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View Full Version : Steelers have doubts at wide receiver with Holmes' departure


Galax Steeler
05-04-2010, 03:54 AM
To use a hockey phrase, the Steelers are even in the plus-minus column on wide receivers since the day before the NFL draft, plus-2 since free agency began.

They traded Santonio Holmes to the Jets, drafted two wide receivers and lost Limas Sweed, who had surgery Monday to repair an Achilles tendon injury. They signed free agent wide receivers Antwaan Randle El and Arnaz Battle in March.

So, where does that leave them as a group?

"I don't know. We'll see this season," Hines Ward said, then laughed. "Can we do it? Yes. It's to be determined, really. We won a Super Bowl with Randle El, myself and Cedric Wilson. So, it's not like it can't be done."

Those were not ringing words of confidence from the leader of the wide receivers. No one knows how the loss of Holmes will affect the passing game. Sweed did little in his first two seasons so his injury will not have much effect other than the fading hope he would develop into the kind of productive receiver he was at Texas.

Little will be known about the two rookie draft picks, Emmanuel Sanders (third round) and Antonio Brown (sixth), for a while. Sanders could be another Wallace or another Willie Reid, both drafted in the third round.

"It's much too early to tell because no one got hit this weekend," coach Mike Tomlin said at the conclusion of his three-day minicamp. "And that's a pretty big element of the game, particularly from a receiving standpoint. Everyone looks courageous in shorts. But we got plenty of time for that to sort itself out."

Wallace is vital to that process. He led the NFL with a 19.4-yard average per catch his rookie season, when he caught 39 passes for 756 yards and tied for the team lead with six touchdown receptions. He moves into Santonio Holmes' spot as the split end and while many assume his production will rise in his second season and as a starter, more is expected of him as well.

"It's just how defenses see me now will be different," Wallace said. "I have to be ready for that. I've been on the outside the whole time. I'm at a different position now. Now I'm on the backside by myself. It's a little harder, but I'm up for the challenge."

The difference in positions means when the Steelers use three wide receivers, the split end usually is alone on one side with Ward in the slot and another receiver next to him on the outside, Wallace's position last season. Unless one of the rookies comes on quickly, that third receiver won't have the big-play ability of Wallace or Holmes. It means defenses can concentrate on one deep receiver, Wallace.

"A lot of pressure wasn't put on him last year, he just fell into it and had a phenomenal rookie season," Ward said. "I told him he's getting his opportunity and that's all you ever ask for. That's why you come into this league, an opportunity to start and right now he's doing well.

"We have high expectations for him this year. I think we'll be fine. We added El, and Arnaz adds depth, but I really like Mike. He's really come along. The sky's the limit with him. If he can continue to get better each day, I look for big things from him.

Tight end Heath Miller had his most productive season as a receiver, too, catching 76 passes for 789 yards and six touchdowns.

"Heath's a valuable weapon," Ward said. "Of course losing Santonio hurts us depth-wise, but I still think we have some great talent. Mike is still the fastest guy on this team. He's going to blow the coverage off. He's going to make defenses play cover 2, play honest. Heath, myself and Antwaan are pretty good after the catch."

With Battle and possibly one of the rookies, that would give them five wide receivers, their usual number.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10124/1055362-66.stm#ixzz0mwuGRm3z

HometownGal
05-04-2010, 05:32 AM
I'm not worried at this point about the Steelers WR's. Again - TC hasn't even begun and already the media is trying to make chicken salad out of chicken shit. :yawn:

solardave
05-04-2010, 06:12 AM
I think we'll improve this year. Why? Because we will run more to set up the receivers.That's why. Like you said HG, I'm not worried.

Steelers>NFL
05-04-2010, 07:03 AM
"I don't know. We'll see this season," Hines Ward said, then laughed. "Can we do it? Yes. It's to be determined, really. We won a Super Bowl with Randle El, myself and Cedric Wilson. So, it's not like it can't be done."
----
This was exactly my thought before I read the article. Right now, no concerns.

Indo
05-04-2010, 08:15 AM
Wow

We're barely out of mini-camp and the sky is already falling...
(cue cat)

wootawnee
05-04-2010, 08:35 AM
oh o.........Chicken Little is back..............And he tied Dudley Doright to the tracks.........And he wrote an article, just to take up space in his newspaper he SELLS, before the train comes and crushes him to his death...............

