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83-Steelers-43 05-30-2007 12:11 AM

Big Ben pleased with Steelers receivers
 
Big Ben pleased with Steelers receivers

By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Steelers' draft generated its share of questions, ranging from how they will use linebackers Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley and tight end Matt Spaeth to how much punter Daniel Sepulveda will improve special-teams play.

One that will go unanswered is this: What would the Steelers have done if the Carolina Panthers hadn't picked wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett immediately before them in the second round?

It's a made-for-barstool-chatter question. Yet the person that would have been most impacted by the selection of Jarrett, a big, playmaking wideout from Southern Cal, probably couldn't be drawn into such a debate.

That's because quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is just fine with the players the Steelers have at wide receiver.

"I feel like they've been underutilized in the past," Roethlisberger said Tuesday after a voluntary workout at the Steelers' South Side facility. "I think every receiver we have has Pro Bowl talent and potential, and I think all of them are more than capable of putting up big numbers, including the tight ends."

Early signs point to the Steelers getting more out of their passing game next season, in part by spreading out the offense and creating mismatches.

Whether they'll be able to exploit those with their wide receivers remains to be seen, since Hines Ward is the only one of the group who's been to the Pro Bowl and caught more than 50 passes in a season.

One reason why Roethlisberger should be optimistic about the wide receivers -- and perhaps why the Steelers didn't address the position until the seventh round of the draft when they took Florida's Dallas Baker -- is Santonio Holmes.

Holmes is coming off a highly productive rookie season, one which he punctuated with a four-catch, 124-yard performance in the Steelers' final game of 2006.

And Holmes, who made steady improvement last season, should only get better, since, as he said, the game has slowed down for him.

"My goal is to increase everything, at least double of what I did last year," said Holmes, the Steelers' 2006 first-round pick.

The Steelers will be ecstatic if Holmes comes close to reaching that goal after the former Ohio State star caught 49 passes for 824 yards in 2006.

He should get plenty of opportunities next season because he figures to supplant veteran Cedrick Wilson as the Steelers' starting split end.

"For now, it's looking like that, but we have to go into training camp and that's where it determines whether you win or lose your spot," Holmes said. "I know what I'm doing, and the coaches give me more opportunity to make plays on the field."

The same also can be said of Roethlisberger, even though he threw the most interceptions (23) in the NFL last season.

Next season, the Steelers will put the game in Roethlisberger's hands more than they ever have.

He will make the blocking adjustments at the line of scrimmage next season and will even get a chance to call his own plays when the Steelers use a no-huddle offense, something Roethlisberger ran adroitly at Miami (Ohio).

"I'm real excited about that, especially the no-huddle stuff," Roethlisberger said, "being able to do that and a lot more shotgun, utilizing the weapons that we have on the outside."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_510039.html

Smashmouth225 05-30-2007 12:35 AM

Re: Big Ben pleased with Steelers receivers
 
I live our recieving core as S. Holmes will be a star in this league. I feel like he should have around 60-70 catches Hines W. is a beast i could be color blind( Black and Gold) but i don't see Ward slipping. I think Nate is alright for the slot and can make plays downfield, wouldn't be suprised if he grab around 40 balls and 600-650 yards. Heath Miller is a stud who we definitely needs to use more. This guy has Pro Bowl quality throw him the ball. Cedric needs to go, but i will never forget how he worked Champ Bailey for a touchdown in 2005 play-offs. That was the last time he did anything IMO. Willie Reid should be our KR/PR specialist. I've heard he is a decent WR but i'll be happy w/him just returning kicks. Dallas Baker is solid from big time program. I'm not worried about 40 times because dude put up some nice #'s against top notch competition in the SEC.

MACH1 05-30-2007 12:45 AM

Re: Big Ben pleased with Steelers receivers
 
Hopefully it will be a pick your poison with the opposing defenses this year, who do we double Hines,Holmes or one of the others.

83-Steelers-43 05-30-2007 01:09 AM

Re: Big Ben pleased with Steelers receivers
 
Both Wilson and Washington need to step up big time. Consistency is key for both those two and they did not show it to me last season. Holmes started catching on toward the late second half of the season.

