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Hines Ward is one of the greatest receivers in Steelers history, another name on an iconic list that includes Hall of Famers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth.
After he retired from Pittsburgh in 2011 after a 14 year career with the team, he moved into the broadcast booth for a few years before becoming a coaching intern with the team in 2017. He then moved to New Jersey to become an intern with the Jets this past summer, and now the team has announced that he will be a full time offensive assistant with the Jets.
“Hines has stayed on with us throughout the entire training camp,” said head coach Adam Gase through a team statement on Monday. “He’s actually been added to be part of the coaching staff. He’s going to be an offensive assistant, he’s going to be working with the wideouts with Shawn so I think that’s a great addition for us. He’s done a lot of really good things with that group, helping out with those guys. I think it was the right time for him. He’s excited about the opportunity.”
Ward’s young coaching career put him around some real talent with Pittsburgh, including emerging star JuJu Smith-Schuster, who he helped coach when JuJu was a rookie. That year, JuJu hauled in 58 passes for 917 yards and seven touchdowns, becoming the youngest player in league history to reach 1,000 all-purpose yards.
Now Ward joins a Jets squad featuring a few former Steelers including running back Le’Veon Bell, offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum and defensive tackle, Steve McLendon.
Ward, a quarterback, running back and receiver for the Georgia Bulldogs, was selected in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft by the Steelers as a receiver and went on to amass 1,000 catches for 12,083 yards and 85 TDs in his 14 year career with the team, the only one he played for. He was named to the Pro Bowl four times and when the Steelers won Super Bowl XL, he won MVP honors after hauling in five catches for 123 yards and a TD in Pittsburgh’s 21-10 win over the Seahawks, their fifth Super Bowl win.
Now Ward is back on the sidelines full time, this time in New Jersey in green and white, which will probably take some getting used to for Steelers’ fans.