Greatest WR Tournament – Semifinal – Ward vs. Brown
Why these two wide receivers were selected for the tournament:
#1 Hines Ward
- 4× Pro Bowl (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)
- 3× Second-Team All-Pro (2002, 2003, 2004)
- 2× Super Bowl Champion (XL, XLIII)
- Super Bowl MVP (XL)
- 3× Pittsburgh Steelers Team MVP (2002, 2004, 2005)
- 3× AFC Champion (2005, 2008, 2010)
- 10,000 Receiving Yards Club
- 2012 Pittsburgh Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Leader (Receiving Touchdowns, Receptions, and Receiving Yards)
- Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team
- Pittsburgh Steelers #86 no longer issued
- Ranked 10th all-time in receptions (1,000)
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Ward in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft, and he became the team’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yardage and touchdown receptions. Ward was voted MVP of Super Bowl XL, and upon retirement was one of only eight NFL players to have 1,000 or more career receptions.
- Current starter has 3 Pro Bowl appearances since 2010.
- First team All-Pro in 2014, second team in 2013.
- 2014 AFC Offensive Co-Player of the Year
- NFL Receiving Yards Leader (2014)
- NFL Receptions Leader (2014)
- AFC Receiving Touchdowns Leader (2014)
- 2× Pittsburgh Steelers Team MVP (2011, 2013)
- First NFL player to have 1,000 yards returning and receiving in a season
- First NFL player to record at least 5 catches and 50 receiving yards in 32 consecutive games
- Steelers receiving leader (2014, 2013)
On December 4, 2011, Brown returned his first punt return for a touchdown against the Bengals, and was also named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. In 2011, Brown became the first player in NFL history to have more than 1,000 yards receiving and returning in the same year. For his efforts, Brown was selected as a punt returner for the Pro Bowl.
On December 22, 2013, Brown broke Yancey Thigpen’s team record of 1,398 receiving yards set in 1997. Brown also became only the second Steeler to amass at least 100 receptions in a season, joining former teammate Hines Ward. On December 29, he, along with Pierre Garçon of the Washington Redskins, tied Jimmy Smith as the only players to record at least five receptions in every single game of an NFL season in a win against the Browns, all while becoming the only receiver in NFL history to ever record five receptions for at least 50 yards in every single game of an NFL season. On December 27, 2013, Brown was selected for the Pro Bowl as a receiver and a punt returner. On January 3, 2014, Brown was named to the AP All-Pro team for the first time in his career.
In 2014 Brown led the NFL in receptions, yardage, and was tied for second in touchdowns. Brown has extended his record of recording 5 catches for 50 yards to 32 consecutive regular season games. Browns’ 2014 campaign saw him best his franchise-record yardage mark of 1,499 yards by gaining 1,698 yards on 129 catches, the highest total of catches in Steelers’ history and second in NFL history, to go with a franchise-record 13 receiving touchdowns.