Until those two start catching the ball on a regular basis, I will continue to hold my breath when Ben slings one to either of those two WR's. I wish I could say I'm as comfortable as Ben is when it comes to our WR core. I saw one too many balls dropped by Wilson and Washington, who has a horrible habit of dropping perfectly thrown balls while he's standing in the endzone last season (Nate).

Smashmouth225 05-30-2007 01:22 AM

Re: Big Ben pleased with Steelers receivers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 83-Steelers-43 (Post 252020)
Both Wilson and Washington need to step up big time. Consistency is key for both those two and they did not show it to me last season. Holmes started catching on toward the late second half of the season.

Until those two start catching the ball on a regular basis, I will continue to hold my breath when Ben slings one to either of those two WR's. I wish I could say I'm as comfortable as Ben is when it comes to our WR core. I saw one too many balls dropped by Wilson and Washington, who has a horrible habit of dropping perfectly thrown balls while he's standing in the endzone last season (Nate).

For sure Cedric i can live w/Nate at least on more year but Ced's getting a grip and is probably 4th on our depth chart. This is a make or break seaon for Nate but i think he will get it together this year. Wilson won't catch anything in traffic. Ever peeped him after he drops the ball. Dude is hillarious with that whining he does.

83-Steelers-43 05-30-2007 01:35 AM

Re: Big Ben pleased with Steelers receivers
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Smashmouth225 (Post 252024)
For sure Cedric i can live w/Nate at least on more year but Ced's getting a grip and is probably 4th on our depth chart. This is a make or break seaon for Nate but i think he will get it together this year. Wilson won't catch anything in traffic. Ever peeped him after he drops the ball. Dude is hillarious with that whining he does.

I'm willing to give Washington a shot this season, but that doesn't mean I'm "comfortable" with that group going into this season. Cedrick Wilson was the same guy complaining that he didn't get the ball enough back in 05, I wonder why? I hate to say it, but I feel they are soft. It seems Nate Washington caught a dose of the Cedrick Wilson syndrome... Catch one, drop the next two. Both completely lack consistency and that doesn't equal out to a 'good' WR core in my opinion. Hopefully Nate steps up this season (I was expecting it last season and had very high hopes for him) and stops taking advice from Cedrick Wilson.

Quote:

"I feel like they've been underutilized in the past," Roethlisberger said Tuesday after a voluntary workout at the Steelers' South Side facility.
Yep, damn ex-coaching staff again huh Ben? What is that, #4?, #5? :yawn:

Quote:

"I think every receiver we have has Pro Bowl talent and potential,"
While I do not expect the kid to bash his WR core when asked by the media what he thinks of them, he can't actually believe this? Unless these are just signs of mild brain damage from the accident?

Quote:

"including the tight ends."
We better, it's not exactly fun drafting TE's early in the draft and then not incorporating them into our offensive schemes. Also, if Ben plans on taking on more responsibility I hope to all hell he has every weapon out there as an option.

Galax Steeler 05-30-2007 05:13 AM

Re: Big Ben pleased with Steelers receivers
 
I believe our widerecivers will be great this year I like what i am hearing about baker think he will make it fine.

rbryan 05-30-2007 08:15 AM

Re: Big Ben pleased with Steelers receivers
 
IS IT FOOTBALL SEASON YET?????????

You know how everyone says, the older you get the faster time seems to pass bye????

This is the cure for that, at least Feb thru Sept.

Atlanta Dan 05-30-2007 08:16 AM

Re: Big Ben pleased with Steelers receivers
 
As is pointed out above, Ben apparently cannot get through an interview without taking a shot at the ex-coaches. Maybe the offense would have opened up more last season if the starting QB had not been impaired for several months going into training camp due to wrecking his motorcycle, but I suppose that is just another example of the ex-coaches not having the proper confidence in the starting QB.

So much for increased maturity.

TackleMeBen 05-30-2007 10:03 AM

Re: Big Ben pleased with Steelers receivers
 
maybe he should just stop doing interviews. then all of you will start fussing about that. he speaks his mind, and maybe sometimes he should think before he speaks, at least he is saying how he feels. i do agree with you dan that the bashing the ex coaching is getting a little old. we all know how he feels about them.

maybe he does believe that his wr corp is pro bowl calibar. that wouldnt be a bad thing.

someone should tell ben that he needs a good PR person to do his interviews so he would stop sticking his fott in his mouth


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