Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 5/31/12

CLEVELAND - DECEMBER 10: Hines Ward #86 and James Farrior #51 of the Pittsburgh Steelers stand on the sideline during the game against the Cleveland Browns on December 10, 2009 at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won the game 13-6. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The recently-retired Hines Ward still will be involved with football this fall -- only from the other side of the TV set.

On Thursday, NBC announced that Ward has been hired as an analyst for "Football Night in America."

The former Pittsburgh Steelers great and "Dancing With The Stars" champion also will lend his talents to the Peacock Network's college football coverage and weekday Sports Talk news show.

"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," NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network executive producer Sam Flood said.

Ward essentially auditioned for the network during its coverage of Super Bowl XLVI in a de facto role as a guest analyst. It must have won over the higher-ups because they've sized him up for a full-time gig.

Did anybody not see this coming? With his trademark smile and charismatic personality, Ward is an ideal for television and, as he did for so many years in Pittsburgh, should flourish in the role.

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