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83-Steelers-43
08-09-2007, 07:33 AM
Washington could be key player, but, so far, he is dropping the ball[/B]
Thursday, August 09, 2007

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Bruce Arians used his own version of mental warfare on Nate Washington the other night. It's a form of psychology that Arians, the Steelers' offensive coordinator, picked up during his 32 years coaching football.

This is what he said to Washington after the receiver dropped two passes Sunday night against New Orleans:

"Catch the damn ball!" Arians said, repeating his blunt instructions. Then, he added, "If you want to stay here."

Washington went out yesterday afternoon and dropped another, this time in practice. But he more than made up for it when he caught the two touchdown passes thrown by Ben Roethlisberger in the two-minute team drill -- one for 62 yards and the other for 7.

Arians believes Washington not only will stay here but will remain the team's slot receiver, the first extra wide receiver on the field when they use three. Although Washington dropped two touchdown passes last season among other memorable non-catches, those occurred mostly in the first half of the season.

Everyone thought he had conquered the problem until Sunday night.

"Those two the other night were just simple catches," Arians said. Washington was "trying to do too much with it, trying to take a simple curl, shake the guy, go score a touchdown. Just get us a first down!"

Washington, a 6-foot-1 receiver with good speed, has talent in other areas, but dropping passes will catch up to him.

"Oh, it'll catch up to him today if he keeps doing it," Arians said. "There's a lot of talent in that room, so it has to diminish."

Arians and Washington used two words with similar meanings to describe the player's problem.

"Concentrate," was Arians' word. "He has great hands. He tries to run too quick. Just secure the ball. He went through a little stretch last year where he dropped some balls down the middle -- he's made every one of those catches in practices."

"Focus," Washington called it. "Definitely, it's a mental thing. I know I'm a guy who's not going to drop a ball. That's what's in my head. I just have a tendency to get a little lax with catches I think are easy. I have to treat each catch like it's my last."

The Steelers hope the drops shrink because Washington can be a game-breaker.

His first NFL catch was good for 13 yards on a crucial third down in the AFC championship game in Denver. Last season, he caught 35 passes for a team-high 17.8 yards per catch average. He started two games at flanker for the injured Hines Ward late in the year and caught three passes for 78 yards against Tampa Bay and two for 67 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland. He had three 49-yard catches last season and one that went 47 yards.

"He beat the guys deep in Cleveland," Arians said. "He started two games against Tampa and Cleveland. He lit Tampa up and had a great game against Cleveland as a starter. I forgot the rest of the stuff, I just remember the end of the season when he was doing good."

Everyone remembers Ricardo Colclough's muffed punt that helped the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Steelers in the third game of last season, a loss that may have been the turning point of a 2-6 start. Had Washington not dropped two passes -- one for a touchdown and the other on third down -- or even one of the two, the Steelers might have won.

He overcame the drops that plagued him through the first half of the season, however, and Arians does not see the latest evidence as Washington falling off the wagon.

"Everyone knows I can catch," Washington said. "It's just being lackadaisical. That's what I'm working on getting out of. I did not have that problem at all in college."

But if the drops continue, the other talent in the wide receivers' room Arians could turn to includes Ward, Santonio Holmes, Cedrick Wilson, Willie Reid, Walter Young and rookies Dallas Baker and Erik Fowler. There are others at tight end, too, such as Heath Miller, Jerame Tuman and rookie Matt Spaeth.

Holmes could play split end, Wilson flanker and Ward in the slot when they use three. Miller could be used more often when they go to four.

When he is not a heartbreaker, Washington can be a game-breaker. He flashed open by 10 yards on a deep route from the Steelers' 26 in the second quarter Sunday night. As Brian St. Pierre was about to pass the ball to him, he was sacked.

"Everybody would have forgotten the two drops had we not gotten sacked on the curl-and-go when he was wide open for a 70-yard TD pass," Arians said. "He killed the corner. He was 10 yards behind the guy. Then you say Nate had a great game -- if he catches it."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07221/808117-66.stm

83-Steelers-43
08-09-2007, 08:02 AM
"Catch the damn ball!" Arians said, repeating his blunt instructions. Then, he added, "If you want to stay here."