BlastFurnace
05-04-2010, 09:18 AM
The Steelers have put a lot of eggs in the Mike Wallace basket..that is for sure.

lamberts-lost-tooth
05-04-2010, 09:56 AM
I think it was Tony who pointed out that we have two Rookie WR's who racked up over 1,000 yards this last year and both run in the low 4.4's. We could have MUCH bigger problems.

I mentioned before that if you look at the tape on Sanders....he shows ELITE jumping ability. At the combine he had the best broad jump of all WR's with a 10'6...and he had a VERY respectable verticle jump of 39.5...with the best verticle among Wr's being just above that at 41.5 inches.

To put that in perspective....only one drafted CB was able to jump that high, and he was the Steelers 5th round draft choice... Crezdon Butler.

Fire Haley
05-04-2010, 10:39 AM
The Steelers have put a lot of eggs in the Mike Wallace basket..that is for sure.

that the fact jack


We still have time to get T.O.

Set-Man
05-04-2010, 10:54 AM
It will be nice to see what Sanders can do. I agree it will take him at least a season or two to get the playbook. Teach him a few routes and throw him out there. We need some more speed on the other side of Wallace. The thing that makes me more comfortable with the receiving corps is having Miller in there.

T.O.? Are you kidding me? I'd rather get Holmes back (with a 5th round pick that is).

Fire Haley
05-04-2010, 10:56 AM
T.O. can't be more of a distraction than Ben in the locker room - and he's never had any problems with the law.

xbroughneck
05-04-2010, 11:05 AM
"I don't know. We'll see this season," Hines Ward said, then laughed. "Can we do it? Yes. It's to be determined, really. We won a Super Bowl with Randle El, myself and Cedric Wilson. So, it's not like it can't be done."

Nothing else needs to be said. Defense is just as good, Ben is BETTER, running game will arguably be BETTER, and I'll take our current 3 starters over a younger El, Ward and Ced Wilson.

Receiving corp will be fine.

BlastFurnace
05-04-2010, 11:37 AM
Nothing else needs to be said. Defense is just as good, Ben is BETTER, running game will arguably be BETTER, and I'll take our current 3 starters over a younger El, Ward and Ced Wilson.

Receiving corp will be fine.

This is my worry about the WR corps.....

True..we won with Ward, ARE and Wilson.....but Hines and ARE are 5 years older and we are relying on a 2nd year receiver who had coverage taken away from him by Holmes last year. Honestly, we have no idea what we have with Wallace yet...and with the way Hines plays the game (all out)..what if he misses any kind of time with an injury?

Yes, if everyone stays healthy and Wallace is what we think he is, then everything will be fine. That's what we are all hoping for.

As far as Ben...the last time he had a major off season issue he did not have a good season. Yes, it is a head injury vs. a suspension issue, but non-the-less...both are off the field distractions. I'm not sure what to expect from Ben this season.

The Defense relies soley on Troy being healthy back there. We have seen it in the past, and it's the same thing this year. The defense stunk the last half of last season without him. Will Troy be healthy this year....not sure. As far as the defense..again...I'll believe it when I see it.

To me, this season has more question marks about this team than we have had in quite some time. IMO, the season could go either way.

Fire Haley
05-04-2010, 11:41 AM
"Potential" doesn't win ballgames

Here's your starting WR's

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/images/201005/20100504steelers_500.jpg

stlrtruck
05-04-2010, 11:57 AM
We haven't even made it to Training Camp and there is concern about the space Holmes use to fill? :blah: :blah: :blah:

I''ll be concerned if ARE and Battle come up with a bad case of the dropsies!

Until then I feel confident with the squad of WRs we have on roster.

SteelGhost
05-04-2010, 12:11 PM
Nothing else needs to be said. Defense is just as good, Ben is BETTER, running game will arguably be BETTER, and I'll take our current 3 starters over a younger El, Ward and Ced Wilson.

Receiving corp will be fine.

I expect defense plays A LOT better than in '09, the return of Troy and Aaron is the key, but they have to stay healthy, I don't want to watch those 4th qts. meltdowns again :doh:

And for the offense, I expect MT & BA take Art II words seriuosly and call run plays more effectively, that will be a huge help for our "new" receiving corps.

stlrtruck
05-04-2010, 12:30 PM
T.O. can't be more of a distraction than Ben in the locker room - and he's never had any problems with the law.

There's definitely a difference between self destruction (Ben) and team destruction (TO). While T.O. hasn't had legal problems, he's definitely been the venom in a few locker rooms, ruined seasons for QBs and teammates alike with his selfish, ME FIRST, attitude that has been displayed on the grandest of scales.

I'd take Ben and the accusations that come with him over the self involved T.O. anyday.

