Wilson gets a 'welcome' from defense
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
He has only been in Steelers training camp since Saturday, yet Cedrick Wilson already received three important messages. One came from Hines Ward Saturday night, one from Bill Cowher Sunday and the other was delivered by his new teammates yesterday afternoon on the practice field.
"I made it here Saturday and he called me Saturday night," Wilson said of Ward's unexpected call. "I thought he was calling me to go out."
Nope. Ward called him to let him know he was holding out. One day later, Bill Cowher gave Wilson some news of his own.
"He read it off to me, 'Well, Cedrick, Hines is not going to be here I want you to go to Z.' That's about it."
The "Z" roughly equates to flanker. All anyone needs to know is it's Ward's position, or was. Long holdouts are rare in the NFL and a player missing the season, the way linebacker Mike Merriweather did in 1988, is virtually unheard of this century unless it's a transcendental thing like Ricky Williams.
Wilson, signed as a free agent from the 49ers, is supposed to help that cause, the Steelers expecting his versatility and rising young talent to not only overcome the departure of Plaxico Burress but also to permit the coaches to do more with their receivers, moving him, Ward and Antwaan Randle El around to confound defenses.
Much of that might be lost without Ward. Wilson's versatility right now will be stationed at flanker with Randle El at split end. While that might get Wilson more playing time and, if Ward stays out, more receptions, it does not strengthen the offense.
"I'd rather see Hines here," Wilson said. "We're trying to win a Super Bowl."
Wilson discovered just how much the rest of his new teammates want it as well. Wilson was hounded unmercifully by the defensive players, particularly linebacker Joey Porter, during the first practice in pads yesterday afternoon. And then he caught a pass from Ben Roethlisberger on the third play of team drills and started weaving through the secondary, untouched in the no-tackling drill. Suddenly, safety Chris Hope slammed into him so hard he stopped him in his tracks.
Welcome to Pittsburgh, Cedrick?
"It was a friendly thud," Hope said with only a hint of a smile. "Say hello, let him know I'm back there."
Said Cowher: "It was Cedrick's first time with our team, and I don't know what practices were like where he was, but we have some guys who like to talk. By the end, he wasn't slighted either. He was doing his fair share of talking as well."
Wilson earned a spot of revenge when he caught a deep pass over Hope after shoving cornerback Ricardo Colclough out of the way. Wilson then spiked the ball.
Rest of the article: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05215/547801.stm
Nice to see he is fitting in a bit. Although I wouldn't have wanted to take that hit from Hope lol.