Hines Ward was passed over to replace Richard Mann as the next WRs coach, a move that frustrated many in Steelers’ Nation. Speaking for the first time since Pittsburgh hired Darryl Drake instead, Ward sounded disappointed to.
“There was some interest, but I can’t hire myself,” Ward told Sirius’ Lance Moore, a former Steeler himself, per Fox’s Alex Marvez. “If the opportunity presents itself, it’s something where I’d have to sit down and seriously think about it.”
Marvez went on to say, as Ward indicated, that Ward will hope for a coaching job to open up in the near future. Last year, he spent most of training camp with the team, working closely with JuJu Smith-Schuster, and spent at least a couple regular season games with the club too. It’s unclear if that will continue but reading into Ward’s comments, that doesn’t sound terribly likely.
Hiring Ward would’ve been the feel-good move but he was simply too green to step into such a role, filled with huge personalities like Antonio Brown, JuJu, and where egos typically run high. Drake, as we’ve written about, is cut from a similar cloth as Mann, a father figure who has been coaching in the NFL since 2005.
Ward said he was surprised to see the team part ways with Todd Haley, believing Haley became the scapegoat for a team that didn’t meet expectations.
“Coach Haley, what he did in Pittsburgh for five years, it’s crazy that he was the scapegoat,” Ward said. “You hate to see Todd Haley go.”
As we’ve covered a hundred times, Haley wasn’t let go for his on-field product but relationship with Ben Roethlisberger and the rest of the coaching staff. Maybe Ward is just toeing the line to avoid burning bridges and get a job down the road. Which hey, I don’t blame him for it.
Ward is the second ex-Steeler to go to bar for Haley this week. Terry Bradshaw was critical of the move as well.