Fire Haley
05-04-2010, 12:34 PM
Ben is the biggest embarassment of all time - T.O. is nothing compared to the shitstorm that will follow Ben all year.

We need non-smurf WR's - it's not about Ben, but it will never happen, word is T.O. wants $5M

stlrtruck
05-04-2010, 12:52 PM
Ben is the biggest embarassment of all time - T.O. is nothing compared to the shitstorm that will follow Ben all year.

We need non-smurf WR's - it's not about Ben, but it will never happen, word is T.O. wants $5M

I don't know how he's the biggest embarassment of all time. I'm not embarrassed by his actions. I don't condone them, but they are his actions and his alone. All of this, regardless of what we read in the papers, is just accusations against Ben. What T.O. has done, while not illegal, is more damaging to the foundation of a team than Ben's decision making.

I wouldn't want T.O. on the Steelers even for a measly $1 million!

BlastFurnace
05-04-2010, 01:06 PM
I don't know how he's the biggest embarassment of all time. I'm not embarrassed by his actions. I don't condone them, but they are his actions and his alone. All of this, regardless of what we read in the papers, is just accusations against Ben. What T.O. has done, while not illegal, is more damaging to the foundation of a team than Ben's decision making.

I wouldn't want T.O. on the Steelers even for a measly $1 million!

I agree. Living in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, you could see how T.O. divides a team. I wouldn't sign him either.

Fire Haley
05-04-2010, 01:23 PM
Leftwich to T.O.!

TD!


we demand entertainment

lamberts-lost-tooth
05-04-2010, 01:35 PM
There's definitely a difference between self destruction (Ben) and team destruction (TO). .

VERY well put!!!!!!!!!!:thumbsup:

stlrtruck
05-04-2010, 01:48 PM
Leftwich to T.O.!

TD!


we demand entertainment

Go to a strip club then! :wave: :flap:

mikegrimey
05-04-2010, 01:55 PM
Of course our receiving corp is going to take a hit when losing a guy like Holmes without a comparable replacement, he was an all around weapon and truly an explosive presence. However, I don't think it's going to kill us. If anything it might make us be more resourceful and work on getting a little more consistency out of the running game than the last couple of years.

I still think we can put out a competetive passing game with Hines, Wallace, Miller and ARE/Sweed/whoever, we probably won't be as deadly as we were last year through the air, but, like I said, it might be a blessing in disguise, maybe not as many 5 wides and empty backfields on 3 and 1...

mikegrimey
05-04-2010, 01:56 PM
Also, as the quote from Hines in this thread mentions, we already did win a SB with the not so spectacular combination of Hines, ARE, and Cedric Wilson/Nate Washington lighting up the field, great QBs can make average receiver look like good ones and good ones look very damn good, a lot of it has to do with Ben.

lamberts-lost-tooth
05-04-2010, 02:09 PM
We still have time to get T.O.

Talent never overrides character.

You know..... Charles Manson plays a mean guitar....but I wouldnt want him in MY band.:noidea:

STEELAMANIA
05-04-2010, 02:14 PM
Wallace alone already scares the defensive coordinators.....

Galax Steeler
05-04-2010, 02:51 PM
I'm not worried at this point about the Steelers WR's. Again - TC hasn't even begun and already the media is trying to make chicken salad out of chicken shit. :yawn:

:toofunny:Good one.:chuckle:

Psyychoward86
05-04-2010, 05:01 PM
We still have plenty of weapons. If at least one of the wide receivers we drafted pan out, we'll be okay for several more years.

And y'all cant forget our RB's that will finally and hopefully not be underutilized...

vasteeler
05-04-2010, 05:12 PM
There's definitely a difference between self destruction (Ben) and team destruction (TO). While T.O. hasn't had legal problems, he's definitely been the venom in a few locker rooms, ruined seasons for QBs and teammates alike with his selfish, ME FIRST, attitude that has been displayed on the grandest of scales.

I'd take Ben and the accusations that come with him over the self involved T.O. anyday.

agreed :thumbsup:

vasteeler
05-04-2010, 05:13 PM
I don't know how he's the biggest embarassment of all time. I'm not embarrassed by his actions. I don't condone them, but they are his actions and his alone. All of this, regardless of what we read in the papers, is just accusations against Ben. What T.O. has done, while not illegal, is more damaging to the foundation of a team than Ben's decision making.

