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Old 05-12-2014, 01:47 PM   #571
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

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Originally Posted by vrabinec View Post
unless they decide that they can save themselves a roster spot by using Archer in receiving packages. Hmm, may not be room for a 5th.
I think that's where Dri Archer adds even more value, because he can play slot WR, scatcback and return kickoffs he saves us a roster spot on game days that can be used elsewhere...
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:19 PM   #572
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

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Originally Posted by Hawaii 5-0 View Post
I think that's where Dri Archer adds even more value, because he can play slot WR, scatcback and return kickoffs he saves us a roster spot on game days that can be used elsewhere...
Position flexibility, they love those 2 words...
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Old 05-18-2014, 01:41 AM   #573
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

Martavis Bryant is a tall catch for Big Ben

May 16, 2014
By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant pulls in a pass in rookie mini-camp on the South Side Friday morning.

A tall wide receiver who finally showed up wearing a Steelers uniform carrying a reputable resume was not nearly tall enough in his first practice with them.

There isn't a receiver in the NFL who could have come down with some of those passes Friday which tryout quarterbacks were throwing 5 feet over the heads of their targets. Maybe it was just jitters of being in their first pro camp and still unsigned.

None of it seemed to make rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryant nervous or even disappointed.

"It's a new start for me and I want to make a great impression," Bryant said.

A few people already made one on Bryant. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who will be more accurate with his throws than those uncorking passes Friday, called Bryant 10 minutes after the Steelers drafted him a week ago in the fourth round.

"He just said he's happy for me to be here," Bryant said.

Roethlisberger at least is happy with someone he can virtually see eye-to-eye. The two hooked up with some routes Tuesday when Roethlisberger and other veterans worked out with the rookies at the team's training facility.

Roethlisberger long has asked for a tall receiver but he's not had one that broke into the top four at the position since Plaxico Burress left after the 2005 season. While his Indianapolis combine height of 6 feet 3 puts Bryant 1 inches shorter than Clemson advertised in 2013, he's plenty tall enough and fast enough at 4.41 (seconds in the 40-yard dash) to get the job done.

The rest is up to him, which will include work on catching the ball away from his chest, a habit noted in predraft analyses.

"I can catch, I'm not worried about what people say," said Bryant, who caught 42 for an average of 19.7 yards for Clemson in 2013 as a junior. "I'm working on catching it outside but as long as you catch it and don't drop it, people can't really talk about it."

Coach Mike Tomlin got on him in his first practice, not for dropping any footballs but for being winded.

"He's messing with me a lot ... how I've been getting tired and stuff like that."

Bryant said he liked how Tomlin kidded around with him. He soon will learn that also can be Tomlin's way of sending a message.

There is a job open for someone to start catching footballs in real games for the Steelers since they lost three of their top four wide receivers over the past 14 months, two since March. Antonio Brown is the only fixture of a group that also includes Markus Wheaton, who had six receptions as a rookie, and newcomer Lance Moore, who caught a bunch in New Orleans the past eight seasons. Moore will play in the slot, so it figures that either Wheaton or Bryant will become the split end, where Mike Wallace and then Emmanuel Sanders played.

"I'm just going to come in and work hard and whatever happens, happens," Bryant said. "I can't control that, it's in the coaches hands."

His position coach sounds as if he already has been won over.

"We had him here for a visit and we bonded then," said Richard Mann, an Aliquippa native who has seen his share of NFL receivers. "We didn't know we were going to get him. We didn't think we were going to get him, but we got him and I'm delighted."

The Steelers won their two most recent Super Bowls with no contributing wide receivers taller than 6 feet, but Mann, like Roethlisberger, thought they needed to get taller.

"We needed a guy different from what we have," Mann said.

"I have been kind of campaigning for a big receiver this whole process. We lost Jerricho Cotchery. Jerricho did the dirty work, as I call it, on the strong side, which is where most of the running game is done. We just don't have a guy with the stature and the makeup to be that guy.

"Hopefully what we expect is that this guy can pick up some of that slack and we will go to work and teach him what he needs to learn.

