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mesaSteeler
04-12-2009, 03:12 AM
On the Steelers: Faith in Sweed reveals itself this offseason
Sunday, April 12, 2009
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09102/962200-66.stm

To paraphrase an old college coach, the best thing about rookies is they become second-year players. The Steelers are counting on as much from Limas Sweed, who suffered this memorable drop in the AFC title game vs. Baltimore.

Mike Tomlin spotted Limas Sweed talking to a reporter the other day and the Steelers coach made a beeline for the press room where the two sat.

"Don't talk too much,'' he chided Sweed. "Under promise, over-deliver.'':applaudit:

Sweed is the reason the Steelers did not make a bigger play to keep their No. 3 receiver, Nate Washington, before he signed as a free agent with Tennessee. He is a reason they enter the draft not desperate to pick a wide receiver on the first day.

That might seem odd to many because Sweed caught only six passes in his rookie season and, when pressed into play in a close AFC championship game, he dropped the biggest pass of his life while wide open by 10 yards. It would have been a 50-yard touchdown.

But don't judge a receiver by his rookie season because they rarely do well. It's among the toughest positions for a rookie. Plaxico Burress, although installed as a starter, caught 22 passes as a rookie, Hines Ward 15. Frank Lewis 3 and Lynn Swann 11.

There are exceptions, of course, such as Louis Lipps (45), Troy Edwards (61) and Santonio Holmes (49).

The position is difficult because the entire pro way of calling plays, running routes and doing it against bigger, faster men while getting jammed at the line of scrimmage is so different. Receivers who did what came naturally in college are bogged down in thinking.

"I think that's a big thing," Sweed said, repeating a refrain often heard by rookie receivers. "When I was out there thinking so much I couldn't get from point A to point B as fast as I can when I'm not thinking. It's just thinking too much."

Some major leaps have been made by receivers in their second seasons in the NFL. Burress caught 66 passes, Ward 61. Sweed -- stuck behind starters Holmes, Ward and fourth-year pro Washington last year -- will make a big jump as well, although heeding his coach's advice, he's not predicting as much.

Sweed, at 6-4 and 217, takes over the role as the tall receiver, the one they delivered to Ben Roethlisberger last year in the second round of the draft. He's also stronger.

Many forget that his senior season at Texas was ruined by a wrist injury that required surgery Oct. 16, 2007. He was a preseason All-American that year and headed as a likely first-round draft choice until that injury. It wasn't until recently that Sweed could lift a certain way because of that wrist.

He has a passion to be good and cannot wait for spring drills to begin. He developed an early reputation as someone who dropped passes because he did so in some practices and that big one in the AFC title game. He compounded that mistake by rolling on the ground as if he had an injury, forcing the Steelers to use their final timeout of the first half.

He's asked about it often and knows he must gain the confidence of many by making them forget that one play, although he's not the first receiver to drop a pass wide in the open.

"Even Hines said when you're wide open, it's way harder to catch because sometimes you lose focus and you don't follow it in because you're so open,'' Sweed said.

Yet he came back to make three big plays in that game, pressed into service because Ward was injured. He threw an aggressive block, broke up what could have been a Baltimore interception in the end zone to preserve a field goal drive, and caught a third-down pass for 14 yards to the Steelers' 28 that kept a drive going in a close game in the fourth quarter.

Those three plays after his big drop showed Limas Sweed had something.

"That's me,'' Sweed said. "I'm not going to go in the tank and I said I wasn't going to go in the tank. Something happened that's bad, it is what it is. Let's come back and let's see what I can do on the next play. That was my mentality. I want to show what I had.''

He will get plenty of opportunity to do that this summer, to follow the second part of his coach's advice and over-deliver.

No one stands taller than when they stoop to help a child

Here's something a little different for this space today. Instead of insight into the NFL or Steelers, I give you an appeal to help a little girl in Westmoreland County and, yes, the Steelers are involved.

Fallyn McNamara, 6, of West Hempfield has a rare skin disorder known as recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB). It makes her skin as fragile as the wings of a butterfly, the reason these kids are known as "butterfly children.''

She needs at least $200,000 to undergo treatment that includes a bone-marrow transplant. Several churches are helping raise funds, as is the Steelers basketball team, Hempfield High School and author Jim Wexell, among others. The Steelers basketball team agreed to extend its season to play a game at Hempfield May 17 at 2 p.m. with the school donating all proceeds to the cause. The Steelers have donated items for an auction that day.

Wexell will donate half the proceeds from the sale of his wonderful book, Steeler Nation, bought at www.pittsburghsportspublishing.com, from today through Father's Day. He's also asking Steelers fans to make donations for Fallyn's treatment at the Web site www.helpfallyn.org or by calling Frank McNamara at 724-864-5718.
Ed Bouchette can be reached at ebouchette@post-gazette.com.
First published on April 12, 2009 at 12:00 am

Steel-Bryan
04-12-2009, 04:46 AM
SWEEED ! :tt03:

Galax Steeler
04-12-2009, 07:15 AM
I hope Sweed really comes out on all cylinders this year. We could have one of the top receiving core in the league. If we can get our running game back to where it needs to be that will open up our passing game.

Texasteel
04-12-2009, 09:10 AM
What I saw in Sweed last year was a kid that got himself wide open several time, but just dropped the ball. I think being a rookie may have had something to do with it, but later in the year, I think his confidence was not real high and he may have been thinking to much instead of just catching the ball. I expect a big improvment this year.

