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An important history lesson for you TRUE Steelers fans!

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Old 06-07-2007, 01:44 AM   #1
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Default Steelers' Washington hopes to minimize 'mishaps'

Steelers' Washington hopes to minimize 'mishaps'

By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Nate Washington calls dropped passes "mishaps." By definition, a mishap brings misfortune. Just ask any Steelers wide receiver.
A dropped pass is just cause to be ridiculed on talk shows and in local newspapers.
"I had a couple of mishaps last year, but that was me playing on pins and needles," Washington said, following a voluntary workout at the Steelers' South Side facility. "I'm still sitting on pins and needles, but the needles are becoming a lot more dull."


Washington was one of the Steelers' most pleasant surprises last season, a real feel-good story. "I needed that," Washington said. "Last year, they gave me the opportunity to go make plays. It's just me becoming more comfortable with the offense, becoming more comfortable with the NFL -- period.
"I'm not worried about the naysayers. The guys that I line up with, that's who I'm worried about. I want those guys to be able to look at me in the clutch."
So, in spite of those bothersome drops, including missing a potential touchdown grab in a loss against Cincinnati, Washington led Steelers receivers with a 17.8-yard average. He caught 35 passes for 624 yards and four touchdowns last season.
So what that he could have had 37 or 38 catches?
So what that he made his share of mistakes?
Who can forget the motion penalty Washington received at the end of the Atlanta game that prevented the Steelers from attempting the tying field goal?
Conversely, don't forget his acrobatic, 27-yard touchdown catch in the opener against Miami, his 47-yard touchdown catch against Kansas City or his 49-yard touchdown catch against Cleveland.
Three touchdown catches -- three Steelers wins.
Don't forget his ability to stretch the field as well as any Steelers receiver.
Moreover, the incalculable experience Washington gleaned from last season after barely playing as a rookie -- not to mention the big plays he made, and, yes, the inner strength he acquired from those dreaded drops -- was beneficial.
Washington expects to have a big 2007 season. Not bad for a product of Division II Tiffin who wasn't even drafted.
"I'm more comfortable and confident," Washington said. "I used to worry so much about this play or what kind of defense are they running. It's just coming natural now. I'm able to play football a lot better."
Said new offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who was Washington's former receivers coach: "When you're from a small college, the first thing you have to overcome is the fact that I do belong. He went through that. He got thrown in the fire last year. He was basically a rookie.
"When you look at him as a rookie, he was outstanding."
Arians said Washington's play improved when he replaced the injured Hines Ward against Tampa Bay. In his first NFL start, Washington had three catches for a career-high 78 yards.
"I think the big thing for him is when Hines was injured and he started, we won football games," said Arians, who indicated Washington may be the team's second-best blocking receiver behind Ward. "He made big plays in the Cleveland and Tampa Bay games that should give him the confidence he can play at this level."
Not to mention keeping those annoying drops to a minimum.

John Harris is a sports writer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com
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Old 06-07-2007, 04:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' Washington hopes to minimize 'mishaps'

It will be interesting to see who our starters are going to be and who will get cut.
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Old 06-07-2007, 06:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' Washington hopes to minimize 'mishaps'

I'd have to believe it's make or break for Mr. Washington this season. Gotta work on the hands.
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' Washington hopes to minimize 'mishaps'

If he cleans himself up he can be a decent fourth option, but not much more than that
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Old 06-07-2007, 09:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' Washington hopes to minimize 'mishaps'

Washington showed enough last year to easily cement the 3rd receiver spot.

I can't see that he's no better than Ced, you've got to remember where this kid came from and more importantly where he's headed, . . . . ie for better things.

Baker, Fowler and Ced aren't burners, so we need back up speed, as Holmes is our only other deap threat reciever.

The no.3 spot should be he's to lose now.

He was one of the NFL's top 3rd recievers numbers wise after all . . .

I've not mentioned Reid because his injury throws everything into doubt for him . . .
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Old 06-07-2007, 09:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' Washington hopes to minimize 'mishaps'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spidey View Post
Washington showed enough last year to easily cement the 3rd receiver spot.

Baker, Fowler and Ced aren't burners, so we need back up speed, as Holmes is our only other deap threat reciever.

The no.3 spot should be he's to lose now.
AGREED
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Old 06-07-2007, 12:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' Washington hopes to minimize 'mishaps'

I agree. Washington at #3
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' Washington hopes to minimize 'mishaps'

Like it has been said and written in stone, if he gets down the easy catch on the consistent basis he will be a great #3 out there for us. Washington has shown he can make the hard difficult catches. So just the slightest improvement of Washington this season could easily put him over 800 yards this coming season.
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' Washington hopes to minimize 'mishaps'

As I remember hearing on a Tesla song..

"Action talks and bull$h!t walks"
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers' Washington hopes to minimize 'mishaps'

1. ward
2. holmes
3. washington

does anyone know what the cap penalty would be if we cut wilson? i gotta think that if baker can show anything this off season then wilson becomes expendable. we also have to remember that hines isn't getting any younger and someone like washington may grow to be a good (not ideal, but good) replacement in a few years.
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