Chris Crocker believed Hines Ward is a dirty player. (US Presswire)
While Hines Ward had an emotional press conference on Tuesday to announce that he was ending his career, at least one member of the NFL community isn’t all that sad that Ward will no longer be in uniform.

That’s Bengals safety Chris Crocker who told the team’s official website that he won’t soon miss the 14-year veteran. It’s because Crocker thinks* Ward is a dirty player.

“He tried to end people's careers,” Crocker said, “and that's not the way the game is supposed to be played."

<em>*The first video below probably didn’t sway Crocker’s impression that Ward was a bit of a goon, considering Ward ended Keith Rivers' season on that crackback block. Crocker also said Ward once punched him in the face at the snap of the ball. “Stuff like that, it's just not right,

But to his credit, Crocker also recognized a pretty good receiver when he saw him.

"He's probably the first receiver to make blocking such a big part of his game. He was an all-around receiver," Crocker said. "He was a dirty player, but he made a lot of plays. They used him perfectly to suit his abilities and he was a big-time player for them. Some people might think of him as a borderline Hall-of-Famer, but I think the fact he helped them win two Super Bowls and all the things he did for that team make him deserving."

Of course, it should be noted that the rest of Crocker’s teammates won’t miss having to deal with Ward because his 131 catches for 1,588 yards and 15 touchdowns against Cincinnati are the best totals of any opponent he faced (Ward also went 19-8 all-time vs. the Bengals).

Dirty player or not, there’s no doubting Ward’s talent. Something Ward’s friends and enemies recognized.

Hines Ward has announced his retirement after 14 seasons in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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