I wouldn't want T.O. on the Steelers even for a measly $1 million!

again.......agreed :thumbsup:

tony hipchest
05-04-2010, 07:22 PM
i think some people are putting too much stock in us drafting 2 smurf, no-name college wr's. what we did draft was speed, production, and ball catching abilities.



ANTONIO BROWN


Ranks second in MAC history with 305 career receptions...CMU's all-time leader in receptions...ranks second in school history in touchdown receptions (22) and third in receiving yards (3,199)...only player in school history with two 1,000-yard receiving seasons...also the only player with two 100-reception seasons...caught at least one pass in 41 consecutive games…accounted for touchdowns receiving, rushing, passing and on both a punt return and kickoff return during career.

2009 SEASON

MAC Special Teams Player of the Year for the second consecutive season...All-MAC first team honoree as both a receiver and punt returner...2010 GMAC Bowl Offensive Most Valuable Player...named CMU's Special Teams Player of the Year...caught a school-record 110 passes for 1,198 yards and nine touchdowns...twice named MAC West Division Special Teams Player of the Week...earned the honor after averaging 37.7 yards on three punt returns, including a 55-yard return for a score, against Alcorn State and again after returning a punt 75 yards for a touchdown against Eastern Michigan...accounted for a season-high 248 all-purpose yards at Michigan State...caught 10 passes for 71 yards and a score and completed a 24-yard pass to Dan LeFevour against the Spartans...caught nine passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 65 yards against Akron...had four 100-yard receiving games...caught six passes for 112 yards and a score and ran for a touchdown at Buffalo...made four receptions for 110 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown, against Eastern Michigan...caught a season-high 13 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown against Toledo...made 11 catches for a season-high 170 yards, including an 82-yard touchdown, at Ball State...caught 13 passes for 178 yards, rushed for a touchdown, returned a kickoff 95 yards for a score and finished with 403 all-purpose yards in GMAC Bowl vs. Troy.




EMMANUEL SANDERS






2009 SEASON

Started all 13 games, earning first team All-C-USA honors…had 98 receptions for 1,339 yards and seven touchdowns…returned 20 punts for 275 yards and one touchdown…averaged 124.6 all-purpose yards per game…ranked sixth in the NCAA with 103 yards per game receiving…his 98 receptions were seventh best in the NCAA…finished his career as SMU's career leader in receptions (235), touchdown catches (34) and yards (3,791)…in his final game, had seven catches for 124 yards and a score in helping SMU to a 45-10 win over Nevada in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.




we have 2 rookie wr's with almost 7000 career recieving yards combined. 540 combined receptions and 56 td's (no active collegiate wr had more than sanders 34).

i dont care what conference they played in, the weak competition, a sucky qb, or run and shoot offense...

you cant teach the speed they have. and they still had to not only get open, but to be able to actually come down with the ball. these guys have a TON of college experience, and are probably just as ready to step in and contribute like wallace was last year.

the only thing that worries me is arians may start to think the warren moon oilers', run n shoot offense is a good idea.

Galax Steeler
05-05-2010, 03:39 AM
I think Brown and Sanders will contribute nicely for the Steelers People are ready to throw them to the dogs. Just like Wallace alot of people did not like that pick but look what he is a doing know. Give the guys a chance.

markymarc
05-08-2010, 12:07 PM
It may be the optimism in me, but I just don't see the concerns or doubts with our WR position. Hines Ward will be strong again in 2010 and Mike Wallace is now opposite of Ward. IMO that is a very strong starting WR combo. I loved getting Randle El back and he will be our #3 heading into the season. He is the perfect slot WR and will be making plays once again for the Steelers.

Arnaz Battle did log 178 career catches for the 49ers. The big question mark will be if he can stay healthy. I liked the Battle pickup and he gives us another veteran WR presence. Then we have Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown from this draft class.

I believe we have a strong WR class and we could carry 6 this season. Plus let's not forget that we still have the most under valued TE in Heath Miller.

Fire Haley
05-08-2010, 12:15 PM
let's not forget that we still have the most under valued TE in Heath Miller.

You know - you're gonna hate me for saying this - but this was one the deepest drafts ever for T.E and we passed them all.

If Miller gets hurt all we have is....Spaeth

markymarc
05-08-2010, 12:53 PM
You know - you're gonna hate me for saying this - but this was one the deepest drafts ever for T.E and we passed them all.

If Miller gets hurt all we have is....Spaeth

You are absolutely correct in that this draft class was very deep at the TE position. While Spaeth will never be a good blocking TE, he can fill in as needed if Heath goes down. So in other words, Heath is NOT allowed to get hurt this year :chuckle: