Hines Ward is back in the NFL, this time as a coach. The legendary former Steelers receiver will join the Jets as an offensive assistant, the team announced in a release. Ward had been a coaching intern, and after impressing during camp got invited back as a member of the full-time 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,” head coach Adam Gase said.
Ward has been working under receivers coach Shawn Jefferson, and that will continue. Ward finished his decorated career with 1,000 receptions and 85 touchdowns, winning two Super Bowls and a Super Bowl MVP Award. He also served as an executive with the now defunct AAF. He’s already made a positive impression on presumed number one Jets receiver Robby Anderson. “He’s a great resource because he’s done it at a high level consistently,” Anderson said. “He’s a future Hall of Famer so what more can I ask for? I’m picking his brain, and he’s more so telling me than I’m asking him, and I’m just staying on top of him. He’s just trying to find ways to get me better in each way.”
Here’s more from around the league:
- Jadeveon Clowney was almost a Seahawk all the way back in the spring. The Texans and Seahawks first discussed a Clowney trade before the draft, Seattle GM John Schneider tells Albert Breer of The MMQB. However, there were logistical roadblocks – namely, extension talks with quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner. Meanwhile, the April price tag for Clowney was too high for the Seahawks’ taste. Over the weekend, the Seahawks acquired Clowney for a 2020 third-rounder, defensive end Barkevious Mingo, and linebacker Jacob Martin.
- The Browns got tight end Ricky Seals-Jones off waivers from the Cardinals this weekend, and they weren’t the only AFC North team interested. The Steelers submitted a claim for the Texas A&M product as well, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Seals-Jones has shown flashed during his two years in the league, but the 2017 UDFA fell out of favor with the new coaching staff in Arizona. The Steelers have Vance McDonald but not a ton behind him on the depth chart, so their interest makes some sense.
- Before he was claimed by the Jaguars, the Browns and Lions also tried to snag running back Devine Ozigbo off waivers, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Ozigbo turned in a solid preseason with the Saints, but was unable to make their final cut on Saturday. Detroit was only one spot behind Jacksonville in the waiver order, so they just barely missed getting their guy. Ozigbo is an undrafted rookie from Nebraska.
- Undrafted rookie offensive tackle Ryan Pope signed with the 49ers’ practice squad earlier today, and he was apparently in high demand. Pope had practice squad offers from four teams after getting cut by the Lions, a source told Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports. Pope played his college ball at San Diego State, where he earned All-Mountain West second-team honors as a senior.