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lamberts-lost-tooth
05-06-2009, 09:18 AM
A Fresh Start for McDonald
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
By Teresa Varley
Steelers.com

It didn’t take long for wide receiver Shaun McDonald to see the difference between his new team, the Steelers, and the one he played for the last two seasons, the Detroit Lions.

It had nothing to do with the way the teams finished their 2008 season – with the Steelers winning Super Bowl XLIII while the Lions went 0-16. Instead, it was about the approach from the start.

After going through just one offensive meeting during the team’s minicamp, McDonald understood why the Steelers are so successful.

“I see a difference in meetings,” said McDonald. “That is big. Last year (at Detroit) there weren’t a lot of details, a lot of direction. It’s good to be in there really getting coached and having set goals and stuff like that. I am glad to be around that again.”

McDonald, who signed with the team at the start of minicamp last week, endured a season last year with the Lions that he hopes no player ever has to go through in their career.

“Terrible, it was just terrible,” said McDonald. “It was tough. I try to not even talk about it and forget about that year and move on. I am glad I get an opportunity to make this team. I need some winning in my life.”

It was no wonder McDonald was all smiles during minicamp despite being thrown into a new offense without much notice. He has that new lease on his football life he was so hoping for and he plans on enjoying it and making it work for him.

“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “I am just going to work my hardest, try to get better and hopefully make this team.

“It’s definitely good to start off new. I am trying to learn the playbook. It’s different from what I know. I wanted to be around something new. Two losing seasons in a row in Detroit wasn’t fun. I wanted to get to a team where I can help win a game.”

McDonald was originally drafted in the fourth round by the St. Louis Rams in 2003 out of Arizona State. He spent four seasons with them before joining the Lions. In 2007 McDonald led the Lions with 79 catches for 943 yards and six touchdowns.

“I have been playing for a while so I know how to read the zone or man,” said McDonald. “I have learned from playing with some good receivers back with the Rams. I can also bring veteran leadership and mesh with other veterans and try to get out on the field.”

And there are different methods he will use to get that playing time. He got a look during minicamp on special teams as a punt returner, something that he would welcome the opportunity to do.

“I hope so,” said McDonald of being given the chance to be a part of the return game. “I am ready to do whatever I need to do. Whatever they let me do I will be out there trying to make plays and trying to help the team.”

He also is hoping to be a part of the team’s passing game. Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes have a stronghold on the starting wide receiver spots, but with Nate Washington gone to the Tennessee Titans via free agency and a lack of experience behind the starters, there is definitely an opportunity for McDonald.

“It’s a young receiving corps, but it’s talented,” said McDonald. “I saw some guys out there making plays. I am just trying to get better right now. I am going to try and make as many plays as I can. When the ball comes my way I am going to try and make the play and get up field.”

http://news.steelers.com/article/105399/

revefsreleets
05-06-2009, 09:36 AM
I have a feeling that Sweed, Baker, Nance and the new kid may all be outplayed by McDonald and HE ends up being our new #3.

billybob
05-06-2009, 10:06 AM
I think if he wants "Some winning in his life " , he came to the right place . However , he has got to make that happen on his own . If he can also return kicks and , or punts , he may even have a better chance to carve out a place on this team . The door is wide open for him , all he needs to do is show he has what it takes to walk through it .
There is no doubt in my mind that he could in any way hurt our team . It's all up to him now .He does have some other talented players on this team to compete with to get where he really wants to be though .
This should be an interesting camp this season . I wish him good luck . He "IS" gonna need it . Sup to him now .

atlsteelers
05-06-2009, 10:08 AM
I have a feeling that Sweed, Baker, Nance and the new kid may all be outplayed by McDonald and HE ends up being our new #3.

I agree with ya but we have that a lot invested in sweed so he sees the field also but with mcdonald getting the majority of the plays.

lilyoder6
05-06-2009, 10:22 AM
with the addition of wallace and mcdonald.. i see baker and nance going bye bye...

could be a thing where mcdonald will be the #3 wr to start off the season.. and then sweed will take over...

Florida_Steelers_Fan
05-06-2009, 10:23 AM
this is good...mike tomlin LOVES for guys to compete.

personally, i don't see a super bowl let-down because i don't think tomlin will allow it.

hearing these words from mcdonald gets me excited, because he is a good football player that fits a much needed role on this team. plus, it will make sweed work that much harder. good stuff...

Dino 6 Rings
05-06-2009, 11:13 AM
This will make us even better in the passing game. As far as I'm concerned, Nate had No One pushing him. Sure there was a Rookie with the drops behind him on the roster, but now, we have real competition at the WR position.

lamberts-lost-tooth
05-06-2009, 11:51 AM
"I am glad I get an opportunity to make this team"

Okay...that line alone won me over. No sense of entightlement. No taken things for granted. Just the understanding that he has an OPPORTUNITY to make this team.

Sounds like a man who is ready to roll up his sleeves and prove he belongs with the defending World Champions.

KeiselPower99
05-06-2009, 04:44 PM
Holmes
Ward
Sweed
McDonald
Wallace
Baker

There is the 6 WRs we keep this year. Personally once ya get past Ward itll be 3 be committee.

