Steelers Debate: Why Hines Ward was better than Antonio Brown
Ward did more for the Steelers with less
Though nobody is denying that Brown didn’t have a more impressive 6-year stretch for the Steelers, looking at the whole picture, it’s clear that Hines Ward did more with less.
For the first 6 years of his career, Ward was at the mercy of Kordell Stewart and Tommy Maddox slinging him the ball. For the two years after that (2004-2005) he played with a young Ben Roethlisberger who never threw the ball more than 295 times in a season.
On the other hand, Roethlisberger threw the ball 567 times per season from 2013-2018 despite missing 8 games during that stretch.
Though Ward never got to play with Roethlisberger during the quarterback’s best statistical seasons, he still ultimately ended up being a more accomplished wide receiver then Brown. Ward finished 26th all-time in receiving and added 85 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Antonio Brown (if his career is indeed over with) finished 35th all-time in receiving with 75 touchdowns, according to Pro Football Reference.
I agree that Brown was a more dominant player over a 6-year stretch in the NFL, but Ward did everything the Steelers asked him to do in primarily run-first offenses. At the end of the day, these two will go down as two of the best wide receivers to ever play the game for Pittsburgh, and it will be left up to opinion as to which player was best for the team.