The Pittsburgh Steelers had a familiar face join them on the practice fields of Saint Vincent College on Wednesday and it was none other that former wide receiver Hines Ward. Ward, who currently works for CNN, will be a coaching intern for the team the remainder of the offseason, according to Teresa Varley of steelers.com.
Ward also posted on Twitter how he’s looking forward to coaching the Steelers wide receivers over the course of the next several weeks.
I’m excited to be helping a world class organization and team that’s done so much for me. Feels good to be back with my Steelers for camp. pic.twitter.com/yvq9FfudAZ
— Hines Ward (@mvp86hinesward) August 3, 2017
Ward already spent quite a bit of time with Steelers rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster on Wednesday and he talked about the USC product afterwards.
“I see me in him. It’s crazy,” said Ward, according to Varley. “I see the way he attacks it. Why not help this kid as much as I can. Helping my organization, helping him prosper and do stuff. I get enjoyment out of it.”
Much like Ward was during his career, Smith-Schuster is shaping up to be a very physical player and especially when it comes to the blocking phase of his game.
Ward will presumably work under the guidance of Steelers veteran wide receivers coach Richard Mann, who stated earlier in the offseason that 2017 might very well be his final year in the NFL. That’s not a bad tutor for Ward to have as Mann is one of the best receivers coaches currently in the league.
So, will Ward be a candidate to replace Mann? It might be too early to suggest that, in my honest opinion, but with that said, it’s great to have a former player with the kind of resume he put together during his career in Pittsburgh helping out during training camp just the same.