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lamberts-lost-tooth
05-06-2008, 04:25 AM
Draft pick a Sweed addition to receivers
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

X marks the spot for Limas Sweed. In football speak, the X position is the split end and that is where the rookie receiver will line up, behind Santonio Holmes.

At least, that's where things started for the Steelers receivers at their weekend minicamp. It all could change between now and the start of the season.

Sweed's addition to the roster in the second round of the draft prompted many to take notice of a receiving group that can claim to be a team strength.

The group includes as its starters Hines Ward, who owns almost every team receiving record, and Holmes, who led all NFL receivers in yards per catch (18.1) last season. No. 3 man Nate Washington, who is 6 feet 1, and the 6-4 Sweed can go deep and give quarterback Ben Roethlisberger more options. There is also 6-5 tight end Heath Miller, whose 47 receptions ranked third on the team last season, and his backup, 6-7 Matt Spaeth.

"I'll put it to you like this," Washington said of an offense that also added rookie halfback Rashard Mendenhall in the first round. "We had a good unit, but with the additions we made, I think we went from good to great -- we have the potential to be great, rather. We're not there yet. ... It's a great opportunity for us to come out and open up as an offense."

Holmes sees all kinds of opportunities developing with the addition of Sweed.

"We can get somebody that's as physical as he is to come in and bring a different threat to the program. Being a big guy and very explosive, it's going to help us a whole lot.

"If I can stretch the field, we can have Hines in the middle and we have another guy who can also work the middle with Hines and take hits and be physical in the middle. It'll help us with the tight ends and all."

Coordinator Bruce Arians already tinkered with the lineup, the lower-end of the alphabet dancing through his head. Ward is the Z, or flanker. Then there are other letters that account for slot men and wing men and H-backs

"Limas is at X," Arians said. "We can move Santonio around, which we started doing a lot last year because he plays in the slot very well. Limas can play in the slot, no problem. Hines can obviously play everywhere. Nate can play everywhere -- he's had to play every position on the team the last two years; he's lined up at X, F, Y and Z."

And sometimes W?

"We're fortunate to have guys who can take the top end off our coverage," said Arians, which means running deep routes, "and they're tough enough to go over the middle."

Washington envisions a cornucopia of passes in which Roethlisberger can hang passes high with a reasonable expectation that his receivers will come down with the ball.

"Limas gives us versatility," Washington said. "Teams are going to have to respect our jump balls now. A lot of teams know I can jump, but with my size -- 6-1, 185 -- they can deal with it and my jumping ability. Now they have to respect some height.

"It's going to open us up more on deep patterns with me and 'Tone, the speed we have, and the underneath game Hines has. If we're in game at the same time, they can't just double me going deep, because Limas will be back there somewhere. If there's a bailout situation, you can just throw it up to him."

Randy Fichtner, who coaches the Steelers wide receivers, believes Sweed can be an integral part of the Steelers offense as a rookie.

"I don't think there's any question," Fichtner said. "Obviously there's a learning curve, but that hits everybody. But I know that he's capable of learning."

Fichtner envisioned Sweed claiming the No. 3 job this year. Moments after they drafted him, he said, "It tickles you to death because you're looking at a three group that's really strong and a possibility of Nate Washington being four is really exciting."

Holmes knows what it's like to pick up the NFL game as a rookie receiver; he led all AFC rookie receivers with 49 receptions.

"He's very, very much more an asset right now," Holmes said of Sweed. "The system will be hard. It will take him 12, 15 games to learn the system. But if he's one of those guys who can pick up the system early, then we'll need him as soon as possible."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08127/879441-66.stm

Galax Steeler
05-06-2008, 04:39 AM
I can't wait to see this offense in action with the adition of sweed and mendenhall I can't wait for footaball to start.

DACEB
05-06-2008, 07:09 AM
Sure sounds to me that Sweed impressed in practices. For all to already be discussing the positions and potentials seems promising. Sounds like everyone is anxious to get on the field. Practice is one thing though, and gametime is another. Get your head in the playbook Limas, because it sounds like you've already won them over with your physical skills.