Steelman16
05-06-2009, 04:48 PM
The dude had pretty good numbers with some of the worst teams in the NFL.

I think he's here to stay. Sweed had better watch it.

LVSteelersfan
05-06-2009, 05:03 PM
Sorry Baker. You bite the dust yet again. Sweed is going nowhere and I think McDonald is going to slide into that 3 spot. He is perfect for that spot and I was very happy when they signed him over Lelie.

HometownGal
05-06-2009, 05:07 PM
I love this guy's 'tude and I made no secret about wanting him in the black and gold, but he's going to have to earn his spot on the team whether it be as the #3 or #4. Sweed isn't going to just lay down and let him have it.

Let's see what ya got Shaun. :drink:

Psyychoward86
05-06-2009, 05:11 PM
McDonald= Mewelde Moore of the '09 season?

Hotrodder07
05-06-2009, 05:50 PM
I feel bad for the guy, having to be in Detroit for the infamous 0-16 season. Now he has the opportunity to make the Steelers roster. He has to realize how lucky he is, and I'm sure he does. I believe that he'll make the team for sure. Him and Sweed will share playing time 50/50 in 2009. I don't think there will be a definitive 3rd wide receiver.

Fire Haley
05-06-2009, 05:52 PM
If Dallas can't beat this guy out, he won't be making any TD's anyway.

SunshineMan21
05-07-2009, 01:53 AM
If Dallas can't beat this guy out, he won't be making any TD's anyway.

I like Baker, but I'm not really sure what's wrong the McDonald.

He got fell out of favor with the Millen/Marinelli administration in Detroit and basically got dropped off the depth chart, but he's a quality possession receiver, and he's not exactly geriatric, either.

I doubt Shaun beats Sweed out for the #3 slot, but he could do some good work backing up Ward as a shifty possession receiver. I think it's very likely that McDonald makes the roster--the new question is how do we deal with having one roster spot for Wallace, Nance, and Baker? I'm going to predict that Wallace makes the team as the #5 receiver and Nance/Baker are either cut or practice squad-ed.

Galax Steeler
05-07-2009, 03:44 AM
I would say McDonald and Wallace will make the team. It is just bad luck for Baker the man tries hard every year but comes up short. We should have a good recieving core this year.

stlrtruck
05-07-2009, 06:25 AM
Let's see what ya got Shaun. :drink:

Let's see what ya got Sweed. This little competition will hopefully push them both to step and have the mindset to be a #2. While I understand that they are going to be either #3 or #4, can you imagine having two guys on the depth roster who can play #2?

revefsreleets
05-07-2009, 10:18 AM
McDonald signed a one year deal, right? The Sweed contingent may just have to wait another year for the "Sweeeeed" chants to take hold.

MasterOfPuppets
05-07-2009, 10:26 AM
McDonald signed a one year deal, right? The Sweed contingent may just have to wait another year for the "Sweeeeed" chants to take hold.
i hope not....... :doh:

pancake
05-07-2009, 03:32 PM
with the addition of wallace and mcdonald.. i see baker and nance going bye bye...

could be a thing where mcdonald will be the #3 wr to start off the season.. and then sweed will take over...

We keep 5 receivers and I agree that Baker and Nance are gone.

SunshineMan21
05-07-2009, 03:47 PM
Let's see what ya got Sweed. This little competition will hopefully push them both to step and have the mindset to be a #2. While I understand that they are going to be either #3 or #4, can you imagine having two guys on the depth roster who can play #2?

Could be wrong, but I think McDonald is mostly a slot guy . . . he would be spelling Ward more than taking a spot from Sweed.

stlrtruck
05-07-2009, 03:58 PM
Could be wrong, but I think McDonald is mostly a slot guy . . . he would be spelling Ward more than taking a spot from Sweed.

Not to say who is right or wrong but I was looking more at the competition at training camp more than the position guy. I know Tomlin doesn't just hand starting positions to returning players so in my mind, it would be more like him saying, "Hey kid, if you want this you've got to earn it!"

SunshineMan21
05-07-2009, 04:02 PM
That's true . . . . Tomlin could always keep Ward out wide and play McDonald in the slot. Depends . . .

revefsreleets
05-07-2009, 04:24 PM
Slot is a coveted position...gives a WR the most options. A lot of teams put their most versatile (read: can play from any WR position) guy there.

Sweed will have to pack his lunch...McDonald never dropped a pass looking to see where the endzone was thinking about what his celebration moves would be...

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-07-2009, 06:03 PM
We keep 5 receivers and I agree that Baker and Nance are gone.

Gonna be good competition. I can see McDonald as the #4 WR and maybe getting some kick return duties. Wallace would be the #5 WR and rarely active on gameday. Nance again on the practice squad and Dallas Baker solidify's his spot as "the next Walter Young".

stlrtruck
05-08-2009, 06:31 AM
Slot is a coveted position...gives a WR the most options. A lot of teams put their most versatile (read: can play from any WR position) guy there.

Sweed will have to pack his lunch...McDonald never dropped a pass looking to see where the endzone was thinking about what his celebration moves would be...

touche!