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August 16th, 2014, 7:30pmET

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Old 06-10-2014, 09:20 AM   #1
Joelbushbaum
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Default Our WR's and TE's in 2014.

If teams try to limit or double AB, do we have enough talent at the #2, #3, and #4 spot to make key plays?

I'm not so sure, and this bothers me as our rushing attack was ranked 27th out of 32 teams. Our average per rush attempt was only 3.5 yards per rush average. Only two teams had a lower average per rush attempt..

Who we lost:

Cotchery was Hines Ward like last season, controverting many key plays and being the lone physical WR player we had. And he was our key Red zone man.

Sanders was quick and fast enough to get open and make plays, though he seldom stood out.

Combined with AB, Cotchery and Sanders worked very well. But Cotch and Sanders are now gone.


Can our 2014 WR / TE core be better?

Miller is back, but he's a year older, and may be on the slow decline due to age. I do not expect Miller to have one of his best seasons, but I do expect him to be good.. The depth behind Miller is horrible. If he goes down, we are in trouble.

Wheaton looked great in camp, but his fingers seem on the fragile side. A lot is riding on him. If he can stay healthy, I think he's got more upside than Sanders did. But its an IF. IF Wheaton does not pan out, the Steelers have a bunch of #4 types and two rookies to deploy in 2014.

We did add Lance Moore. He's short, struggled a bit with injuries last year, and was 4th on the Saints dept chart. More of a #4 type at this state in his career, but at least you know what you have with him.

Heyward-Bey . A classic Oakland Raiders type first round pick.. Fast, but not productive. Last season he finished the season with 29 receptions for 309 yards and a touchdown on the Colts. Not very impressive. Looks like a #4 or #5 for us, who might run a few deep posts and go routes.

Byrant. A rookie with plenty of size and speed. He's raw though, needs to work on cleanly catching the football,. Bryant could have character issues that do not mesh with team goals. A boom or bust type. I liked the gamble in round 4, but wish we would have picked a WR earlier ( Moncrief round 2 ) . The fact that the Steelers said he could start underscores the uncertainly and perhaps lack of talent at the position.

Archer. Let's just say I have serious doubts about him being anything but a gimmick type of WR.

-JB
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: Our WR's and TE's in 2014.

Wheaton essentially played 2 games, the Minny game and the Bills game. Those were the only two he was targeted in. In those 2 games, he had 6 catches, and Sanders had 5. I think they were already convinced he was going to replace Sanders, and he probably would have replaced him by the end of the year. So, they thought he was the better receiver. So, I think he's an upgrade. Cotchery was a journeyman. A professional, but unspectacular. Thing is, he wasn't a natural slot receiver. He was a natural possession receiver. Moore is a better slot receiver than Sanders was. So, he's better for that position.

That said, I agree our TE depth is a disaster waiting to happen. Paulson can't block to save his life, so you might as well put a receiver in instead. Spaeth is strictly a red zone target as far as I'm concerned. he doesn't do much of anything else. No clue about the new kid. I'd feel better about it if they actually ended up signing Finley.
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Our WR's and TE's in 2014.

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Wheaton essentially played 2 games, the Minny game and the Bills game. Those were the only two he was targeted in. In those 2 games, he had 6 catches, and Sanders had 5. I think they were already convinced he was going to replace Sanders, and he probably would have replaced him by the end of the year. So, they thought he was the better receiver. So, I think he's an upgrade. Cotchery was a journeyman. A professional, but unspectacular. Thing is, he wasn't a natural slot receiver. He was a natural possession receiver. Moore is a better slot receiver than Sanders was. So, he's better for that position.

That said, I agree our TE depth is a disaster waiting to happen. Paulson can't block to save his life, so you might as well put a receiver in instead. Spaeth is strictly a red zone target as far as I'm concerned. he doesn't do much of anything else. No clue about the new kid. I'd feel better about it if they actually ended up signing Finley.
I wouldn't be surprised if Te is at the top of the list for the 2015 draft

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Old 06-10-2014, 09:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Our WR's and TE's in 2014.

Teams doubled AB last year. 110 catches, 1499 yards.

We do have the supporting cast around him to make it work.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: Our WR's and TE's in 2014.

I think our run game will be better as well. Line was much improved overall by the end of the season and Bell has a year under his belt. It may not be spectacular, but it should be a solid point for our offense.

As for my receiver worries it is like this:

Wheaton - He hasn't actually done anything yet. All of the intangibles might be there but it scares me that someone with no history is essentially a sure thing for our 2nd best receiver. Like the guy or not, that should concern everyone.

Moore - I think he has the talent to do just fine. The main worry is going to be timing and adjusting from Brees to Ben style. Not sure that will be a huge issue but it is still something. And even if he can match or beat most of Cotchery's numbers there is one big one that he may not, and that is TD's. Given our pretty terrible redzone offense from last year that scares me a little.