I wanted to comment also on some posters saying Sweed was very quiet and soft spoken. Could it be we actually got a WR that is'nt all about himself and the stats, and the whole primadona thing. We can all only hope!

paw-n-maul-u
05-06-2008, 09:18 AM
haha whoa there washington ... your blazing speed amazing jumping abilities, all the DOUBLE COVERAGE?!?!?! you draw?, and ofcourse, you'll still drop the ball.

really tho i like washington, and sweed is gonna be sweet

TackleMeBen
05-06-2008, 09:25 AM
why didnt they just move Matt Spaeth to WR, i mean the dude is 6-7, so then ben could have had his tall reciever last year. lol

tony hipchest
05-06-2008, 09:39 AM
"I'll put it to you like this," Washington said of an offense that also added rookie halfback Rashard Mendenhall in the first round. "We had a good unit, but with the additions we made, I think we went from good to great -- we have the potential to be great, rather. We're not there yet. ... It's a great opportunity for us to come out and open up as an offense." good move by washington, putting himself in check.

and herein lies his value-

Nate can play everywhere -- he's had to play every position on the team the last two years; he's lined up at X, F, Y and Z."
he is the #1 backup at all wr positions as opposed to the days of lee mays, bobby shaw, will blackwell etc. where they would only know 1 position.

TackleMeBen
05-06-2008, 09:41 AM
good move by washington, putting himself in check.

and herein lies his value-

he is the #1 backup at all wr positions as opposed to the days of lee mays, bobby shaw, will blackwell etc. where they would only know 1 position.

its good to have a few versatile players on the team

stlrtruck
05-06-2008, 09:53 AM
good move by washington, putting himself in check.

and herein lies his value-

he is the #1 backup at all wr positions as opposed to the days of lee mays, bobby shaw, will blackwell etc. where they would only know 1 position.

Now if Mr. Washington could only HOLD ON TO THE DARN BALL!!!!!!

TackleMeBen
05-06-2008, 09:55 AM
Now if Mr. Washington could only HOLD ON TO THE DARN BALL!!!!!!

but its not his fault that he cant hold on to the ball.. its the qb's fault for being so tall.. he cant throw it down..lol

lamberts-lost-tooth
05-06-2008, 10:03 AM
"Limas gives us versatility," Washington said

Translation: "I can either stop dropping passes or be unemployed"

(Yes Nate...that is true versatility.)

TackleMeBen
05-06-2008, 10:06 AM
Translation: "I can either stop dropping passes or be unemployed"

(Yes Nate...that is true versatility.)
maybe we should all pitch in and get some gorilla glue.. that stuff holds anything.

fansince'76
05-06-2008, 10:07 AM
Bring back the Stickum for Nate! Ike could use it too!

TackleMeBen
05-06-2008, 10:12 AM
Bring back the Stickum for Nate! Ike could use it too!
yes, or this year i am going to have to show up and use my wok upside their heads for dropping passes..lol:sofunny::sofunny:

Dino 6 Rings
05-06-2008, 10:43 AM
I think as, they may not be the best 3 receivers on a team, this crew is by far going to be the best 4 man crew in the league. The drop off some teams have from 2 - 4 is so great, with the Steelers, and Nate as a 4, the drop off is there but he's still reliable, kind of. Hines, Holmes, Sweed, Washington. That'll be a deadly 4 wide set, with Willie in the backfield. Can't wait to see the yards FWP gets against facing the nickle on first downs.

Elvis
05-06-2008, 03:08 PM
:noidea: I'm not sure, but Washington is looking like lesser and lesser a part of this offense if he doesnt pick it up this season. And I for one think that it is time for him to put up or shut up. He has so many opportunities over the seasons and he has not produced what the steelers needed him to do and that is the reason the steelers selected a WR in the 2nd round this past draft.

Steelerfreak58
05-06-2008, 03:24 PM
:noidea: I'm not sure, but Washington is looking like lesser and lesser a part of this offense if he doesnt pick it up this season. And I for one think that it is time for him to put up or shut up. He has so many opportunities over the seasons and he has not produced what the steelers needed him to do and that is the reason the steelers selected a WR in the 2nd round this past draft.

Washington made some great catches last year. Yes he dropped a few but he also caught some key and I mean KEY touchdown passes when it was crucial to do so.

stlrtruck
05-06-2008, 03:33 PM
Washington made some great catches last year. Yes he dropped a few but he also caught some key and I mean KEY touchdown passes when it was crucial to do so.

