Steelers WR Hines Ward had some interesting thoughts on the new rule that bears his name.
NFL owners established the “Hines Ward Rule” this offseason in order to prevent a blocker from using his helmet, forearm or shoulder to hit a defender from behind or from the side.
Ward told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he has Steelers coach Mike Tomlin‘s blessing to continue playing the same way he always has for 11 seasons:
“It’s kind of funny because week in and week out, that’s all we see is highlights of somebody getting blown up by a defensive player. In my case it’s shunned or doesn’t look good or makes me a dirty player. I don’t do anything different than what they do to offensive players.”
The new rule partially is a result of a Week 7 hit that Ward laid on Keith Rivers, breaking the Bengals linebacker’s jaw and prematurely ended his rookie season.
Ward admits that he is one of the few offensive players willing to attack defenders, but he’s not about to change his playing style, he told the Tribune-Review:
“Defensive players, they hate it. I don’t know why they hate it, because when I go across the middle they can’t wait to take my head off, so why should I wait my turn to get hit before I retaliate?”