Hines Ward joins NBC's "Sunday Night Football" team



PITTSBURGH - Former Steelers receiver Hines Ward will have a new job this fall. Officials announced Thursday that Ward has joined NBC Sports Group.

NBC has announced that Ward, a 14-year veteran, four-time Pro Bowler, two-time Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl XL MVP, and "Dancing with the Stars" winner, will become an analyst across the NBC Sports Group's NFL, college, and studio programming.

He'll contribute to "Football Night in America," and he'll serve as an analyst on NBC's college football studio programming.

“It won’t be hard,” Ward said when asked if he will be able to criticize the Steelers. “I’m sure there will be some games that if I don’t pick the Steelers people will say, ‘Did you hear Hines didn’t pick the Steelers?’ I can’t pick them every week.”

Along with Aaron Rodgers, Ward appeared on NBC's Super Bowl XLVI pregame show, after a final season in which he recorded his 1,000th career reception.

"We think Hines is a perfect match for television because he brings with him a unique combination of charisma and football experience, which he demonstrated on our Super Bowl pregame show from Indianapolis," NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network executive producer Sam Flood said. "He's an opinionated personality who can draw upon his 14 years of experience, having excelled at the highest levels of the game. Just don't expect him to dance."

Ward, who officially retired from the Steelers on March 20, was released by the Steelers about three weeks prior. Ward said following his release he believed he "still had some football in him," but changed his mind.

"The city and this organization means the world to me," Ward said through tears when he announced his retirement. "Today, I came back to Pittsburgh to grant Steeler Nation this one last request. So today, I'm officially retiring as a Pittsburgh Steeler. And as much as I will miss football, my teammates, the coaches and everything about the game, I don't want to play it in any other uniform. The Black-and-Gold runs deep in me, and I will remain a Steeler for life."

The Steelers play three times this upcoming season on NBC's "Sunday Night Football".

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