Instead of replacing Sweed, I think we may need an understudy for Ward.

wootawnee
04-12-2009, 10:08 AM
http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Turf/7506/teams/stallworth.jpgPLEASE PEOPLE GIVE IT A REST.....A ROOKIE DROPPED A BALL IN A GAME THAT WAS WON................BFD.......NO MATTER WHAT ONE DOES, SOMETIMES THAT BALL WILL BOUNCE OFF YOUR HANDS.........THERE IS MORE TO IT THAN JUST CATCHING THE BALL.............IT IS A CONNECTION TO THE ENERGY OF THE PASS ITSELF FROM THE QB................SOME TOUCH PASSES ARE LIKE THAT............BEN AND LIMAS JUST HAVE TO START CONNECTING ENERGYWISE...........SOMETIMES THAT TAKES A LITTLE TIME...........PLEASE MR. REPORTERMAN, WRITE SOMETHING FRESH........

KeiselPower99
04-12-2009, 10:27 AM
Didnt he have eye surgery before the season started last year?

The Duke
04-12-2009, 11:25 AM
Didnt he have eye surgery before the season started last year?

nah, he just got contacts:nerd:

El-Gonzo Jackson
04-12-2009, 11:40 AM
Instead of replacing Sweed, I think we may need an understudy for Ward.

I have no idea who could fit that bill, cough Quan Cosby cough :wink:

Texasteel
04-12-2009, 01:04 PM
I have no idea who could fit that bill, cough Quan Cosby cough :wink:

We've both been backing that pony for a few weeks now.

Jooser
04-12-2009, 01:05 PM
I think the kid's gonna deliver this year. All rookies make stupid mistakes, but he'll go on to shine. Anyone remember Burress spiking a live ball his rookie year? LOL.

The Duke
04-12-2009, 01:16 PM
I think the kid's gonna deliver this year. All rookies make stupid mistakes, but he'll go on to shine. Anyone remember Burress spiking a live ball his rookie year? LOL.

Yeah, thing is....plax remained stupid :flap:

MexicanSteeler
04-12-2009, 03:15 PM
it's just matter of time until sweed gets connected with roethlisberger and show his real potential

go sweeeeeed

triphahn
04-12-2009, 03:38 PM
What I saw in Sweed last year was a kid that got himself wide open several time, but just dropped the ball. I think being a rookie may have had something to do with it, but later in the year, I think his confidence was not real high and he may have been thinking to much instead of just catching the ball. I expect a big improvment this year.

Instead of replacing Sweed, I think we may need an understudy for Ward.

You called it. Sweed ran some good routes.

devilsdancefloor
04-12-2009, 04:42 PM
SSSSSSWWWWWWEEEEEEDDDDDDDDDDDDDD! he is gonna be a good one! he gives off that vibe!! Could nance be the understudy for ward?:noidea::noidea:

theplatypus
04-12-2009, 05:27 PM
I believe that Sweed will makes us forget all about Nate in no time.

skepticsightsten
04-13-2009, 10:05 AM
Personally, I think Sweed is better than Washington. Not to take anything away from Nate, but I think the main reason he made some of the plays he did was because other teams were focussed on Ward and Holmes and he slipped in unnoticed. But from what I've seen, Sweed has more raw talent and much more potential.

IamTheSteelGod
04-13-2009, 10:23 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbSaXAEoYvQ


Raaawr! Sexy!

Dammmm! that was a sexy hit! I had never heard of the chap, but he is at the center of my attention now! What round do you think he will go in, is it this years draft?

rbryan
04-13-2009, 01:23 PM
Troy Edwards had 61 catches as a rookie???? Wow, I don't remember that. Most consider him to be one of the biggest first rd busts in recent history.

I guess it's good thing Sweed didn't have a big year as a rookie???

steelerdave1969
04-13-2009, 04:13 PM
I think I look more forward to this upcoming season every day that goes by. I love what I am hearing about LB Bruce Davis and now WR Limas Sweed sounds like he is growing up and maybe I will be wrong saying this, but I Hope Not, but I think he can and will be a bigger factor that PlexiGlass was here in Pittsburgh for the Steelers..
I also love the fact that some of the Steelers and other folks are out there that will still help people in need... this world needs Alot More like those..

Dino 6 Rings
04-13-2009, 05:37 PM
Its Hilarious how many of us want him to be great just because of his name...I mean really...who doesn't want to scream out

SWEEEEEEED

after a huge play. Really. That's what makes it so funny. He was a Rookie, shiiiit happens, we never develop Rookie's in their first year, Hines, Holmes, Nate, Plax, none of them were ever 'da bomb' their first year. Thigpen, Lipps...1st year rookies just aren't "great" with us. Its just something we need to work on in the off season.

PeckerWood
04-13-2009, 05:41 PM
I'm still betting that Sweed will be one of the best Steelers recievers ever.

As a WR at Texas before his wrist injury Sweed was the best WR Texas had.

I'm telling you there is great high school football played in Texas. Look at all the players from Texas who play for Oklahoma.

I'm telling ya Sweed is the real deal.

Dino 6 Rings
04-13-2009, 06:00 PM
I'm still betting that Sweed will be one of the best Steelers recievers ever.

As a WR at Texas before his wrist injury Sweed was the best WR Texas had.

I'm telling you there is great high school football played in Texas. Look at all the players from Texas who play for Oklahoma.

I'm telling ya Sweed is the real deal.

Problem is he came out of Texas, there are a lot of problems with Focus for those guys that come out of that University. I think they are babied so much while at Texas under Brown that they don't take the NFL Seriously enough when they first get there or are very ill prepared for what the Next Level really means.

Steelman16
04-13-2009, 06:20 PM
Problem is he came out of Texas, there are a lot of problems with Focus for those guys that come out of that University. I think they are babied so much while at Texas under Brown that they don't take the NFL Seriously enough when they first get there or are very ill prepared for what the Next Level really means.

Tomlin will change that quicker than he can say drop. Look what he did to Hampton.