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Hines Ward Nearing 1,000 Catches; Will Steelers Get Him The Ball?

Steelers receiver Hines Ward is nearing 1,000 catches for his career, and while the Steelers' first priority is winning games, they also want to find ways for Ward to reach that milestone.

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"Me, personally, I want to see him get it," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said yesterday in his weekly powwow with the media. "It's not something that we can force. It's not like you can hand it to him and they count. We all want to see that happen, but it's not something we will force to happen."

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That being said, it sure looked like the Steelers made a concerted effort to give Ward more chances in the 35-7 win this past Sunday over the Bengals.

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Ward has 990 catches for his career, and with a handful of games left on the 2011 regular season schedule, reaching 1,000 by the end of the year might not ordinarily be a problem. But the emergence of electric young receivers in Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders have pushed Ward to the background. As the Beaver County Times notes, the Steelers have what could be an easy game at home in Week 16 against the St. Louis Rams; that might provide Ward with the opportunities he needs.

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Via Steelers Depot.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.