Thank you Bruce. I've been screaming the exact same thing over the last two years. Glad to know I'm not the only one and it's also comforting to know that Bruce is not making excuses for Nate Washington.

SCSTILLER
08-09-2007, 08:08 AM
"Everyone knows I can catch," Washington said. "It's just being lackadaisical. That's what I'm working on getting out of. I did not have that problem at all in college."



Guess what Nate, you are not in college anymore, you have to prove yourself at the NFL level!

billcowherschin
08-09-2007, 08:08 AM
I am very excited about Nate this year, and have been excited about him since we signed him undrafted in 05. He is still very young and has tons of upside. There is a ton of talent on our roster right now at that position, but Nate will settle down and solidify his position as our 3rd reciever. A few of you may call me crazy now but we might have 3 guys grab 55 balls and go for over 700 yards this year, how often does that happen in the league? If we really are going to start opening it up a bit, I really think it is possible. As long as Hines can still play like Hines, if he can just stay helathy he absolutely will, Santonio will have a blow up year, lead the team in recieveing this year, and will probably go over 1000 yards. That leaves us talking about Nate catching around 55 or 60 balls and may lead the team in touchdown grabs....just a wild thought but it is realistic! I know this is completely off the subject, but throw Willie in this mix running for 1200 or so, we have have a top 5 offense this year, and you heard that here first!!!!! Alright, now I guess it is time for you guys to jump on me for being INSANE....but before you do, just give it some thought.....if our O-Line plays up to par, which is another discussion in its own, this is going to be a unbelievable season.

Edman
08-09-2007, 08:14 AM
Good to see that Arians is on him. Catch the ball, Nate. It's basic fundamentals. You've been playing this sport for perhaps all your life dating back to your childhood. It shouldn't be this foreign to you now.

83-Steelers-43
08-09-2007, 08:23 AM
Guess what Nate, you are not in college anymore, you have to prove yourself at the NFL level!

Bingo. For me, this wouldn't be a big deal if Nate did not show signs of butterfingers last season. While I wouldn't be praising him after those two dropped balls that were thrown directly into his hands while he was untouched, I wouldn't be as concerned as I am right now.

1) "He's very athletic"

2) "He get's separation"

3) "He has decent height"

Those attributes are great to have when it comes to a WR, but they don't mean a damn thing if you can't catch the ball. Am I wrong here? Last time I checked, in order to score a TD or a grab a first down, you have to catch the ball. Make or break Nate, better learn how to catch those balls. Just because your one of the best on the Steelers charity basketball team doesn't mean a damn thing come Sunday's and the "he comes from a small school" and "He's still young" excuses are not going to last much longer in this league if you don't start catching the ball. It already sounds as if Arians is not buying them nor should he.

SteelCityMan786
08-09-2007, 09:40 AM
"If he could catch the ball" is right. He's had So many problems this year it isn't funny.

SteelFist
08-09-2007, 10:33 AM
I'm wondering how many chances he's gonna get, because (As Arians said) there is a lot of talent we have at WR. I'd hate to see us cut a potentially dominating 3rd or 4th WR to keep Nate if he keeps dropping balls.

If we keep 5 wideouts as we usually do, either Reid, Nate or Young will be cut. So we would have to keep 6. I don't think Young qualifies for the P.S. And if Reid is put on the P.S. he will surely be gone.

Virginia Steeler
08-09-2007, 10:38 AM
"Everyone knows I can catch," Washington said. "It's just being lackadaisical. That's what I'm working on getting out of. I did not have that problem at all in college." - Nate Washington

Does he even know what lackadaisical means? That's the same as saying "Sorry coach, I was just being lazy."

without interest, vigor, or determination; listless; lethargic

steelpride12
08-09-2007, 10:40 AM
[QUOTE

"Catch the damn ball!" Arians said, repeating his blunt instructions. Then, he added, "If you want to stay here."

