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This Steelers Legend Deserves To Be In The Hall Of Fame

With the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio already infiltrated by many Steelers greats of the past, one that hasn’t made it in yet stands out particularly. Hines Ward has struggled to get the call, but could this year. Ward has been named as a Semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2024 Class.

Ward had a great career, so what gives? Why hasn’t he made it yet? Maybe it’s a matter of stacked classes with guys who are locks for the Hall of Fame, or maybe Ward just didn’t do enough in the voter’s eyes. They should get those checked out though because Ward had a great career with many accomplishments fit for a gold jacket.

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The Comparison's

While Hines Ward might not have been the flashiest receiver to play the game, he was still highly effective. Ward was part of the Ben Roethlisberger Steelers team that benefitted from Big Ben’s ability to play “Street football” as Hall of Fame Head Coach Bill Cowher would call it. Ward also benefited greatly from that, putting up some good numbers in his career. Ward played 217 games spanning over 14 seasons all for the Steelers while hauling in 1,000 receptions for 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns. Ward averaged 12 yards a catch and 55 yards a game. Oh, and he was the Super Bowl XL MVP. Pretty good.

Seeing all those numbers might not really do anything for you, but let's compare it to some other guys who are either in the Hall of Fame or people who seem to be pretty unanimous about being there someday.

A comparison that always gets brought up with Ward is Julian Edelman, a guy who football fans almost unanimously think should get a gold jacket here soon. Edelman was great, playing 137 career games all for the Patriots, hauling in 620 receptions for 6,822 yards and 36 touchdowns. Edelman edges out Ward in total rings, as Edelman picked up three with Tom Brady and the Patriots dynasty. Super Bowl LIII MVP also went to Edelman, so both guys have one of those, but comparing the stats, Ward was an immensely better player.

Anquan Boldin is a guy who should be getting fitted for his gold jacket here soon, as he put together a great career. In his 202 games, Boldin hauled in 1,076 receptions, 13,779 yards, and 82 touchdowns. Boldin was a three-time Pro Bowler and has one Super Bowl ring. As a journeyman, Boldin put together a great career certainly fit for a gold jacket. But if you say that, how can you say Ward shouldn’t get one?

Michael Irvin is regarded as a legendary receiver, and yeah the times were different in the NFL. It was a run-heavy league during Irvin’s tenure as opposed to the transition to the high-flying passing offense we saw starting to blossom during Ward’s career. But the numbers are way closer than you think. Irvin played 159 games for the Cowboys with 750 receptions, 11,904 yards, and 65 touchdowns. He’s a Hall of Famer and regarded as a legend, Where is the love for Ward?

Steelers In The Hall Of Fame

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton is packed with legends who wore black and gold and represented the Steelers and the city of Pittsburgh greatly. In recent years we’ve seen guys like Jerome Bettis, Bill Cowher, and Troy Polamalu get their gold jacket. Do the right thing NFL, it’s time for the kid from Seoul, South Korea who went from zero to hero to get his deserved spot in Canton.

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