The Steelers thought Bryant was a second-round talent but with the draft so deep in receivers, he fell to them in the fourth. Bryant might have benefited from playing one more season at Clemson because he really played only one after backing up 2013 first-round pick DeAndre Hopkins.

But Bryant has two young daughters and a mother who he said took care of him his entire life.

"It's time for me to start taking care of her."

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/2...#ixzz322VIseuq
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Old 05-18-2014, 06:37 PM   #574
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

2015 NFL Mock Draft

May 15, 2014.

Round 1) Pittsburgh Steelers: Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State

The Steelers want to land a big receiver for Ben Roethlisberger. They took Martvais Bryant, but there's a reason he dropped all the way to the fourth round. The 2015 receiver class is a promising one, so Pittsburgh may decide to go wideout in the first round if Bryant doesn't do much.

http://walterfootball.com/draft2015.php
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:03 PM   #575
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

Hopefully, Martavis Bryant can break the Steelers tall receivers curse

By Anthony Defeo on May 18 2014

Maravis Bryant and his 6-4 frame is the latest in a long-line of tall receivers who have attempted to have a productive career with the Steelers over the past decade. And if the production of the lanky crew that has come through Pittsburgh since Plaxico Burress initially left after the 2004 season is any indication, Bryant won't have to reach far to out-do his predecessors.

There are some things a person just takes for granted and really doesn't pay much attention to.

If you're a fan of the Steelers, a team steeped in rich playoff and championship tradition, you may take for granted that your favorite football team has had at least one semi-competent tall wide receiver over the past nine seasons.

Every fan knows Pittsburgh's inability to latch onto a lanky receiver with the Pro Bowl-level ability to be the Gargamel to the rest of the corps Smurfs, but surely there was at least someone in there with respectable production, right?

However, after reading a Post Gazette column written by Steelers beat reporter and insider Ed Bouchette this weekend, you can color me really surprised.

Included in his story about Pittsburgh's latest attempt to find a tall drink of a receiver who can reach for the stars--fourth round pick Martavis Bryant--is this quote:

"Roethlisberger long has asked for a tall receiver but he's not had one that broke into the top four at the position since Plaxico Burress left after the 2005 season."

Actually, it's been since the 2004 season that the Steelers have been without a decent tall receiver, but small errors aside, it's still hard to believe that no receiver light-bulb changing-capable has been able to produce in Pittsburgh for almost a decade.

Jeez, no wonder Wes Lyons was such a camp heartthrob a few years ago, and the failure of Limas Sweed is still fresh enough in our minds that we are aware of his attempts to make a career in the CFL.

Thanks to Bouchette's mind-awakening quote, I thought it would be fun to go back and review the production (or lack thereof) of the many tall wide-outs who failed to create match-up problems for their opponents because they often failed to even get into football games (or even make the team).

Lee Mays, 6-2/193 lbs

Taken in the sixth round of the 2002 NFL Draft, Mays obviously didn't come to Pittsburgh with the fanfare of a Megatron, but then again, neither did Antonio Brown when he was drafted in the sixth round in 2010, and that turned out really well.

Of course, Brown is listed at 5-10/186 lbs, and with Lynn Swann, Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes as great examples, a Super Bowl MVP may be in AB's future.

As for Mays, the Texas El-Paso product managed 11 receptions for 154 yards and zero touchdowns with the Steelers, but none of that production occurred after '04, and he was out of Pittsburgh following the 2006 season.

Dallas Baker, 6-3/206 lbs

Including Mays and his stature may have been a bit of a reach for this piece, but when it comes to Baker, his stature certainly qualifies.

Baker, a seventh round pick out of Florida in 2007, only managed to make one catch for a paltry six yards during the 2008 season. And according to his NFL.com profile, that was the only cup of coffee he ever had.

That and 50 cents will get your name on a list like this.

Limas Sweed, 6-4/220 lbs

Ah, yes, the Steelers patron saint of failed tall receivers. Everyone knows about the drops and the inability to turn his first round talent into a first-rate career after Pittsburgh selected the Texas product in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

However, just to put it on record, Sweed tallied seven receptions for a measly 69 yards and no regular season touchdowns, before being cut prior to the 2011 regular season.

