http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2004/players/10/12/poll.dirtiest/index.html/ wrote:Based on a survey of 354 current and former players. Players were not allowed to vote for members of their own team.
Who is the dirtiest player in the NFL?
Rodney Harrison (S, Patriots).... 15%
Hines Ward (WR, Steelers) ........ 9%
Jon Runyan (T, Eagles) ................ 8%
Dan Neil (G, Broncos) ................... 8%
Kyle Turley (T, Rams) ................... 6%
Frank Middleton (G, Raiders) ...... 4%
Kenoy Kennedy (S, Broncos) .......4%
John Welbourn (T, Chiefs)............ 3%
Tom Nalen (C, Broncos) ............... 3%
Chris Hovan (DT, Vikings) ............ 3%
Fast Facts: Harrison, who spent nine seasons with San Diego before joining the Pats in 2003, has incurred more than $300,000 in fines, including $7,500 for a late hit on Arizona QB Josh McCown in Week 2. He was an All-Pro last year.... In 2001 Neil drew a $15,000 fine for clipping LB Bryan Cox, a play on which Cox broke his leg.
Hines Ward's response.....
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/sports/s_262054.html wrote:Ward voted second dirtiest player
By Jerry DiPaola
Friday, October 15, 2004
Rod Woodson laughed when he was asked if he thought Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward deserved to be named the second-dirtiest player in the NFL.
"When he hit me inside my ear a couple times, yeah," Woodson, a former All-Pro defensive back, said. "But, I told him, I believe he is one of the top four wide receivers in the league, with Terrell Owens, Randy (Moss) and Marvin Harrison."
Ward, who combines aggressiveness with productivity as well as any player in the NFL, was surprised when he heard Thursday that a Sports Illustrated poll of 354 former and current players listed him second among the dirtiest players in the league. He received 9 percent of the vote, behind only New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, who got 15 percent.
"Thats tough," Ward said. "Is that something to be proud of? No, not really, because I don't play the game dirty."
But he admits that his insistence on blocking until the whistle blows angers many defensive backs.
"I get under their skin and really (make them mad)," he said. "I guess I'm the most-hated wideout in the league."
Ward remembers belting Woodson in a game against the Ravens in Baltimore, but he said he was within the rules.
"He just never expected a wideout to go after a defensive back," he said. "A lot of defensive backs don't expect to get blocked like I do (it). The way I approach the game, I'm going to hit you before you hit me.
Ward said he doesn't look at the defensive backs when he's running across the middle to make a catch. He also doesn't expect the defensive backs to look for him when theyre trying to tackle the ball carrier.
"I think it's fair. If you're going to hit me when I'm not looking, I'm going to hit you when you're not looking," Ward said. Steelers defensive end Travis Kirschke, who played in San Francisco last year, said 49ers coaches warned their players to watch out for Ward.
"You're not worried about (fullback) Dan Kreider putting the hit on you or (guard) Alan Faneca coming around the corner?" Ward said. "You're worried about a 200-pound wideout coming to knock your head off? I take that as a compliment."
Ward has been fined by the NFL, but he said it was only for taunting -- not for hard hits. Rodney Harrison, on the other hand, has paid $300,000 in fines in his career.
Ward said he hit Harrison hard one day, but it had little effect on him.
"He looked at me and shrugged his neck and said, 'I like that,'" Ward said.
Ward didn't vote in the SI poll, but he said all defensive backs play dirty.
"When I come across the middle, they are all trying to take my head off, so I have no sympathy for anybody else," he said.
Jerry DiPaola can be reached at mailto:email@example.com or 412-481-5432.