Hines Ward’s expected influence on the New York Jets

Hines Ward, New York Jets (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/AAF/Getty Images)
Hines Ward, New York Jets (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/AAF/Getty Images) /

The New York Jets are adding the finishing touches on their team as the season is set to begin this Sunday with the addition of new wide receivers coach Hines Ward.

Only a few days away until the New York Jets season kicks off and all the talk can stop as the players can finally showcase their talents on the field. The core of wide receivers led by names like Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder will officially have another voice added to the coaching staff in retired wide receiver Hines Ward.

Ward was officially hired as a full-time offensive assistant earlier in the week in hopes of working with the Jets’ receivers. The former Pittsburgh Steelers legend was already working with the team unofficially in a part-time role throughout the training camp. Ward’s work was so impressed with the players that head coach Adam Gase and the front office decided to make things permanent before the season.

The 43-year old is fresh off of serving as an executive on the brief spring football league AAF before joining the Jets during camp. During his time with the Jets, Ward was a wealth of knowledge for Anderson regarding everything about playing the position effectively. Anderson spoke with ESPN’s Rich Cimini recently in detail about Ward’s influence made him a better player.

"“It’s a great resource, Anderson said, He’s done it at a high level consistently. He’s a future Hall of Famer. Like, what else can I ask for? I’m picking his brain, He’s telling me more than I’m asking him. He’s staying on top of me, just trying to find ways to get me better each and every way.”"

Ward had the reputation as a tough receiver willing to get physical with defensive backs during his playing career. He was one of the best blockers in the league which was rare from the position and allowed for more opportunities in the running game. This aspect of the game is often ignored due to the flashy persona of today’s wide receivers, but Ward’s presence should push for more of that attitude.

In his 15 seasons, all with the Steelers Ward is the career leader with 1,000 catches, 12,083 receiving yards, and 85 touchdowns. The Steelers won two Super Bowls with Ward and were consistently in contention in the AFC playoff picture.

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The importance of winning will also be needed for the receiving group since the Jets have been away from postseason play for a significant number of years.