NFL Rumors: Eagles Looking at Hiring Steelers Legend as WR Coach

Hines Ward

Getty Former Steelers legend Hines Ward has emerged as a front-runner to become the Eagles next wide receivers coach.

The Steelers have won six Super Bowls, compared to one for the Eagles. Letting some championship water meander out of the Three Rivers and across the state could quench Philadelphia’s thirst.

The Eagles are reportedly interested in making legendary Steelers receiver Hines Ward their next wide-receivers coach. Ward’s name surfaced as a possible replacement for recently fired coach Carson Walch on Tuesday, per The Inquirer’s Paul Domowitch.

The 43-year-old just wrapped up his first season as an offensive assistant for the New York Jets, an organization he originally joined as a coaching intern after the Pittsburgh Steelers snubbed him for a full-time role.

Ward played receiver in the NFL for 14 seasons and quickly became a valuable sounding board for the Jets’ young pass-catchers, especially for fourth-year man Robby Anderson. The Jets promoted him from coaching intern to full-time offensive assistant back on Sept. 2.

“He’s a great resource because he’s done it at a high level consistently,” Anderson told the Jets’ official website. “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.”

The Jets didn’t have a juggernaut of an offense but it wasn’t Ward’s fault as starting quarterback Sam Darnold missed three games with mononucleosis. He did spread the ball around to three pretty explosive receivers in Anderson, Jamison Crowder and Demaryius Thomas.

The trio combined for 2,045 yards, or 938 yards more than the Eagles’ triumvirate of Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Greg Ward. Remember, the Birds didn’t have a single receiver get 500 yards for the year.

Are Eagles Trying to Lure Robby Anderson to Philadelphia?

There’s no denying the mutual respect that Robby Anderson and Hines Ward have for each other.

The 26-year-old seemed in awe of the Steelers great and clearly learned a lot from working with him in New York. Anderson enters 2020 as an unrestricted free agent and he’ll have an array of suitors fighting for his services. One team that should be in the sweepstakes for Anderson is the Philadelphia Eagles.

Could they be trying to seal the deal by hiring his favorite positions coach? It would certainly be a savvy move by a sharp-witted GM like Howie Roseman. The Jets receiver has already gone on record saying that he plans to test the free-agency waters.

“From a business perspective, why wouldn’t I go out there and see what my value truly could be and do things in the correct business manner,” Anderson told the Jets’ official website. “So that really wouldn’t be logical. … I think the goal is and the business perspective is to get the most money in the best situation.”

Bobby Engram: Name to Watch for Eagles WR Coach

According to The Inquirer’s Paul Domowitch, there is one other name lingering out there for Eagles wide receivers coach: Bobby Engram.

Much like Ward, Engram was a well-respected veteran who played for three different NFL teams in a 14-year career. He retired in 2011 and started coaching.

Engram, who played college football at Penn State, has served as an assistant coach for the Baltimore Ravens since 2014. He was John Harbaugh’s wide receivers coach for the first four seasons before switching over to tight ends coach this year after the Ravens hired former Eagles assistant David Culley.

Mark Andrews blossomed into one of the best tight ends in football under Engram’s watch in 2019 as he led the Ravens in receptions (64), receiving yards (852) and receiving touchdowns (10). He also qualified for his first Pro Bowl.

Baltimore’s other tight end — Hayden Hurst, their 2018 first-round pick — also excelled this season. He finished with 30 catches for 349 yards and two touchdowns as the Ravens relied on a lot of 12 personnel.

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