Hines Ward was inducted into the Steelers Hall of Honor as a member of the Class of 2019.
The great players always find something that motivates them, and for Hines Ward what motivated him was a sense that he was being disrespected. A third-round selection in 1998 (92nd overall) after a career as a "slash" at the University of Georgia, Ward saw the Steelers spend No. 1 picks on receivers in both 1999 and 2000, but Ward made himself into a starting receiver, then one of the most productive receivers in the NFL, and by the time he retired after the 2011 season he was the most productive receiver in Steelers history. Ward still sits atop the Steelers all-time lists in catches with 1,000, in yards with 12,083, and in receiving touchdowns with 85. He was voted to four Pro Bowls for his work during the regular season, and as a guy who had another 88 receptions for 1,181 yards and 10 touchdowns in 18 playoff games he added a Super Bowl MVP award for his contributions to the Steelers 21-10 victory over Seattle in Super Bowl XL. But in addition to his statistical production as a receiver, Ward also played the position like no one else in the NFL during his tenure. Simply put, Ward often treated defensive players the way defensive players commonly treated receivers, and he was such a physical and enthusiastic blocker that a rule eventually was passed by the league to prohibit the kind of block Ward used to break Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers' jaw.