Former Pittsburgh Steelers great Hines Ward recently chimed in on the topic Du Jour round the team as of late- the dysfunctional Steelers locker room.
Before I get into my opinions on Ward’s comments, let’s take a look at what he had to say to the NFL Network.Basically he called the Steelers locker room one that was in “total disarray” and noted that was something that wouldn’t have occurred previously because their established leaders wouldn’t have permitted it. He also noted that the departure of players such as himself, Aaron Smith, James Farrior, Chris Hoke and others badly hurt team chemistry.
“When you lose so much leadership in the locker room, that is where things present itself like that,”
“Guys start finger-pointing, calling out other guys. That’s not the Steeler way. We always had a rule: We are a band of brothers. We’ve always collectively kept everything in-house. But there was no finger-pointing and calling out each other. That’s total disarray, a locker room in disarray.”
Ward is probably spot on with his comments.
But here’s the thing, he probably should have kept his mouth shut.
By speaking out, all he does is sound like the bitter player who still won’t admit that the game passed him by. It happens to the best of them, but the reality is that some people have a much harder time dealing with it than others.
Had Ward been a productive player by the end of his career, then maybe he would have a gripe, but the facts are that he wasn’t productive in 2010 or 2011.
Had he been brought back, your fifth receiver who rarely sees the field doesn’t garner a lot of respect in the locker room, whether or not he has been in the league 14 years and was a former leader or not.
Sometimes the skills aren’t there anymore and it is time to move on.
Look, I agree with everything Ward says, I just think it would have been better coming from someone else.
Ward didn’t get that final lap around Heinz Field that Ray Lewis got this season and I think that eats at him a little bit. He didn’t want to have to retire, but sometimes you don’t get to make that choice, your numbers and skills make it for you.
By speaking out, Ward looks bitter and looks like he is making the point of saying that if he were there that wouldn’t have happened.
What does he know anyway?
He’s not there everyday. He is going off what he hears, just like everyone else.
But it’s time to move on.
The Steelers did, Ward needs to do the same.