Had Sweed managed to hold onto a postseason touchdown, things might have been different, and I might not be writing this article, and, instead, arguing with some fan about how Sweed is better and more physically imposing than Larry Fitzgerald (6-3, 218).

Plaxico Burress, 6-5/232 lbs

That's right, believe it or not, Burress is on this list after coming back to his first franchise near the end of the 2012 regular season, when the Steelers were in desperate need of a body.

And, perhaps, pound-for-pound, inch-for-inch, Burress may have had the best concentrated production of any tall receiver since he left as a free agent, seven years prior, when the former first rounder from Michigan St. pulled in three receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown over the final six games of the season.

Unfortunately, the re-signed Burress wouldn't add to that production after suffering a season (and probably career) ending injury in training camp, prior to the 2013 campaign.

Derek Moye, 6-5/210 lbs

The UDFA who came to Pittsburgh via Penn State in 2012 and officially made the roster in 2013, is certainly an incomplete member of this list. But so far his contributions have included two receptions for 20 yards and, making him a bit of a hero, a touchdown, when he pulled in a one yard pass from Roethlisberger in Week 2 of last year.

Throw in the 6-4 Fred Gibson (like Bryant, a fourth round pick who excited the fans with his long stature), the aforementioned Lyons and his 6-8 frame, and the 6-3/209 lb Justin Brown from last year's draft class, three players who never played a real down in the NFL, and the grand-total for production of receivers 6-2 or taller since Burress left nine seasons ago is 13 receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns.

To put those number in perspective, Calvin Johnson and his 6-5/236 lb frame caught six passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns in ONE HALF when Pittsburgh took on the Lions at Heinz Field, last November.

Of course, the one common denominator of every receiver listed here is that none of them came out of college with the studly resumes of the likes of Fitzgerald and Johnson, so that might explain the lack of production.

However, this list can also act as a cautionary tale for Bryant, who, like the others listed before him, still managed to not be a first round pick despite his 6-4/211 lb frame.

On the bright side, at least Bryant won't have to reach very high in order to out-due his Steelers predecessors of like-stature.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com...14-depth-chart
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:55 AM   #576
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

What a pointless article. Wow, the Steelers sure are cursed that a bunch of 6th round, 7th round, and UDFA tall receivers didn't pan out!
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:26 AM   #577
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

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What a pointless article. Wow, the Steelers sure are cursed that a bunch of 6th round, 7th round, and UDFA tall receivers didn't pan out!
Limas Sweed was a 2nd round draft choice and Plaxico was drafted in the first round...
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:48 AM   #578
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

i agree, if you want more of a sure thing, draft higher or pay the money for a free agent. i think this article is basically pointing out that we had a good thing with plax, sweed didn't work out, and in the meantime the team hasn't been interested in getting a big wr.
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Old 05-20-2014, 01:15 AM   #579
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

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Limas Sweed was a 2nd round draft choice and Plaxico was drafted in the first round...
So Sweed was the outlier, is what you're saying.
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Old 05-20-2014, 04:55 PM   #580
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Default Re: Timing right for Steelers to draft tall WR

Do you think Big Ben could influence coaches decision on how much to play Bryant?

@ScottBrown_ESPN: His comfort level with Martavis Bryant will certainly be a factor in how much the rookie plays in 2014. Ben Roethlisberger has to develop trust in his new wide receiver and the confidence that he is on the same page with them. The fact Roethlisberger called Bryant 10 minutes after the Steelers drafted the Clemson product shows how excited he is to add a tall, fast wide receiver to the offense. And wide receivers coach Richard Mann has talked about the benefits of a having a tall wide receiver when inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. Certainly there is an opportunity for Bryant to carve out a role as a rookie, but he will have to earn it. And the best way to do that is to earn the trust of his quarterback.

http://espn.go.com/blog/pittsburgh-s...espnapi_public
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