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-   -   Steelers cut 4th-round pick- Ward getting close to settling contract..**Updated 9/4** (http://forums.steelersfever.com/showthread.php?t=1663)

Koopa 09-04-2005 12:08 AM

Steelers cut 4th-round pick- Ward getting close to settling contract..**Updated 9/4**
 
i thought this was a good article. anyways i guess if gibson isn't learning the offense it was good to cut him, cause if mays can out beat you for a spot something most really be wrong with you. hopefully gibson can land on his feet either by being put on our PS and developing there or signing with someone else. and i'm really glad that they could settle wards contract stuff soon within the next 48 hours

Quote:

Sunday, September 04, 2005

By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Their top receiver has not exactly looked like a four-time Pro Bowler and is not thrilled he is still without a contract extension, though it appears that is about to change very soon.

The player who was brought in via free agency to replace Plaxico Burress is still trying to transfer the explosiveness he displays on the practice field into a game situation.

The rookie receiver who looked to be the steal of the draft on the fourth round was cut yesterday, making him the highest-drafted player since Danny Farmer in 2000 to be released in the same year he was drafted.

On top of that, the Steelers will go into the regular season with a special-teams ace as their fourth receiver because Lee Mays is out a minimum two weeks, and likely longer, with what has been termed a "significant" hamstring injury.

Other than that, the situation at wide receiver -- a perceived area of strength -- is just fine, thank you.

"We haven't been able to establish much in the passing game," said Cedrick Wilson, the No. 3 receiver who was brought in from the San Francisco 49ers to replaced the departed Burress. "We talk a lot in practice that it's still preseason and there's no need to panic right now. But, at the same time, we need the passing game to help out our running game."

The preseason is over, and the regular season starts a week from today, and the passing game bears little resemblance to the efficient unit directed last season by Ben Roethlisberger, who ranked second in the AFC -- behind only Peyton Manning -- in completion percentage (66.4) and yards per gain (8.88).

Roethlisberger produced only three points in four preseason games and completed fewer passes (16) than he did in five games last season, when he was the NFL's rookie of the year. Ward, who held out 15 days in search of a contract extension, dropped nearly as many passes (2) as he caught. And Wilson caught only four passes, but he also dropped two throws -- albeit errant ones -- from Roethlisberger.

Ward, though, is getting close to a big catch: The Steelers and his agent, Eugene Parker, are making progress on a contract extension that could be agreed upon in the next 48 hours.

But the performance of the wide receivers is perhaps best crystallized by the release of Gibson, one of 12 players waived by the Steelers to get to the required 53-man roster.

Gibson was a fourth-round pick who had size (6 feet 4), speed, quickness and jumping ability. At Georgia, he also was a record-setting kick-returner. But the former basketball player was dunked by the Steelers because he couldn't get off the line of scrimmage, ran poor routes and appeared to run away from the football.

The Steelers will try to re-sign Gibson to the eight-man practice squad, if he clears waivers, but his athletic ability could make him an attractive pickup for another team.

"I think I did a good job of catching the football and making plays in practice," Gibson said. "It starts in practice. Practice pays off. You always can get better in the playbook. You don't know everything because the playbook is so thick.

"I'm a rookie. Everything is going to come. It doesn't come in one day, it doesn't come in one week or two weeks. Things are going to get better."

Gibson was released in favor of rookie free agent Nate Washington, one of the surprises of training camp who played at Division II Tiffin University near Toledo, Ohio. Washington had eight catches for 108 yards in the preseason, although he dropped a perfect pass from Charlie Batch in the end zone in Carolina.

Gibson was targeted as a potential No. 4 receiver, but his failure to learn the offense allowed Mays, who has just 11 catches in three seasons, to hold on to his role.

With Mays out -- he injured his hamstring in the second quarter in Carolina -- special-teams standout Sean Morey will become the No. 4 receiver. Morey has been the team's most-productive receiver the past several games, catching seven passes in the past five quarters, including the winning, 45-yard touchdown with 1:35 remaining in Carolina.

"It's going to come, just like in college," Gibson said. "I remember my freshman year, I had to learn the offense, and it's the same thing here. It's a different level -- everybody's good here. You got to try to separate yourself from everybody else."

Gibson separated himself, all right -- right off the roster.

Prosdo 09-04-2005 01:54 AM

Re: Steelers cut 4th-round pick- Ward getting close to settling contract
 
Well, I really am praying that the deal is signed soon. It's getting close and I am really anxious to see this deal get done. I think Hines brings a lot to the team on and off the field. I would like to see him remain a Steeler for his entire career. On to Fred Gibson I kind of see some team going after him. Hopefully he will clear the waivers and be on the practice squad. I would hate to see a 4th round pick go to waste. He seems to have a lot of potential. I do agree Washington should have made it over him. This guy came out of absolutely no where and impressed everyone. He made some very good catches and I really do want to see more from him.

tootalltoscore 09-04-2005 03:38 AM

Re: Steelers cut 4th-round pick- Ward getting close to settling contract
 
Well if Hines get can get his extension that just might be the move that galvanises the team, for him to have made it public just how disappointed he was not to get it sorted must have affected the mental attitude of the team somewhat.

