Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Suggs claims Ravens have a bounty on Hines Ward


If you are reading this column, chances are you really don’t like Hines Ward. You might respect him, you might even like him if he was on your team but since he’s not, it’s really easy to hate on Ward.

He plays hard, he’s a solid team player, supports his coach and counsels struggling teammates and he is about as indestructible of a receiver as there is in the NFL particularly when you consider his physical style of play. He’s on the opposite end of the receiver spectrum from former Raven Clarence Moore.

But Ward walks a fine line and pushes the envelope of what is legal and steps well beyond the boundaries of sportsmanship.

Defensive players are fined when they intentionally hit a defenseless opponent. Sometimes they are fined if they inadvertently crush an offensive player (
see Anquan Boldin). Yet time and time again, Hines Ward runs past defenders to feign a pass route only to come back and blindside them on running plays.

Is the NFL suggesting that defenders are less important by not penalizing such actions? Is the competition committee condoning “Jacked Up” defenders but not receivers crossing the middle?

It would be one thing if Ward was guilty of the blind side shot once or twice but this has become as big a part of the Steelers’ offensive attack as cut blocking is to the Denver Broncos. It blurs the lines of legality and it threatens careers.

What if Ward crushes Bart Scott again and blows out his knee? How many teams do you think will line up to sign Scott when he becomes a free agent? How does that impact his ability to support his family? What if Ward blindsides Ed Reed again and the neck and shoulder nerve impingement becomes so severe that he is forced into retirement?

These players need to get the cash while it’s available to them and that is a small window. That’s why it is no surprise to hear Terrell Suggs state that the Ravens have an open bounty on the head of Ward.

ProFootballTalk.com has received an audio tape of the interview heard on the syndicated sports talk show
2 Live Stews. During the interview, Suggs fires two missiles. The first has to do with the bounty on Ward that according to PFT was put in play when the Ravens traveled to Heinz Field on September 29.

Might the “alleged” bounty have influenced Jarret Johnson’s personal foul on Ward out of bounds on the Ravens’ sideline?

The bounty remains outstanding and it will undoubtedly provide bulletin board material and edgy game officials when the Steelers visit on December 14. When they do according to PFT, Suggs said, “We’ve got something in store for him.”

The other missile fired by Suggs during this interview has to do with Ravens’ starting quarterback Joe Flacco. Flacco according to Suggs, “should get some playing time, but I think Troy [Smith] should be the starter.” He added, “[Flacco] started out hot, [but] I mean we played two teams [ Cincinnati and Cleveland] at the bottom of the league in defense, so everybody was going all crazy about him.”

Whether or not Flacco should be the starter is certainly a debatable topic. I’m of the opinion that he should remain the starter and the team should build towards the post season in 2009. Besides at this point, who knows where Troy Smith will be next season? The club’s investment is in Flacco.

But all that aside, the Ravens have an opportunity to move to 4-3 this weekend when they take on the Raiders at home. The team then moves on to road games against the Browns, Texans and Giants which really elevates the importance of this weekend’s game against Oakland.

Do the Ravens need these distractions perpetuated by Suggs?

In case you are wondering, bounties are illegal in the NFL. Surely Roger Goodell is listening and Suggs’ comment could bring unnecessary attention and become a major distraction during game preparation for both the players and coaches. And Suggs wonders why the league and its officials might be a little twitchy with the yellow laundry as it relates to the Ravens?

Is Suggs really this dumb?

Isn’t publicly admitting on sports talk radio that there was/is a bounty on Ward akin to describing the sexual preferences of your ex-girlfriend with your wife?

And to make matters worse, might Suggs’ comments about Troy Smith undermine Flacco’s progress? Might his thoughtless blathering create a divide in the locker room just when it appears that the offense is beginning to take shape?

And this guy has a radio show?

I bet the PR staff at 1 Winning Drive will be on the edge of their seats listening to this week’s edition of “Uncensored” radio.

Who knows, maybe he’s trying to force the hand of Ozzie Newsome and he really doesn’t want to return to Baltimore after all in 2009.

He just might get his wish.

Or worse, he might get it from Hines Ward.

3 comments :

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA
I LOVE IT!!! POOR LITTLE CROW FANS CRYING AND CRYING AND CRYING SOME MORE! THATS ALL YOU DO!
THIS PART MAKES ME LAUGH THE MOST, "What if Ward crushes Bart Scott again and blows out his knee? How many teams do you think will line up to sign Scott when he becomes a free agent? How does that impact his ability to support his family? What if Ward blindsides Ed Reed again and the neck and shoulder nerve impingement becomes so severe that he is forced into retirement?"

COME ON! SUPPORT HIS FAMILY? YOU SOUND LIKE TERRY GLENN..
STOP BEING A BUNCH OF PANTIE WEARING SISSYS AND ENJOY THE GAME, THE MAN GAME OF FOOTBALL!
THIS IS NOT SOCCER, ITS FOOTBALL! A SPORT THAT INVOLVES HITS!
SCOTT SHOULD HAVE KEPT HIS HEAD ON THAT "SWIVLE" HE WAS TAUGHT ABOUT IN PEEWEE FOOTBALL ALL THE WAY UP TO THE PROS, SAME GOES FOR REED! I BET THEYLL KEEP THAT SWIVLE FROM NOW ON!
RAVEN FANS ONLY WISH THEY HAD A WR WITH AS MUCH TALENT, SKILL, AND HEART FOR THE SPORT THAT WARD HAS!
BUNCH OF CRY BABY PLAYERS. I DONT SEE OUR RUNNING BACK CRYING THAT HE BROKE HIS SHOULDER AGAINS THE NEW ERA OJ SIMPSON (RAY LEWIS GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER HAHA). THATS BECAUSE LIKE ALL OF HINES HITS, IT WAS LEGAL! THE ONLY BAD PART ABOUT OJ, OOPS I MEAN RAY RAYS HIT WAS THE TRASH TALKING AFTER THE HIT! AND HE HAS THE NERVE TO SAY HE IS A GOD MAN, AND HE LOOKS TO THE LORD FOR ANSWERS.

BUT OH WELL, WITHOUT CRYBABY RAVENS AND CRYBABY RAVENS FANS, YOU WOULDNT BE READING THIS POST NOW WOULD YOU HAHAHAHA

HERE WE GO STEELERS HERE WE GO
HERE WE GO STEELERS HERE WE GO
I LOVE TO HATE THE RAVENS!!!

Harryos29 said...

Harry O 29 Oct 25th
I always like to hear from both sides in a DEBATE. But, this obviously Biased SQUEELER Fan is off base. I look forward to DEC 14th when they come to Baltimore. I'm sure that Rothlisberger remembers the beating that Suggs and the rest of the Ravens gave him in 2006?
...But, I would not be surprised if the Ravens traded the RECALCITRANT Suggs to the Arizona Cardinals..straight up for BOLDIN. AZ obviously could use some Defense and Suggs is from that area..and the HOME TOWN boys have been looking for a big time Wide Receiver since the "Q" Quadry ISAMAIL left after 2001.
Go Ravens: Beat the Raiders..

Anonymous said...

Listen to yourself? Anonymous is biased, yet you are touting the beating Rothlesberger got? And Ray Lewis can take a rookie out for the season and it is OK? This is football - it is a tough game and the point is to get the ball to the other end of the field, so if Hines does things that other receivers don't - block for his team mates - shame on you for being blindsided!!
Players need to focus on the game and what it takes to win - rather than targeting someone they wish was on their team. While the birds are too busy trying play tough guy, the Steelers are playing hard and smart - oh and by the way - are winning!!