As for Miller I have to disagree. He may slow down a step but I am expecting a big year from him given what I see has concerns for the other areas of our offense. He will be Ben's safety blanket which was J Co last year. So if Moore can't give us the redzone numbers maybe Heath will.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Our WR's and TE's in 2014.

Another thread about the receivers.

Hopefully, this one adds a new wrinkle that the other fifteen (or so) other threads did not.

Alas...
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:23 AM   #7
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Default Re: Our WR's and TE's in 2014.

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Originally Posted by SteelersCanada View Post
Teams doubled AB last year. 110 catches, 1499 yards.

We do have the supporting cast around him to make it work.
Yeah, it's not like every other contender has two big-time receivers. Denver's the only team I can think of that had two super productive guys last year. (Atlanta would've, but thet were hurt). If teams cheat a linebacker toward AB, it opens up the underneath stuff tothe slot, TE, and the back Iin the flats. If they cheat up a safety, theoretically, it should make them easier to burn deep, but Sanders turner out to be a poor deep option. He caught a few, but didn't fight for it enough. Wheaton looked like a better deep option. And look out if Bryant starts getting a bunch of targets about four or five games into the season.
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:54 AM   #8
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Default Re: Our WR's and TE's in 2014.

A little too much worrying here.

Not much to say about AB, but WOW!! What a steal, and lets put this "we never get decent players at the end of our drafts" bs to bed.

Ok, now for the rest of the crew. Miller at 50% capacity last year was better than 80% of the TEs in the NFL. Rumor has it he is back to form, and may be in the best shape he's been in for several seasons. No need to worry here.

Spathe. : "Never does much". This is the most ludicrous statement of the day. Spathe is one of the best blocking TEs in the business, and somebody we sorely missed while he was out. Maybe more than Pouncey. When Spathe went down, there went the OZBS, as well as a significant portion of the IZBS we planed to deploy. Need proof? Take a gander at Bell's rushing averages after Spathe returned to action.

Palmer, did progress as the season wore on, but basically, he's a career scrubeanie. Paluson doesn't belong of an NFL roster.

The rook from UMass, Branchflower, is looking like another Spathe, but supposedly, has better hands and moves.

Now on to the WRs. I loved Cotchery, and thought he was clutch, but on the negative side, he may have had the lowest number of yac in the league. I'm thinking here that between a healthy Miller, and Moore's savy, we will be fine in the clutch catch area.

Losing Sanders was not as big of a deal as you might think. Sanders's skill set is in the slot, or elsewhere off the los. Last year, he was having a lot of trouble getting of the los, and that is partially why Cotchery caught a lot of balls. Sanders just couldn't get open.

Wheaton: This kid needs to show up, and frankly, if there is a reservation about this years receiving crew, this one may be it.

Now on the additions:

Heyward-Bey. Yep, he drops a lot of balls, but compare that to how many plays Wallace just plain gave up on, and the end result is exactly the same. An aborted play.

The difference is, we kept on throwing to Wallace, and in all fairness, the other teams where Heyward-Bey played, stop throwing the ball to him at the 2nd drop. If Bey is in the game, the D has to respect the speed.
The deal here is, he still can take the top off a D with the best of them, and that's all we need him for.

Moore: He may not make the number of catches that Cotchery made, but that's ok. Hopefully, the other upgrades will reduce the need for him to catch as many passes.

Bryant: He's a raw talent, but he's talented enough to give some DC something to worry about.

Speaking about worry, how about if we go 4 wide with AB, Bey, Bryant, Wheaton? That will pull at least one LB, and or maybe a defensive lineman out of the game. Then run the counter traps with either Blount or Bell toting the rock?
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:13 AM   #9
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Default Re: Our WR's and TE's in 2014.

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Spathe. : "Never does much". This is the most ludicrous statement of the day. Spathe is one of the best blocking TEs in the business, and somebody we sorely missed while he was out. Maybe more than Pouncey. When Spathe went down, there went the OZBS, as well as a significant portion of the IZBS we planed to deploy. Need proof? Take a gander at Bell's rushing averages after Spathe returned to action.
Yeah, I'm talking as far getting involved as a receiver. If you put Paulson and Spaeth into one player, you'd have a decent TE. Individually, I wouldn't bother putting Spaeth out there because he's not a threat offensively, and I wouldn't put Paulson out there because he's not a threat to block. The whole idea of a tight end is that he should be a threat to do either or so the defense can't load up one way or the other.
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:22 AM   #10
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Default Re: Our WR's and TE's in 2014.

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Originally Posted by teegre View Post
Another thread about the receivers.

Hopefully, this one adds a new wrinkle that the other fifteen (or so) other threads did not.

Alas...
The funny thing is, as good as Cotchery was last year, most NFL fans don't even know who he is let alone what he meant to the Steelers. I haven't heard really a peep about that "loss". Even Sanders only made a splash by going to Denver to be buried on the depth chart.
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