Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/18/14

CLEVELAND - DECEMBER 10: Hines Ward #86 and James Farrior #51 of the Pittsburgh Steelers stand on the sideline during the game against the Cleveland Browns on December 10, 2009 at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won the game 13-6. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Hines Ward announced his retirement with an emotional speech during which he pronounced himself a Steeler for life. To many, Ward epitomizes the way the wide receiver position should be played. He did more than just catch 1,000 passes, reel in 85 touchdowns and win two Super Bowls during his 14-year career in Pittsburgh. Ward also played the game with the toughness of a tight end, always looking to throw a block to spring someone else free. There are those who saw it as hard-nosed football, and then there are those like Bengals safety Chris Crocker who have ripped Hines for it.

“He tried to end people’s careers and that’s just not the way the game is supposed to be played,” Crocker said according to Bengals.com.

“Stuff like that, it’s just not right. And I’m not the only guy that thinks it.”

In one breath, Crocker called Ward a dirty and dangerous player. In the next, he praised him for being an all-around receiver and potential Hall of Famer.

“He’s probably the first receiver to make blocking such a big part of his game; he was an all-around receiver,” Crocker explained. “He was a dirty player, but he made a lot of plays. They used him perfectly to suit his abilities and he was a big-time player for them. Some people might think of him as a borderline Hall of Famer, but I think the fact he helped them win two Super Bowls and all the things he did for that team make him deserving.”

I’m not sure if Ward ever set out to end careers, but Crocker is certainly right that he is not the only person who thinks Hines is a dirty player. Ed Reed, who was the recipient of one of the most brutal Ward blocks of all time, also called the Steelers receiver a dirty player last summer. Overall, it would seem that the general consensus is people respect Ward’s toughness but question the way he utilized it.

H/T Pro Football Talk

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Stephen Curry to be named NBA MVP

Chip Kelly: Tim Tebow is here to compete for a job

Report: Nigel Williams-Goss transferring to Gonzaga

Philly store offering Eagles 'jersey insurance'

Chris Paul listed as questionable for Game 1 vs. Rockets

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Pacquiao had injured shoulder, considered postponing fight

Mayweather beats Pacquiao by unanimous decision

Did Evan Mathis respond to Chip Kelly's slight with barb?

WATCH: American Pharoah wins Kentucky Derby

Report: Rams trade RB Zac Stacy to Jets

Falcons draft pick's house burned down during draft

Floyd Mayweather Punch Out mock video game is great

WATCH: Tony Allen walks through children performing, gets booed

Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods have broken up

WATCH: Two games end with baserunners hit by batted balls

WATCH: Damian Lilliard delivers great graduation speech

Jets do not envision Bryce Petty starting in 2015

Clippers beat Spurs on Chris Paul shot in Game 7

Jimmy Kimmel's Manny Pacquiao T-shirt goes viral

Big fight packs airport, leaves no room for planes

Pete Carroll discusses Russell Wilson's contract status

Jim Harbaugh not happy Lou Holtz is out at ESPN

Cubs fans want Harry Caray video for seventh inning stretch

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Floyd Mayweather Punch Out mock video game is great

Report: Steph Curry to be NBA MVP

Kelly: Tebow here to compete for job

Tony Allen booed for being rude?

Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods break up

Pacquiao fought with injured shoulder?

Winners and losers from the NFL draft

Report: Zac Stacy traded to Jets

Hardy apologizes for joke about 9/11

Jerry Jones sends letter to Pacquiao

Mayweather bans Beadle, Nichols

WATCH: A-Rod fights back tears

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.