, he should have thought how others might take what he was saying. He has a long way to go before he becomes a leader.

  3. Matt

    January 27, 2008 at 8:58 am

    How can anyone seriously that Ben should keep his mouth shut? Ben is not content with the receiving corp as a whole and who would be? Nate can’t catch and Cedric is hit and miss. We need better receiver’s to back up Hines and Santonio. Hines Ward is our MVP on offense, and I am sure Ben would agree. But a tall receiver would make us better, which is the whole idea isn’t it? Hines should quit whining and start thinking about the team.

  4. Juggo

    January 27, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Dave Rombach, you are a girl. If that hurt someone’s feelings then they need to “grow” up. Ben’s asking for another NEEDED option. I can’t believe this turned into a hot topic. F’in lil man syndrome doesn’t leave you even if you are a millionaire pro football player. Short guys are haters. Ben is the leader.
    6’4 Juggo

  5. william

    January 28, 2008 at 12:12 am

    I’ve been a Steeler fan for many years like 49 years, and I’m here to tell you Ben is NOT a leader. I hope he becomes one but he has a long way to go.

  6. Sarah Little

    January 28, 2008 at 8:58 am

    Ben was only saying he didn’t want to have Ward getting hurt so much. Because Ben is tall, so he throws high, and Ward is somewhat short, so he’s constantly jumping to get the ball. Defense is going to tackle while he’s in the air…therefore he get’s hurt.

  7. wolffie

    January 28, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Personally, i think Ben is a siss and he worries too much about his own team when he should be paying attention to what is going on, on the field.

  8. william

    January 28, 2008 at 9:16 am

    I didn’t see anything in Ben’s statement that showed the lest little bit of concern for Hines getting hurt because he was to short. I see Ben worrying about Ben’s stats and nothing more.

  9. dark sky

    January 28, 2008 at 10:30 am

    ward is the best they got on the team big ben need to shut up and play stop passing the blame on ward .ward has stuck with this team for along time let”s see in big ben will do thne same

  10. william

    January 28, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Very true dark sky, I guess if Ben is to tall to throw to Ward maybe a shorter QB would be in order or one that can throw to a short wide out..hmmmm

  11. DeeJay

    January 28, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    I’m sorry, but anyone making a feud out of this is the media.

    Ben has been asking for a tall WR since Plax left, going as far as asking the Steelers to re-sign him.

    Think about this.. Ben has had a tall WR in High School (Forget his name), He had Martin Nance at Miami and he had Plax as a rookie.

    Further proof, look at 2002. Hines best season in his career. Who was across from him? Plax.

    How about this for example. Find a way to re-watch the NYJ’s game. How many times did they pan out and show the whole field on replay showing that NO RECEIVER was getting open. Hines was being covered 1 on 1 by Hank freakin’ Poteat! POTEAT! Hines has to accept he’s on the downside of his career and we as fans have to accept that he won’t be around forever. I’m not saying we necessarily need a “Big” WR. But we do need to think about who is going to replace Hines. He’s declining, Washington is 50-50, and Wilson is a below average veteran who shows up one game and disappears the next. Willie Reid has done jack squat.

    I’d say about 1/3 of Bens sacks this season were because the opposing team had our receivers blanketed. Bens view is that a big WR negates that. Even if he’s covered he’s still a guy you can throw the ball up to and likely will come down with it over a 5’10 CB.

    Lastly, The media blew this out of proportion just like Anthony Smiths NE comment. Smith basically said “Yeah, if Our defense beats them, our offense beats them and we get some help from ST’s, I can guarantee a win.” Paraphrased as: “If we’re winning the whole game on all phases, I can guarantee a win”.

    Anyone watching this team without player favoritism would have seen that Ward is not the player he was 4-5 years ago, nor is he getting open. He’s still a good WR and a great understanding of beating a zone.. at the same time, he’s not exactly hard to cover.

    And lastly, about Wards Comment “You don’t see Tom Brady or Peyton Manning complaining about WR’s”..

    Lets analyze this..

