The Pittsburgh Steelers have plenty of names immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Hopefully, they’ll add two more to that tally, as LB James Harrison and WR Hines Ward are currently semifinalists for the Hall of Fame Class of 2024.
When asked about that, HC Mike Tomlin had some beautiful words to describe Ward.
He talked about how stats never told the full picture about his game and his impact (via Steelers Depot).
Mike Tomlin on Hines Ward being a 2023 HOF semifinalists: "Hines is like John Lynch to me. I coached both guys, stats don't tell their story. Ask the men that played football against them, of that generation. Their impact on the game and how the game is played and in some…
— Steelers Depot 7⃣ (@Steelersdepot) November 29, 2023
Tomlin called Ward ‘a football player first and a wide receiver later,’ praising him for his toughness, his consistency, strength, effort, and team-first mentality.
The coach stated that stats are just a part of the story and, while Ward obviously doesn’t have the most impressive numbers, the way he affected the game and how he made everybody around him better should also count.
Ward should be considered the best wide receiver in the history of the Pittsburgh Steelers, even if he wasn’t the most talented.
His demeanor and how he gave everything on the field every single time he was out there, not to mention his marks in the team’s all-time rankings.
And while there might be some players with more impressive numbers or more spectacular plays, Ward had the heart of a champion, and that also helped this team win not one but two Super Bowls, including one in which he ran away with Super Bowl MVP honors.
Hopefully, he’ll finally get the nod — and that well-deserved gold jacket — this time once and for all.