Hines Ward will be on the sidelines for the 2019 regular season.
Ward, who joined the New York Jets' staff as a coaching intern during the summer, will be a full-time member of the Jets' coaching staff during the regular season. Ward will serve as an offensive assistant under Jets head coach, Adam Gase.
"Hines has stayed on with us throughout the entire training camp," Gase said of Ward via 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, who enjoyed an extremely successful 14-year playing career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, served as a coaching intern for the Steelers during the 2017 season. That summer, Ward worked with then rookie and current Pittsburgh No. 1 receiver, JuJu Smith-Schuster. Ward's impact helped Smith-Schuster catch 58 passes for 917 yards and seven touchdowns during his rookie season while becoming the youngest player in league history to reach 1,000 all-purpose yards.
Ward isn't the only former Steeler that is currently with the Jets. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh's team MVP in 2014 and 2016, signed a four-year deal with New York during the regular season. Offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum, who signed with Pittsburgh as an undrafted rookie in 2012, was the Steelers' starting left tackle from 2013-15 until an injury wiped out the second half of the 2015 season. Steve McLendon, a nose tackle for the Steelers from 2010-15, is also a member of the Jets' 2019 squad.
A third round pick out of the University of Georgia in 1998, Ward retired following the 2011 season as Pittsburgh's all-time leader in receptions (1,000), receiving yards (12,083) and touchdowns (85). His 1,181 career postseason receiving yards are the seventh most in NFL history. He took home MVP honors in Super Bowl XL after catching five passes for 123 yards and a score in Pittsburgh's 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.