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Coache vote Hines Ward smartest offensive player (non-QB)

Postby thesteelhammer » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:37 pm

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=williamson_bill&id=3429516

Entertaining article. Here is just a snippet of it.

....Over the past 10 years, Ward has widely been considered one of the brainiest offensive players in the league. In a survey of NFL head coaches in the spring, Ward received the most votes when coaches were asked to name the smartest nonquarterback offensive player in the league. Several coaches said they would have voted for Indianapolis' Peyton Manning or New England's Tom Brady if quarterbacks were eligible. But among the nonquarterbacks, Ward was the clear choice. Coaches were granted anonymity for their candor....Sixteen different players received a vote from one of the 30 coaches who answered this specific survey question about smart players. Coaches were encouraged not to vote for a player on their team. Tennessee center Kevin Mawae, Indianapolis center Jeff Saturday and New England receiver Randy Moss tied for second with three votes apiece. Two players, Philadelphia left tackle Jon Runyan and St. Louis receiver Torry Holt, received two votes. But Ward was the winner with four votes.


Ward also recieved one vote for dirtiest player, but didn't win the catagory.
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=sando_mike&id=3439800

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Re: Coache vote Hines Ward smartest offensive player (non-QB)

Postby trenches » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:57 pm

Smart? I'd like to know the coaches' definition of "smart." It's funny how an NFL player that is analogous to an NHL agitator is considered "smart" by NFL coaches while NHL coaches would consider that breed of player a pain-in-the-ass thug.

I didn't know that "smart" involved bragging on one's self endlessly and carrying an endless chip on one's shoulder while being a lowly, bottom-of-the-barrel third round draft pick. Third round? Wow... just awful. :D

I'm surprised Adam Jones didn't make the list.

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Re: Coache vote Hines Ward smartest offensive player (non-QB)

Postby thesteelhammer » Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:01 pm

There is a big difference between Ward and NHL Thugs.
Hockey thugs don't smile (no teeth). :D

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Re: Coache vote Hines Ward smartest offensive player (non-QB)

Postby trenches » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:40 am

Obviously, I'm not implying he has little or light skills like many agitators. But, outside of his ability to get under the opposition's skin, what else could be used as criteria to differentiate him? Very interesting that he had the most votes...

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Re: Coache vote Hines Ward smartest offensive player (non-QB)

Postby stillthere » Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:24 pm

trenches wrote:Obviously, I'm not implying he has little or light skills like many agitators. But, outside of his ability to get under the opposition's skin, what else could be used as criteria to differentiate him? Very interesting that he had the most votes...



A guy without blazing speed that seems to be open all day. A guy who somehow is in the right spot downfield throwing a block when a back gets to the second and third level. A guy who is aware of situations. Ward is usually on the first down side of the sticks when it is 3rd and whatever. A guy you see coaching and telling teammates what routes might work in senario "X". A guy who could sell fakes on the razzle dazzle plays that Pittsburgh has run for the last 10 or so years. Just the fact that he can do all that and still get some guy on defense to worry more about what Hines is up to than the scheme they may be running all those things and some shit that an NFL coach may notice and you and I may not all add up to getting votes.

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Re: Coache vote Hines Ward smartest offensive player (non-QB)

Postby trenches » Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:09 pm

Stillthere,

You put together a solid argument but:

1) I would vote running backs who pick the right hole far ahead of any WR that runs good routes on the "smart" scale -- there are many more parts in play in the decision making process.
2) Blocking is desire, not "smarts" for a WR. Using blocking as criteria would make any OL of Supra-Alien Intelligence and thus eliminate the possibility for considering any other position in the poll.
3) Situational awareness is a good point, he is well studied in that regard. On the other hand, WR's aren't even in the conversation with any average-to-above average OL if evaluating on that criteria.
4) Getting to the sticks is a sign of focus and a good route runner which requires practice, focus and dedication, not "smarts"
5) Hines is the king of "I take the entire team under my wing each year and no coaches are needed"... just ask him. Seriously, though, he is definitely a good leader. But your Center calling out protections or your LB or S that is calling defenses would require more "smarts" since they have to "coach" on the field each offensive/defensive play.
6) Razzle dazzle plays? Hines has rarely been the center point of trickery despite being a QB coming out of college. Even if that was the case, it would be acting, not "smarts" that sells the play.

Also, despite your solid argument, Randy Moss was also voted high on the list. Moss does little other than have supreme athletic ability, run terrific routes (when he wants to) and catch everything thrown at him. Great instinct and talent? Yes. Great smarts? Maybe good, not great.

I'm just surprised that WR's made the list.

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