Pittsburgh Steelers Legend Hines Ward Announces He Will Not Retire

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 24:  Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on against the St. Louis Rams during the game on December 24, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Steelers won 27-0.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Hines Ward holds most of the Pittsburgh Steelers' receiving records, and he wants to add to those totals in 2012. He put an end to any retirement speculation on his official Facebook page, saying he has "no plans on retiring right now" and that all the retirement talk was just a media creation. 

There was increasing speculation after the Steelers lost to the Denver Broncos on Sunday night that Ward was going to walk away, but he obviously thinks he has a lot left in the tank to commit for another season. 

Ward had his worst season since he was a rookie in 1998. He had just 46 catches for 381 yards and one touchdown in 2011.

However, he is valuable as a leader in the locker room and brings a lot more to the table than just raw stats. He is still a good blocking receiver and can act as another coach on the field. 

The Steelers are stacked at the receiver position right now. Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown might be the fastest duo in the NFL, and they provide the team with a number of big plays down the field. 

Ward has taken to his role as a complementary piece as his career winds down. He is never going to be the player that he was from 2001-2009 when he had six 1,000-yard seasons, but he doesn't have to do that anymore. 

He is perfect in his role as a mentor/coach/part-time contributor. If he wants to keep his career going for another year, who are we to tell him he shouldn't? He knows how he feels a lot better than anyone else, and he thinks he can be a valuable asset in 2012.