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83-Steelers-43
08-28-2006, 11:03 PM
Wilson's new role will come to pass with Steelers
WR isn't thrown by duty as Randle El's replacement
Tuesday, August 29, 2006

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



A question last August centered around which Steelers receiver would replace Plaxico Burress. Now, it's who will replace the receiver who replaced Plaxico Burress?

Not only did Antwaan Randle El replace Burress at split end last season -- although at a good 8 inches shorter -- he threw a touchdown pass to help the Steelers win the Super Bowl.

Then, like Burress before him, Randle El flew to an NFC East coop, creating a spot for a new split end for the second consecutive season. Only this time, because of that Super Bowl touchdown toss by Randle El, Cedrick Wilson is being asked these days as much about his throwing arm as he is his ability as a receiver.

Yet it is as a wide receiver that Wilson will affect the Steelers' offense most, not the occasional pass he might throw. Randle El, after all, threw only three passes in the 2005 regular season. Most importantly, he scored on just one touchdown reception, matching the number of touchdown passes he threw during the regular season.

And as far as replacing Randle El, Wilson already has done that. While Randle El started every game at split end in 2005, Wilson alternated playing time with him at the position.

Wilson did not catch a touchdown pass in the regular season, but he caught two in the playoffs, when he led the club with an average of 24 yards on nine receptions. He led the team with a 17.3-yard average on 26 catches during the regular season.

He also has two of the Steelers' three scoring catches in three exhibition games this month, and his coaches expect bigger things from him.

"He proved that in the playoffs," receivers coach Bruce Arians said. "He can average big numbers down the field. He has good run-after-the-catch ability. He can turn off of full-speed moves as good as anybody I've ever been around."

Wilson signed with the Steelers as an unrestricted free agent in 2005 from San Francisco, where he spent his first four years playing flanker, the same position he played at the University of Tennessee. There was a learning period when he came here to play split end.

"It's like moving from right tackle to left tackle," Wilson said. "It's a totally different game with footwork and everything. I think I am a lot better at playing the split end position than I was last year."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger mentioned this summer that he wished some of his receivers were taller. Wilson stands 5 feet 10. Arians says that's tall enough.

"The great duos that I've ever seen -- Mark Clayton and Mark Duper and you go on and on -- they weren't tall guys. There's a Randy Moss and everybody wants another one and there hasn't been one."

Hall of Famers Lynn Swann, Steve Largent and Charlie Joiner each were 5-11 and another, Tommy McDonald, stood 5-9.

Now for the big question: Can Wilson throw like Randle El?

He may not have been a starting quarterback in college the way Randle El was at Indiana, but Wilson was picked as the state of Tennessee's best high school quarterback, the Volunteers recruited him as a quarterback and he held the No. 3 position as a freshman.

"Randle El has a nice arm. He has a cannon," Wilson said yesterday as the Steelers returned to their home on the South Side after nearly four weeks of training camp. "I have a nice ball, though. I can throw it anywhere between 50-55 yards."

He threw none in practices this summer, but that should not lead anyone to believe he won't throw one in a game this fall. Coach Bill Cowher may keep only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, and Wilson would be the emergency No. 3.

"I hope guys don't get injured but a couple of trick plays would be cool," Wilson said. "I can whip it, man."

He has had one chance to do so in the NFL. In 2003 while with the 49ers, Wilson took a pitch on a reverse and completed a 6-yard sideline pass to quarterback Jeff Garcia.

So, yes, Cedrick Wilson can throw a pass. More importantly, the Steelers need him to catch them.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06241/717143-66.stm

clevestinks
08-29-2006, 05:07 AM
Cedric is a descent WR. We really need him and Morgan to step it up a notch, and Holmes to be everything that he is suppose to be. If these three along with Ward and our TEs play as well as thier capable, LOOKOUT!

83-Steelers-43
08-29-2006, 07:50 AM
After watching the last three games you have to ask yourself "Randle who?". Wilson has looked very good IMO. Running crisp routes, good speed and good hands.

X-Terminator
08-29-2006, 07:50 AM
Well, this is what Cedric the Entertainer asked for when he came here - for an expanded role. After performing at such a high level at the most critical time of the year, I can't doubt that he won't get the job done and produce far better numbers than Randle El did last season. But personally, I don't see him as the only one who's going to pull off the trick plays - I think Whiz may have a few surprises up his sleeve this season.

HometownGal
08-29-2006, 08:15 AM
I was very impressed with Cedric's performance in the playoffs last season and am confident he is going to have a very good season. He does have great hands and has above average speed. I'm sure between Hines and Wilson, Wiz will be licking his chops coming up with some awesome trick plays that will leave defenses scratching their heads with the big, dumb DOH look on their faces. Yep - it's going to be one helluva exciting season! :bouncy:

floodcitygirl
08-29-2006, 09:26 AM
I loved reading this. The trick plays aren't the "stuff" of every game, but they sure are exciting to watch when they come together! :bouncy:

klick81
08-29-2006, 10:25 AM
LET'S GET IT STARTED ALREADY!!!!!!!!! :dancing:

SteelerFanInCA
08-30-2006, 11:33 AM
Also, I think Wilson's blocking skills seemed to have improved as well.

Midnightwriter07
08-30-2006, 03:18 PM
I hope Wilson does have a good year cause he really hadnt done anything ( up to his exceptional play in the playoffs) last year so i give him a pass. His stats have been nothing to get anyone fired up, but we didnt throw him the ball muhc and him playing in the slot in our offense isnt exactly a glamous position for stats. It is encouraging to see him doing so well in the pre season and catching what is thrown his way.. I am very pleased with our wide recieving core and think that Ben has some very good targets with Washington, Holmes into the mix as well.

crcsnail
08-30-2006, 03:59 PM
i like wilson .good hands and some nice catches in pre season (now iv seen them )i also thought willie reed was catching some nice short yardage throws in traffic which shows nice concentration on the ball.TOUGH call on what wide receivers we are gonna keep lol

tony hipchest
08-30-2006, 07:29 PM
I hope Wilson does have a good year cause he really hadnt done anything ( up to his exceptional play in the playoffs) last year so i give him a pass. His stats have been nothing to get anyone fired up, but we didnt throw him the ball muhc and him playing in the slot in our offense isnt exactly a glamous position for stats. It is encouraging to see him doing so well in the pre season and catching what is thrown his way.. I am very pleased with our wide recieving core and think that Ben has some very good targets with Washington, Holmes into the mix as well.i look at the wilson glass as half full. he is an experienced, yet young, #2 wr with plenty of upside. he is locked up for the next 3 years at $2 mil/ year when the current going rate is about $5 mil / year for a #2. his replacements have been drafted this season and he can adequately hold down the fort. we couldnt afford to keep plex or el and we sure as hell werent gonna shell out the cash for reggie wayne.

almost makes wilson seem perfect. especially if he claims emergency qb duties too.