Hines Ward knows a thing or two about how crime works and how crime stutters in Pittsburgh. To the 14 seasons, Ward embodied what it means to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Heart, emotion, determination, shrewdness, ferocity, and work ethic were all qualities Ward displayed that are synonymous with proudly representing the historic franchise.
We see it in spades with current offensive stars like Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson and Pat Freiermuth. It’s all there. But it hasn’t formed yet to bring the production they’re looking for.
The Steelers have a new quarterback and more new receivers than returns. The offense will come out of the gate and light up the scoreboard or stat lines. But that’s no excuse for an offense at No. 29 and No. 25 Third down conversion percent (33.3). The Steelers were particularly poor in the Sept. 22 loss to the Cleveland Browns, having only converted one of nine third downs.
Pittsburgh is last in possession at 24:15, a key win/loss stat. To compare the team average time of possession In 2021 it was 29:20 – more than five minutes more than this season.
No way should Steelers become head coaches Mike Tomlin is ‘encouraged’ by what he sees.
While many have blamed coordinator Matt Canada and the line for the Steelers’ offensive woes, Ward is pointing the finger in a surprising direction: the players.
Hines Ward’s attack on the Steelers offense
Hines Ward says players, not just coaches, need to be more accountable for problems on offense.
“I’ve never been a component of the program,” Hines Ward said on the North Shore Drive Podcast. “I always think players win games. I look at it, and before I start attacking the scheme, I look in the mirror and say, “Have I done everything I needed to do,” before I start criticizing someone else. And if I can’t answer that question well, if I’m not out there catching balls, every ball that’s thrown at me and I’ve had a few drops, then you’re just part of the situation, too.”
“When you hear things and say, ‘Well, it’s a difficult offense,’ execution still matters,” Ward said. “It’s a collaboration of everyone. It’s not just Matt Canada’s offense or plan.”
The Steelers Story by Hines Ward
Though Hines Ward played on some memorable Pittsburgh Steelers teams, his black and gold history hasn’t always been sunshine and lollipops, playoffs and Super Bowls.
He has received three team Most Valuable Player (MVP) picks since being drafted by the Steelers in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft. He was also a four-time NFL Pro Bowl selection (2001–2004). Ward also had a streak of 4 consecutive 1,000 yard seasons. The streak was interrupted in the 2005 NFL season, in which he missed a game through injury. In 2002, he set a Steelers franchise record for receptions (112) and touchdowns (12) (both of which have since been broken by Antonio Brown) and was named to his first of two consecutive All-NFL teams.
Ward was voted MVP of Super Bowl XL and upon retirement was one of 11 NFL players to have at least 1,000 career receptions.
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https://heavy.com/sports/pittsburgh-steelers/hines-ward-blame-offense-matt-canada/ Steelers’ Hines Ward’s take on Pittsburgh’s offense