[/QUOTE]

Wow thank you so much for that i hoped you kicked his ass after the game also. He needs a wake up call because with him we will have a great WR corps.

Crushzilla
08-09-2007, 03:49 PM
.... must..... resist....

Nate Washington is a dropper.

That doesn't mean he always will be. Droppareha is a lot like fumblitis... it has a cure.

The thing that worries me is that... He knows what he has to do... He says he knows how to fix it. WHY IS IT STILL HAPPENING?!?

That is probably the quickest way to get the boot in this league.

If he does go down we all know how I will feel about it...

The Duke
08-09-2007, 04:27 PM
.... must..... resist....

Nate Washington is a dropper.

That doesn't mean he always will be. Droppareha is a lot like fumblitis... it has a cure.

The thing that worries me is that... He knows what he has to do... He says he knows how to fix it. WHY IS IT STILL HAPPENING?!?

That is probably the quickest way to get the boot in this league.

If he does go down we all know how I will feel about it...

Wait....along those lines it seems like you said something good about Nate, like you're hoping he'll stop the drops. Or am I wrong :toofunny:

BettisFan
08-09-2007, 04:31 PM
yea i dont really understand this thread u said he COULD be key but isnt cause of all these bad things... ok so he isnt key thought

fansince'76
08-09-2007, 04:44 PM
Wait....along those lines it seems like you said something good about Nate, like you're hoping he'll stop the drops. Or am I wrong

I hope you don't mind, Crush. Hey Duke, these explain Crush's "problem" with Nate pretty well:

http://forums.steelersfever.com/showpost.php?p=272672&postcount=8

http://forums.steelersfever.com/showpost.php?p=272678&postcount=12

http://forums.steelersfever.com/showpost.php?p=272742&postcount=26

Livinginthe past
08-09-2007, 04:46 PM
In other news, Ex-Ravens QB Anthony Wright informed NY media that he would be a much better QB 'if only he could throw the ball better'.

Giants QB coach, Balls McThrowerson says this epiphany has made him look at his job a whole new way "Who'd have thought the answer to Anthony's problems could be so simple - it seems so obvious in hindsight"

BettisFan
08-09-2007, 04:49 PM
lol exactly this thread makes no sense

The Duke
08-09-2007, 05:01 PM
I hope you don't mind, Crush. Hey Duke, these explain Crush's "problem" with Nate pretty well:

http://forums.steelersfever.com/showpost.php?p=272672&postcount=8

http://forums.steelersfever.com/showpost.php?p=272678&postcount=12

http://forums.steelersfever.com/showpost.php?p=272742&postcount=26

Oh, I never saw this thread, I was away during the weekend. Thanks fansince

mental.apparition
08-10-2007, 02:16 PM
In other news, Ex-Ravens QB Anthony Wright informed NY media that he would be a much better QB 'if only he could throw the ball better'.

Giants QB coach, Balls McThrowerson says this epiphany has made him look at his job a whole new way "Who'd have thought the answer to Anthony's problems could be so simple - it seems so obvious in hindsight"

That's cute but Nate produced plenty last year. Nate would have been the third leading receiver in yards for the Colts, Bengals or Pats last year. In his first full year of NFL action. Despite the drops.

Arians has held out that Nate's biggest problem is believing he belongs in the NFL. Understandable for an UDFA from Tiffin. Nate is pressing. But I think he'll settle in.

Elvis
08-11-2007, 06:19 PM
I have just seen too many drops by this Washington kid in his play last year and one preseason game to say that if Reid has a good camp then he should take over his spot of this team's roster...

BAFGA
08-15-2007, 01:18 AM
I wonder if the NFL game and his "fame" is getting to his head. Coming from a little school (my wife went there) it's too much too soon perhaps?

tony hipchest
08-15-2007, 01:39 AM
That's cute but Nate produced plenty last year. Nate would have been the third leading receiver in yards for the Colts, Bengals or Pats last year. In his first full year of NFL action. Despite the drops.

