Former Pittsburgh Steelers star Hines Ward is one of the greatest to ever play that position for the organization.
During a stellar 14-year career in Pittsburgh, Ward recorded 1,000 receptions for 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns. Each represents all-time records for one of the greatest franchises in professional sports.
When someone of Ward’s ilk talks, it makes sense to listen. A two-time Super Bowl champ with the Steelers, Ward knows all about the culture of success in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, he’s not seeing that play out this season. In fact, Ward is embarrassed by what he’s seeing.
“I get the business side of it but at the same time I’m all about winning championships and rings. And that means more to me than anything, so I think it’s an unfortunate incident on both sides,” Ward said, via CBS Sports. “Look at the Pittsburgh Steelers — we’re talking more about the drama off the field rather than talk about the play on the field but as a former player that’s embarrassing to me because, really, Pittsburgh’s culture is just line up and kick people’s tail on the football field and that’s how it’s always been for years.”
Ward was specifically talking about Le’Veon Bell’s continued holdout and how it has impacted team chemistry and culture. It’s something he didn’t see during his tremendous run with the team. And for an organization that’s been more stable than any other in NFL history, it has to be a bit worrisome.
Outside of the Bell situation, there seems to be a growing rift between future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the game’s best receiver, Antonio Brown. It’s led to struggles on the part of the two and has Pittsburgh at 2-2-1 heading into Week 6.
Whether any of this will lead to further on-field struggles remains to be seen. But it’s rather clear that Ward is not happy with what he’s seeing. Would you be?