5 most violent and physical Pittsburgh Steelers of the 2000s

Tommy Jaggi
Ryan Clark #25 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Ryan Clark #25 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers
Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

2. WR Hines Ward

When it comes to the wide receiver position, you’d be hard-pressed to find a player in history who was more willing to hit somebody than Hines Ward. While it may be surprising seeing an offensive player cracking the list of the top five most violent and physical players of the 2000s, Ward was a different type of animal.

Not only could he absorb a crushing blow after leaping for a ball in the middle of the football field, but he’d also almost always get back up with his patented smile from ear to ear. In the run game, defenders were forced to keep their heads on a swivel.

Before the blindside block rule was made specifically because of Wards hits, he punished defenders as he would swoop in and knock them off their feet. Two of his hits that immediately come to mind are his crushing crack-back blocks on Ed Reed and Keith Rivers, as he left both defenders on the ground wincing in pain.

Ward may have been a bit limited as an athlete, but his physical at the wide receiver position more than made up for his average athleticism. He was considered by many to be one of the dirtiest offensive players of the 2000s and he will be remembered for his rare physical play style for a wide receiver.