Former Pittsburgh wide receiver Hines Ward called the state of the Steelers “embarrassing,” and he said the franchise would benefit from being more like the Patriots.
“I look at what happened with Malcolm Butler, being late for a meeting and missing the Super Bowl,” Ward told Barstool Sports. “That’s the culture, and that’s the Patriots’ way. There’s no one guy that’s bigger than the team. You do what Coach (Bill) Belichick says, and everyone else is held accountable.”
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) January 30, 2019
Ward said several Steelers are after fame, catches, and money, which leads to a “disaster” and missing the playoffs. A few years ago, the one-time Patriots rival accused New England of cheating in the 2002 AFC Championship game. Now, it appears he’s changed his overall perception of the Patriots and has “jumped off that bandwagon,” as he put it.
“Mad respect to Tom Brady and Coach Belichick,” Ward said. “Year in and year out, they find a way to get it done. Even this year, they look vulnerable and you don’t think they’re going to make it, they go into Kansas City and beat up on a great team.”
Ward credited Brady in particular for doing more with less talent around him than any other quarterback ever and continuing to play at such a high level at age 41. He pointed out that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has plenty of weapons around him, yet the Steelers had trouble maximizing their potential.