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mesaSteeler
10-17-2009, 12:32 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_648446.html#

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Steelers' Sweed struggling with confidence

By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, October 17, 2009

A week earlier, he had dropped a much easier pass, in the University of Texas' season opener against lowly North Texas.

But against powerhouse Ohio State in the second game of the 2005 season, Limas Sweed made an acrobatic catch in the corner of the end zone that helped determine the national championship.

Sweed's twisting grab of a Vince Young pass while tumbling backward late in the fourth quarter gave Texas a 25-22 win over the Buckeyes. It also gave Sweed incalculable confidence.

Four years later, Sweed has reached another crossroads similar to what he faced after the North Texas game.

Sometime between that spectacular reception against Ohio State and becoming the Steelers' second-round draft pick in 2008, Sweed's confidence left him just as he once left defensive backs in his wake.

But those close to Sweed sense brighter days could be forthcoming.

"What Limas is experiencing, I am very familiar with,'' said Glen West, who coached Sweed at Brenham High, a Class 4A school in central Texas. "What I've seen more than anything is what I've always known about him. He wants to do so well, he puts pressure on himself. He just needs to relax and let it happen."

Football became easier for Sweed after his clutch touchdown reception kept Texas undefeated in the midst of the Longhorns' championship season.

Whether Sweed will get another chance Sunday afternoon against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field is open for debate.

After dropping a wide-open touchdown pass in last year's AFC Championship Game, after dropping another wide-open touchdown pass this season in the third game against Cincinnati, and after dropping a third-down pass thrown to him last week against Detroit, coach Mike Tomlin is noncommittal about giving Sweed another chance to justify his selection as the 53rd pick in last year's draft.

"Last week, Limas provided us a little more assistance in special teams," Tomlin said about whether Sweed or Shaun McDonald will get the nod at No. 4 receiver. "That adds value when you determine who plays for you."

Sweed said he understands his predicament and what he must do to rebuild the team's confidence in him.

"It's my job to make the catch, and I didn't plain and simple," Sweed said of his big drop against Cincinnati that could have been the difference in a 23-20 loss. "The bottom line is when you get in there, you have to make something happen in order to stay in there."

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when Sweed's raw potential earned raves from the Steelers' coaching staff. In fact, Sweed's 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame, uncommonly large for a receiver, still makes him an intriguing player.

"He's a talented player," said Steelers tackle Tony Hills, who was Sweed's teammate all four years at Texas. "There's not too many 6-4 guys that can outrun smaller defensive backs."

Another former Texas teammate, Tampa Bay Bucs defensive lineman Tim Crowder, suggests that most of Sweed's problems are self-inflicted.

"He has unbelievable talent, but it's always been mental for him," Crowder said. "There's nothing really he can't do, but when you go out there thinking about dropping the ball, that's when you don't have success."

Chicago Bears wide receivers coach Darryl Drake, who recruited Sweed to Texas out of high school, said Sweed has to "find a way to get his confidence back."

"I saw a guy coming out of high school with a lot of size, who had the speed to be a really good player," said Drake, who was also Steelers receiver Hines Ward's position coach at Georgia. "They didn't throw the ball a lot, and he was a tight end in high school. He didn't play wide receiver there, so the position was new to him."

Still, Sweed, who was confident enough to ask former Texas receiver Roy Williams if he could wear his No. 4 with the Longhorns, finished second in school history in touchdown catches (behind Williams) and sixth in career receptions despite playing in only six games as a senior because of a wrist injury.

In hindsight, Sweed's football career is right back where it started at Texas.

"I think a lot of the things he experienced with the Steelers he experienced at Texas," West said. "He dropped a pass against North Texas in his first home game in his sophomore year, and there was some question about him and is he ever going to get over the hump. The next week, he made the big catch against Ohio State. When he did that, everything changed.

"There comes a point in everyone's career where there's that moment they define themselves as a player or don't. I foresee he's at that crossroads right now. I think that because of his character and work ethic he will overcome that."

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

MACH1
10-17-2009, 12:40 AM
I say let him play as much as possible against the clowns and throw to him as much as possible, see if he can get some of that confidence back.

devilsdancefloor
10-17-2009, 12:53 AM
I say let him play as much as possible against the clowns and throw to him as much as possible, see if he can get some of that confidence back.

:iagree: let him beat eric wright a few dozen times

Preacher
10-17-2009, 01:47 AM
I say let him play as much as possible against the clowns and throw to him as much as possible, see if he can get some of that confidence back.

Bingo.

We get up by a couple touchdowns, and then feed sweed.

mesaSteeler
10-17-2009, 01:50 AM
Bingo.

We get up by a couple touchdowns, and then feed sweed.

I agree as long as we are up a couple of touchdowns and if I may add, in Q4.

Preacher
10-17-2009, 01:55 AM
I agree as long as we are up a couple of touchdowns and if I may add, in Q4.