Arians has held out that Nate's biggest problem is believing he belongs in the NFL. Understandable for an UDFA from Tiffin. Nate is pressing. But I think he'll settle in.

:yep:

lol people want our UDFA #3-4 wr who is making minimum wage and was essentially a rookie last year to have 1000+ yds and 8+ td's.

if the nfl were that easy, every team would win a champ every year.

people need to realize that if we wouldve selected m. coulston or h. baskett in the 7th round of last years draft, they woulda been cut in favor of lee mays.

at this point, i would rather have washington (and his salary) over last years #3 wr in the draft (c. jackson)

Preacher
08-15-2007, 02:30 AM
:yep:

lol people want our UDFA #3-4 wr who is making minimum wage and was essentially a rookie last year to have 1000+ yds and 8+ td's.

if the nfl were that easy, every team would win a champ every year.

people need to realize that if we wouldve selected m. coulston or h. baskett in the 7th round of last years draft, they woulda been cut in favor of lee mays.

at this point, i would rather have washington (and his salary) over last years #3 wr in the draft (c. jackson)


Yeah... but Tony, you have to ask this question.

If Reid was healthy last year, would he have beat Washington out of a spot on the roster? Especially because he doubles as a punt/Kick returner?

tony hipchest
08-15-2007, 03:10 AM
Yeah... but Tony, you have to ask this question.

If Reid was healthy last year, would he have beat Washington out of a spot on the roster? Especially because he doubles as a punt/Kick returner?thats like asking if rookie reid woulda cought every pass thrown to him and never made a mistake. the answer is no.

reid was healthy last season until he got hurt in the san diego game. sometimes 3rd round wr's (even hines ward) need time to develop regardless of st's or gimmick plays.

i think washingtons 2nd year even topped 2nd round pick randel els 2nd year of production.

mental.apparition
08-15-2007, 01:56 PM
thats like asking if rookie reid woulda cought every pass thrown to him and never made a mistake. the answer is no.

reid was healthy last season until he got hurt in the san diego game. sometimes 3rd round wr's (even hines ward) need time to develop regardless of st's or gimmick plays.

i think washingtons 2nd year even topped 2nd round pick randel els 2nd year of production.
Reid was plenty healthy and couldn't make the game day roster until week 5 as Tony states.

Washington's TD production last year (4) was higher than El's best year (3).

Washington's receiving yard production last year was higher than El's best year as well.

Nate is great! :thumbsup:

Haiku_Dirtt
08-15-2007, 02:52 PM
Reid was plenty healthy and couldn't make the game day roster until week 5 as Tony states.

Washington's TD production last year (4) was higher than El's best year (3).

Washington's receiving yard production last year was higher than El's best year as well.

Nate is great! :thumbsup:

Couldn't make it or wasn't going to make anyway? Cowher never trusted anyone he didn't have to trust. Just ask Willie Parker after the Buffalo game when 19 rushes for over 100 yrds. was rewarded with a sweatsuit and a clipboard for the postseason when we clearly needed a spark there.

Glimpses of what Nate could be just keep depreciating by what can only be described as "easy catches." Time is running out on Washington.

mental.apparition
08-16-2007, 10:16 AM
Couldn't make it or wasn't going to make anyway? Cowher never trusted anyone he didn't have to trust. Just ask Willie Parker after the Buffalo game when 19 rushes for over 100 yrds. was rewarded with a sweatsuit and a clipboard for the postseason when we clearly needed a spark there.

Glimpses of what Nate could be just keep depreciating by what can only be described as "easy catches." Time is running out on Washington.
I guess you missed the articles from Willie's 4th camp which proclaimed him finally able to grasp blocking assignments? I guess you missed the Ravens almost cutting Ben in just last year after FWP missed another blocking assignment?

FWP in 2004 was no where near the back he was last year or will be this year. Even as a runner he has dramatically improved year over year.

Time is running out on every NFL player. Barring injury Nate has 16 or more games to grow and make some cash.

He will. And that ticking of the clock you hear will be the countdown to Cowher's introduction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.