As for Gibson being cut, his own comments suggest to me that he did not put 100% effort in. Perhaps he thought the hard work was over once he was drafted in the 4th.

Nate Washington knew he would have little chance to get in but gave it his all, got the reward he deserved, he seems like the sort of player the Steelers invariably find late on. He certainly makes me happy with his ultra positive attitude.

blairsummit 09-04-2005 04:07 AM

Re: Steelers cut 4th-round pick- Ward getting close to settling contract
 
gibson could be a good reciever, he just needs to adjust to the nfl game. hopefully he is on our ps. id hate to see another team snatch him up and he progress into the wr we though he could be.

clevestinks 09-04-2005 10:32 AM

Re: Steelers cut 4th-round pick- Ward getting close to settling contract
 
The NFL is so much different than college. Bigger, stronger, faster. Gibson wasnt even the no.1 receiver on his college team, he is skinny and weak. And not able to adjust after the initial contact from corners in the NFL.
He may turn out alright eventually, but it may take some time.

SteelerSal 09-04-2005 10:47 AM

Re: Steelers cut 4th-round pick- Ward getting close to settling contract
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by clevestinks
The NFL is so much different than college. Bigger, stronger, faster. Gibson wasnt even the no.1 receiver on his college team, he is skinny and weak. And not able to adjust after the initial contact from corners in the NFL.
He may turn out alright eventually, but it may take some time.

I agree 100%, the coaching staff saw something in practice to come to the conclusion that even Morey was better than Gibson. So he must be pretty bad at fighting off defenders and running routes.
Maybe he was unable to grasp the playbook also. He might be the type of person who is unteachable. (Might not have the smarts upstairs)

BlitzburghRockCity 09-04-2005 10:56 AM

Re: Steelers cut 4th-round pick- Ward getting close to settling contract
 
I was one who thought we had a WR core that was strong; but behind the starting 3.. names like Mays and Morey don't exactly invoke alot of confidence. I really cant believe Gibson was that bad !!!

clevestinks 09-04-2005 12:06 PM

Re: Steelers cut 4th-round pick- Ward getting close to settling contract
 
I thought we were strong there to. But now I`m second guessing myself a bit. But then again maybe if Bens throws some good ball, our receivers will prove us wrong.

BlitzburghRockCity 09-05-2005 01:26 AM

Ward, Steelers putting finishing touches on contract extension
 
Steelers Pro Bowl wideout Hines Ward said Sunday his contract extension is all but complete, save a few details.

"It's more logistics now - it's just a matter of how it's broken down," he said. "They're close."

Ward added that he planned to sit down with his agent Eugene Parker for dinner last night in Pittsburgh to work out particulars such as incentives.

Although the deal was not yet done as of yesterday evening, an announcement could come as early as today.

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Mindful that the Steelers traditionally cease negotiations once the regular season begins - they have made exceptions in the past when believing a deal is imminent - Ward pushed to get the deal done and said he was willing to make concessions in order to do so.

The Steelers open the regular season this Sunday at Heinz Field against Tennessee.

"I said, 'Hey, OK, let's get this done," Ward said.

The Steelers negotiated with Parker late into the night Friday and extensively Saturday and yesterday.

Ward, 29, had originally planned to go home to Atlanta for the Labor Day weekend, following the team's final preseason game at Carolina last Thursday.

"I wanted to weigh the pros and cons of everything," he said.

But he had a change of heart, stayed in Pittsburgh and pushed to get the new contract hammered out. He attended the Pitt-Notre Dame game with Jerome Bettis, Ben Roethlisberger and several other teammates Saturday night at Heinz Field.

"Just being here and getting all the support from the fans gave me a strong feeling," Ward said. "I told my agent, 'Hey, let's settle this (deal).'"

Ward said he had a moment of clarity while sitting in a suite at the North Shore stadium Saturday night.

"It's a special atmosphere, and I had a different viewpoint of Heinz Field for that game," he said. "I thought, 'For me, this is where I want to play for the rest of my career.'"

Prior to training camp, the Steelers offered Ward the highest signing bonus in franchise history. He was dissatisfied, however, with the guaranteed money over the length of the deal and turned it down. He counter-offered, but the Steelers turned him down.

http://pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-.../s_370872.html

Prosdo 09-05-2005 02:54 AM

Re: Steelers cut 4th-round pick- Ward getting close to settling contract..**Updated 9
 
Hoping to hear something very soon. I will be extremely happy once his name is on the dotted line. :smile:


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