Yes but it seems the trend is to drop more than he catches. I don't get so upset when Hines or Holmes drop passes because they definitely catch a heck of a lot more. Nate seems to be the opposite.

Galax Steeler
05-06-2008, 03:42 PM
Maybe drafting sweed is what washington needed to get a fire under his ass and performe at a perfesional level.

Dino 6 Rings
05-06-2008, 03:43 PM
Yes but it seems the trend is to drop more than he catches. I don't get so upset when Hines or Holmes drop passes because they definitely catch a heck of a lot more. Nate seems to be the opposite.

Its a matter of importance. See Nate will get 3 maybe 4 balls thrown to him a game, on average. He can't afford to drop 1 or 2 of those. Where Hines or Holmes will have 6 - 8 passes thrown their way, they can afford a drop, god forbid, two. Nate and Miller both have to be more effective and have less room for error, because they're drops are bigger, simply because of the number of times they are thrown to.

43Hitman
05-06-2008, 04:28 PM
Let's not forget that we still have a developing wide-out in Reid. He could potentially push Washington for that coveted 4 spot.

MasterOfPuppets
05-06-2008, 08:08 PM
nate is now the "B" reciever............B = BENCH........ :rofl:

43Hitman
05-06-2008, 08:20 PM
nate is now the "B" reciever............B = BENCH........ :rofl:



:applaudit:

SteelCity43
05-06-2008, 08:23 PM
I think Nate has a lot to do in camp before he becomes the #3 guy. The coaches should keep the competition wide open between him and Sweed. If what we are hearing about Sweed is accurate, I don't see how Nate is any better than him. He's shorter and has bad hands. I loved the pick when we made it and I love it even more now.

Just thinking about the offensive firepower gives me chills! They are going to be around for a while too! :tt02:

SteelersTilIDie
05-06-2008, 09:03 PM
this offense talent wise is up there with the tops in the league

ChronoCross
05-07-2008, 12:34 AM
From what we all hear so far is excellent about sweed but we have seen others come in and be WOW and not make the team. But I doubt this is one of them cases. I cannot wait to see this kid in action. Miller, Spaeth, Ward, Sweed, Holmes big time targets this coming season in the Endzone, what more could you ask for. Not to mention Parker and Mendanhall. I am really loving how this offense is starting to look more and more each year. And if Washington keeps improving Ben will be in heaven with nothing but great targets all around him. How many QBs can say they have a solid 1 thru 4 WR group that solid and two great TEs along with possible a tandom RB situation that could turn out to be one of the best in the league. Now lets hope the O Line gets better like they think it will.

Galax Steeler
05-07-2008, 04:28 AM
Let's not forget that we still have a developing wide-out in Reid. He could potentially push Washington for that coveted 4 spot.

I've been waiting for this to happen ever since we drafted Reid but it has never happend if Reid can't performe in training camp this year he could be shown the door.

43Hitman
05-07-2008, 03:56 PM
I've been waiting for this to happen ever since we drafted Reid but it has never happend if Reid can't performe in training camp this year he could be shown the door.

Well at least two of us have our fingers crossed. Maybe another year will make the difference. To be completely honest, I don't care which one of them wins the 4th spot as long as that player is productive.

I am getting really pumped for this season to start.:tt02:

Preacher
05-07-2008, 05:38 PM
I've been waiting for this to happen ever since we drafted Reid but it has never happend if Reid can't performe in training camp this year he could be shown the door.

Sadly, I agree.

I was really looking forward to seeing this kid develop. But his time is running out.

Steel Buckeye
05-11-2008, 12:48 AM
Sweed will create a matchup nightmare, similar to Randy Moss. I don't think it will be long before he will be starting.

Davison_K
05-15-2008, 11:50 PM
See... I don't really think this year will be Sweed's year to shine. I think he will be productive, but I really think for the most part that the 3 spot is really more Washington's to lose. Sweed could have an amazing training camp and pick up the playbook, but the article above said it takes the majority of the season for a player to really learn it. So he will have his big plays, but for him to be a true big threat I think it will take some time.

And Willie Reid better do something with KR/PR/WR and make himself useful.

Boomerang
05-16-2008, 12:20 AM
Looking forward to seeing Sweed in action and i bet Ben is going to enjoy the options he has this time around.:tt02: