The New York Jets are adding a former Super Bowl MVP to their coaching staff.
As Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network reports, the Jets have signed Hines Ward as a full-time coaching assistant on their staff. The 43-year-old former wide receiver had coached the Jets as an intern over the summer and had apparently impressed head coach Adam Gase enough to warrant a full-time position on the coaching staff.
“It was this summer when Joe [Douglas] said something to me about how they kind of talked about bringing him in at Philly at one point to work in a training camp, and he had done it in Pittsburgh,” said coach Adam Gase. “When his name came up, he reached out to Hines and then I had a conversation with Hines and we got it done.”
Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson also spoke about how much of an advantage it is to have an all-time great at wide receiver coaching him up.
“He’s a great resource because he’s done it at a high level consistently,” said wide receiver Robby Anderson. “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.”
Hines Ward Was One of the NFL’s Top Receivers in the 2000’s
Ward is best known for his 13-year career with the Steelers from 1998 until 2011. Ward was not only named the Super Bowl MVP following Super Bowl 40 in 2006, he is the franchise’s all-time leader in just about every major receiving category.
The University of Georgia product was also a four-time Pro Bowl selection (2001-2004) and was a three-time NFL All-Pro (2002-2004). He won two Super Bowl titles with the Steelers and led the franchise in receiving in six of seven seasons from 2002 until 2008.
Jets Move on From Highly-Touted Prospect
The Jets made a surprising move on Saturday when they cut their 2019 third-round draft selection, Jachai Polite, just four months after drafting him.
The linebacker was the 68th overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft at the hands of former general manager Mike Maccagnan. Maccagnan would go onto be fired by the Jets just weeks later — which kind of paints the picture of how unstable the Jets organization can be.
Prior to his release, Polite had somehow managed to rack up more than $100,000 in fines during his short tenure in the Big Apple, as reported by Brian Costello of the New York Times.
“The Jets’ surprising cut of third-round pick Jachai Polite on Saturday was not just based on his on-field struggles.
A source confirmed Polite was fined more than $100,000 by the team during his four months as a Jet for violating team rules, including being late for meetings. Pro Football Talk first reported Polite’s fines.
Polite received a $1.1 million signing bonus as part of the four-year rookie contract he signed with the Jets, so he ended up spending about 10 percent of that on fines.”
Obviously, Polite’s character concerns at the University of Florida continued during his short time in New York — and the Jets were not going to put up with it.
Polite is now a member of the Seattle Seahawks after signing onto their practice squad.
Quite the fall from grace for a highly-touted prospect who was expected to be drafted in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.