    1) Tom Brady DID complain about the lack of talent at WR. He also has 10x the Offensive line that Roethlisberger has. What did the FO do? Sign Stallworth, Welker and trade for Moss.

    2) As for Peyton Manning, that guy doesn’t have to ask the front office for Weapons.. Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Edgerrin James, Joseph Addai and now Anthony Gonzalez were ALL 1ST ROUNDERS!!!!. Every single skill player they utilized in that offense was a first round pick. Give Ben 3 – 1st round WR’s, a 1st round Receiving TE (Miller is a great dual threat, but he doesn’t have deep speed), and RB? Yeah, I don’t think you’d hear a peep from him.

  12. william

    January 28, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    It might be true that a 1/3 of the sacks were due to receivers not getting open and the other 2/3 was because he din’t know when to get rid of the ball..I wonder how Brady finds Welker he’s not giant by any means. I’m saying you shouldn’t belittle someone else because you lack the skills to find him when he is open.

  13. jimmy

    January 28, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    Look, its just a reality, from Michael Irvin to Plax, to Randy Moss, a tall guy can just get up and grab the ball better, its just common sense, theres no need for Hines to feel dissed, hes made his name and noone in the Steelers fan base would ever doubt his toughness or abilities.

  14. Matt Cizzle

    January 28, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    Wow guys Ben is just saying help me help you. Simple as that, and for the guy talking about Brady and Welker the Steelers hardly ever use a 5 wideout set and run 4 guys deep and bring the 5th guy across the middle on a simple drag. I mean that is New England’s offense and well you can’t have a linebacker on Welker.

  15. William

    January 28, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Well I guess I just get tired of these million dollar players that need to find someone to blame their short commings on..oh no theres that short word again. I have loved the steelers for a long long time and still do but I don’t make excuses for them. They were out played a lot of times and if you can’t score in the red zone then your going to play good enough to be close at the end.
    They are a good team when they play as a team and I don’t see that happening next year either. I can see it being a long season with lot’s of hard feelings on the field.That sucks because because Ben can’t keep his mouth shut.

  16. Rob

    January 30, 2008 at 10:07 am

    I don’t understand where, ANYWHERE in his statement, that Ben “dissed” anybody.

    If Willie asks for a big fullback to help block, does that mean he’s “dissing” his offensive line?

    This is a pile of media-incited bullshot.

  17. Jason

    January 30, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    It’s no big deal. Ben isn’t looking to share the blame or give the blame to another player. If anything its an observation. The Steelers throw a lot of fade routes to the corner in the redzone. He obviously thinks throwing to someone 5 10 to 6 feet tall is harder than someone 6’5”. Ward needs to understand this as does Ben.
    Also, Ben IS a LEADER. He never quits and plays to the whistle. He embodies everything the organization wants. That said Roethlisberger needs to learn what to say and how to say it. This all would have been negated if he would have said “Hines, Santonio and Heath have done a great job in the redzone this year but I think if we had someone taller like Burress, it would not only make the jump ball a bigger threat in the redzone but help those guys get open because teams will be unable to double cover one of them.”

    That keeps everybody happy and the team moving forward. But Hines needs to understand this wasn’t a shot at him just a QB looking for a big guy to throw one up too.

  18. wolffie

    January 31, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    I agree with you, Jason.

  19. Craig

    January 31, 2008 at 2:57 pm


    I don’t really understand where you are coming from…

    “They were out played a lot of times and if you can’t score in the red zone then your going to play good enough to be close at the end.”

    One of the reasons Ben is asking for a tall receiver is to have more options in the red zone! How can you say that Ben is a whiner only concerned about his own stats and then complain that they don’t execute in the red zone?

    As far as your next comment…

    “That sucks because because Ben can’t keep his mouth shut.”

    Am I missing something? I don’t recall reading too many news stories about Ben running his mouth…

  20. t reed

    February 5, 2008 at 10:26 am

    if ben throw high and that is the reason he need a taller receiver, then turn it around, hines need a smaller qb to throw shorter. all i’m saying is if you can dish it be able to take it, if not don’t dish it!

  21. Renii Isabelle

    May 5, 2008 at 11:21 am

    i love ward steeles rock

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