Nope.. Q4 is where we gotta go back to work! :chuckle:

We'd be safer doing it in the second quarter!!!

24seven
10-17-2009, 02:09 AM
Yup.. give him one more shot against the clowns.. if he fails again.. I know I won't have confidence in him anymore. The only thing he's really done for the Steelers is that one bigass hit in the Super Bowl .. AFTER he dropped a for sure touchdown.. If he can recapture that glory moment again he'll maybe pull outta this.. Sounds like this is an ongoing issue with this guy though so not sure it will ever stick..

Steelerfreak58
10-17-2009, 02:39 AM
Sheet or get off the pot.

shinoff2183
10-17-2009, 04:02 AM
I read some of the article but stopped when it said something about sweeds dropped pass against DET. He had one pass to him, and it wasnt the best pass. I think this week him and wallace should split 3rd downs. I wanted so much out of sweed, but wallace is just playing to good. Im not sure what to think. Im not gonna give up on sweed though.

Tone's Toes
10-17-2009, 04:27 AM
I don't like Harris much, but that's a good article. He did some good research on the player and tried to find some explanation for all his struggles. I like that better than Ron Cook just going off and bashing him, but Sweed probably deserved that too.

steelreserve
10-17-2009, 04:51 AM
Really, when you think about it, all the criticism of Sweed is because he dropped like ... 3 balls.

Granted, they all happened to be at the worst possible time, but we're still talking about a miniscule sample size to judge him by. There's no harm in continuing to try him out as the fourth receiver -- I mean, let's face it, most years we're lucky to even have a THIRD receiver who ever factors into the game much. Since we've got that now, and we've got some games like this coming up that we ought to win, we might as well let him try to prove he's either worth the pick or not.

OX1947
10-17-2009, 05:03 AM
A receiver dropping TD passes is like a QB throwing a pick 6. Its negative 6. I dont understand what confidence has to do with catching a damn football. I could understand if you have issues getting separation. I can understand if you cant understand the complex NFL offenses, I could even understand if you arent tough enough for the NFL. But dropping point blank passes as a receiver just amazes me.

solardave
10-17-2009, 05:48 AM
A receiver dropping TD passes is like a QB throwing a pick 6. Its negative 6. I dont understand what confidence has to do with catching a damn football. I could understand if you have issues getting separation. I can understand if you cant understand the complex NFL offenses, I could even understand if you arent tough enough for the NFL. But dropping point blank passes as a receiver just amazes me.

You would think by the time a guy with this much talent gets to the NFL he would not have confidence problems. But he does and maybe he needs extra help .You hear of guys from other sports (Tiger Woods) going for help from Sports Psychologists. Go get your MOJO Limas. Then assume your spot as a weapon of mass destruction. I'm all for that. But for now just catch 3-4 balls in the game tomorrow.:thumbsup:

ricksteelers55
10-17-2009, 05:59 AM
Really, when you think about it, all the criticism of Sweed is because he dropped like ... 3 balls.

Granted, they all happened to be at the worst possible time, but we're still talking about a miniscule sample size to judge him by. There's no harm in continuing to try him out as the fourth receiver -- I mean, let's face it, most years we're lucky to even have a THIRD receiver who ever factors into the game much. Since we've got that now, and we've got some games like this coming up that we ought to win, we might as well let him try to prove he's either worth the pick or not.

People would freak out if he was Michael Clayton.

Clayton was a 1st round pick and is getting all the heat in TB.

he has wayyy more drops than Sweed and got a 5 yrs extension before the beg of the season.

He now has 10 catches and 7 drops(the worst in the league)

Sweed dropped 2 big ones and a couple of not so big ones here and there.But when you think about it....the 2 big drops that he had were drops that can be fix easily.

The one he had against B-More was because he quits eyeing the ball too early before having it in his hands and against Cincy was because of the ground where he hit it.

I'm not even talking about the one against Detroit who I think wasnt a drop because it wasnt a very catchable pass.

What I hate about his situation is that he is getting all the heat for a drop but honestly hasnt any excuses to hide behind.Like if Willie doesnt run well it will be because of the OL not because he isnt playing well.If Ben holds on to the ball and get sack it will be because of the OL.If Holmes and Hines drop some passes it's ok because they were Super Bowl MVP.The first game of the season we could have lost the game because of a fumble by Hines,but really in all honesty how many people would have give Ward some heat bout that ? Now what about if it would have been Sweed ?

AllD
10-17-2009, 06:17 AM
Maybe he should be reunited with Vince Young.

Galax Steeler
10-17-2009, 07:51 AM
I think this week him and wallace should split 3rd downs.

I wouldn't give Sweed to many third down chances it could cost us the game and of all teams the Browns.

