I heard an interesting stat the other day: Hines Ward has more catches than Lynn Swann and John Stallworth combined. Now I wasn’t alive to witness Swann and Stallworth but I hear the duo mentioned as the best receivers in Steeler history. Both Stallworth and Swann were inducted into the Hall of Fame. It amazes me that Hines Ward has more catches than the two combined yet he is rarely talked about.
Ward is known for his physicality and blocking and is considered one of the best ever when it comes to that aspect of the game. Some consider him a “dirty player” but that is how he plays the game. During Media Day, Hines Ward said “Well, should I tap on your shoulder and say, ‘Here I come, hit me?’ At the end of the day, I just play football the way it should be played.” With his experience, Hines Ward has become a leader on the team too.
Hines Ward has 954 catches, 11,700 yards, 83 touchdowns, 4 time Pro Bowl selection, owns all major Steeler receiving records, and is going for his 3rd Super Bowl ring this Sunday. However, does the general fan consider Hines Ward as a great receiver? Do we put him on the same level as guys such as Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, and Randy Moss? I think the answer to both of those questions is no but it shouldn’t be. Hines Ward is and has been one of the most underrated players in the NFL. He isn’t flashy, outspoken, nor does he have his own reality television show but he has done what few others have.
Ward has stated that Sunday won’t be his last game. If Ward gets his 3rd ring and gets to 1000 catches, I think he should be a first ballot Hall of Famer. What do you think?