Hard Hat Award (Game #14, @ Balt.)
Stillers WR Hines Ward is the winner of the weekly Hard Hat Award, given to the Stiller player who best embodies the iron-tough, hard-as-steel attitude of the steel workers inside the blast furnace of a still mill.
Ward entered the game as a supposed �marked man� by the vaunted Raven defense. Ever since the first meeting back in week 4, the Ravens had talked brazenly about how they were gonna get revenge, blah blah blah. Some receivers would have shirked and wilted at the thought of facing a bloodthirsty mob like the Poebirds. Not Ward, who responded with perhaps his best all-around effort of the season, making one clutch catch after another in the middle of the field, en route to an 8 catch, 108 yard performance to spark a moribund offense to victory.
Most of his yardage was off RAC, as Ward churned, spun, and plowed for extra yardage. The entire Raven defense was given ample opportunity to punish Ward, but they never were able to knock him out of the game. Ward got the final drive going with 2 consecutive 13-yard grabs, and his spinning, 3rd-effort RAC set up the late goal-to-go at the 4. For all the talk about how the Ravens were getting �up� to face Ward and so on, Ward never wavered or backed down an inch, as he continually made fearless catches over the middle.
In the 2nd half, near the end of a Spike Roethlisberger scramble, Ward had LB Bart Scott lined up for a huge blast. Scott spied Ward at the last second, and like a pansy Bartholomew ducked rather than taking a hit from a man 50 pounds lighter.
Other player receiving consideration from The Committee were Larry Timmons, who stripped Jacco of the ball in the 4Q to force a punt and also nearly forced an INT with a huge hit; spec teamer Pat Bailey; and DE Aaron Smith, who had a stout game.
Kudos to Ward for winning the Hard Hat Award. Wear the Hard Hat proudly, Hines!
Previous 2008 Hard Hat Winners:
Week 1, vs.
Week 2, @ Clev: Keyaron Fox and Jamie Harrison
Week 3, @ Phil:
Week 4, vs. Balt: Jamie Harrison and LeMarr Woodley
Week 5, @ Jax: Ben Roethlisberger
Week 6, @ Cinci: Mewelde Moore
Week 7, vs. NY Giants: Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel
Week 8, @ Skins: Byron Leftwich and Jared Retkofsky
Week 9, vs. Colts: Jamie Harrison
Week 10, vs. Chargers: Jamie Harrison and Gary Russell
Week 11, vs. Bengals: Aaron Smith
Week 12, @ NE Pats: Jamie Harrison
Week 13, vs.