Rick5895
10-17-2009, 08:22 AM
Confidence is huge for receivers, not only in catching the ball, but it can also affect route running, which seems to be a little problem for Sweed. It's not how many drops you have but when they occur. The Detroit drop was a catchable ball for an NFL player and was a critical 3rd down play.
I would like to see him play over McDonald, and get some of his mojo back. But at what time do the Steelers say it's not worth it any more. If he gets it back, what a receiving core, unstoppable.
All that being said, he should dress against the browns because of the type of D they play (press man to man coverage) so he can use his size and speed. If he can't measure up then make decisions on him.

T&B fan
10-17-2009, 08:42 AM
if a kicker misses the ball with his foot do you still call him a KIcker ?

HometownGal
10-17-2009, 08:51 AM
I say let him play as much as possible against the clowns and throw to him as much as possible, see if he can get some of that confidence back.

Exactly. :drink:

I'm not ready just yet to throw this kid under the bus, but if he doesn't find his mojo fast and in a hurry, he's most likely going to be on the outside looking in.

cubanstogie
10-17-2009, 09:39 AM
Sweed has to get the most coverage of any WR 4th on the depth chart in the league. Hopefully its for a reason. I guess its because people are actually happy with Arians. I think the coaches really want to get him some playing time, that is the only thing to get him some confidence. Its just like when a RB fumbles, usually he gets the ball next snap, or when a young QB is starting let him throw a screen or short pass. Let Limas play the second half and get him some "easy touches". Assuming we are up by 28.

Jmat
10-17-2009, 10:41 AM
Since Troy's rookie year when he looked terrible and I was one of many fans calling him a bust and he came back to make me eat loads of crow I promised myself I'd never be so quick to judge a player again.

I want Sweed to make my patience worth it but he's not making it easy. I was more than willing to write off his mistake prone rookie season and let him start fresh this season. So far he's another drop or two away from being a full fledged unemployed bust than even an average success.
I could make the catches he's dropping and I come a lot cheaper.
Very disappointing not to mention frustrating as hell.

Shoes
10-17-2009, 11:05 AM
It would be a huge mistake to trade this kid. He is going to be a great one....... I'm all for giving him the time he needs. Remember it wasn't too long ago many were on the mendy "sucks bandwagon."

Neil-Still-Rules-14
10-17-2009, 12:26 PM
As far as I'm concerned, his rookie season is in the past and isn't really relevant, as with most players. So remember guys, you're judging Sweed on 1 play. That's not really fair in my opinion.

Neil-Still-Rules-14
10-17-2009, 12:29 PM
How many picks and near-picks have we had this year because he ran the wrong route? How many incompletions have we had because he got the ball right on the numbers and whiffed it?
He *should* have a confidence problem right now.

Are you sure you're talking about Limas Sweed and not Santonio Holmes? Sweed hasn't had enough play time to do all of that. And to answer your question, that would be zero. He hasn't run any wrong routes (to my knowledge), and hasn't "whiffed" on any balls. He has had one play where he had the ball and then landed on his elbow, jarring it loose.

Psyychoward86
10-17-2009, 12:40 PM
If Sweed catches two significant catches, i'll be greatly pleased even though it's against the Browns. It's mostly 2 big catches we're judging him on so.....third time's a charm?

AllD
10-17-2009, 01:18 PM
If Sweed catches two significant catches, i'll be greatly pleased even though it's against the Browns. It's mostly 2 big catches we're judging him on so.....third time's a charm?



A broken clock is still right twice a day.

ricksteelers55
10-17-2009, 02:15 PM
The problem is that now he has 2 bad drops on his record people will not forget it specially those on this board.Because people in here have 2 realities,the vets that they love and the scapegoats.Once you're the scapegoat it will take a lotttttt to escape that label.

So let's say he has 2 huge game winning touchdowns on huge catches.Then he plays okay the rest of the season....not super but not bad,just what we ask him.

Then in playoffs he drops a pass when the score is even in 3rd quarter on 3rd down.How many people do you think would bring back the He cant catch the football ?

See the only way for him to escape this is either to get cut or trade or having a super bowl mvp game or 10 consecutive 100 yds games.That's how hard it is in Steelers Nation when you're the scapegoat.

you better catch the first big catchable pass thrown at you in your career or you will end up on that side

Angus Burgher
10-17-2009, 03:20 PM
It's a bit of a conundrum, really. Say you're Ben, Arians or Tomlin. You see Sweed busting his ass all week in practice, and you see a renewed sense of commitment in him that he will step up and make the play. And you like the kid, you want to see him succeed.

But then, the game is on the line, it's the 4th quarter, and even though you're leading, a win isn't out of reach for the other team. You know Sweed can make a deep run into the end zone. But do you pull the trigger and hope for the best, or go the safe route?

markymarc
10-17-2009, 04:15 PM
I still believe in Limas Sweed. The only way he can get his confidence back is being on the field and making plays for this team. You can't just throw the kid on the bench and expect him to get better.