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Old 05-23-2012, 04:06 PM   #1
teegre
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Default Timing, Rapport, & Trust

With the off-season dragging on like molasses in wintertime, the time has come for me to make a bold, dramatic statement...if, for no other reason, than to spark a debate. Ergo, with no further ado...

I foresee Antonio Brown being Pittsburgh's number one receiver for the 2012 season.

Hear me out.

I know that people will balk at my even mentioning that maybe Antonio Brown could ever replace Mike Wallace...but, think clearly for a half second, before you rip me. Antonio Brown runs far more routes than Wallace does (Brown can run every single route in the playbook). Brown makes more splash plays. And, Brown is deadly after the catch (something that Wallace is very "good" at). The only area in which Wallace surpasses Brown is speed...and Brown is no slouch in that regard.

Regardless, even if everything was equal, two other factors might be more poignant in establishing Brown as the more "dominant" receiver. With Todd Haley implementing a new offense (& a complicated offense, at that), it is critical that all of the offensive players be at OTAs. And, since Mike Wallace is sitting out of the OTAs, he is missing out on both 1) learning the new offense and 2) establishing chemistry with The Black Knight.

Meanwhile, Antonio Brown is there, at OTAs, taking all of the number one WR throws...and, establishing timing, rapport, and trust.

Likewise, Manny Sanders is at the OTAs. As is Jericho Cotchery. Of course, Sanders & Cotchery are more of the "possession" type of WR than the speedster that Wallace is...but "possession" is far from a bad word; Hines Ward & Wes Welker have made careers at being "possession" guys. Heck, since ten yards results a first down & moves the chains, a good possession guy is the key to any offense (specifically Haley's, which utilizes the quick pass).

So, again, during the OTAs, Brown is running the deep outs, deep ins, and post routes; Sanders & Cotchery are running the crossing and/or possession routes; and, Wallace...well...Wallace is sitting at home.

It bear repeating: repetitions between QB and WR are essential to establishing timing, rapport, and trust.

Timing. Big #7 has always had trouble getting his timing correct with Wallace (even though the two have indeed occasionally hooked up for a long TD)...and it is not going to get any better with Wallace sitting at home.

Rapport. When Big #7 drops back, over & over again, during practice, he starts "feeling" where Brown is going to be. For example, at one point, Ben didn't even need to look around to "know" where Ward was going to be; Ben just "knew." That type of rapport comes after hundreds upon hundreds of QB-to-WR throws...which is what Wallace is missing.

Trust. This is possibly the biggest factor of the three. When push comes to shove, where is TBK going to go??? Hines Ward was Ben's security blanket (and a great one at that). Now...who will Ben turn to??? Is it going to be the WR who can "only" run 40 yards downfield & drops easy catches?...or, is it going to be the WR with whom Ben has established timing & rapport? The latter generally wins out (see: the end of the 2010 season, where Brown made BOTH game-clinching catches in the play-offs).

With Brown running every route (& running them well), and with Sanders & Cotchery running the possession routes, the label of "one trick pony" might become even more of a stigma for Wallace. "It's okay Mike, we have everything else covered; you just run deep, and take the safeties out of the box."

Think about what I just said. Wallace is great at moving the safety and/or making the safety play deep, which frees up the underneath routes for the other three WRs. BUT, without the timing, rapport, and/or trust of his QB, he might be limited to ONLY receiving those deep passes. Whereas, Brown can run every route in Haley's playbook.

I will go a step further. With Wallace out, Sanders will be given an opportunity to shine. Remember that during the NYJets game during the 2010 regular season, Sanders consistently broke Darelle Revis's ankles. In other words, Sanders may not be fast, but he runs great routes (& is great after the catch). If you need further proof, re-watch the play-off game against Denver (I know: I don't want to either); during that game, with Wallace covered, Sanders quietly had a great game (5 for 81 yards). Cutting to the chase: if Sanders can show some promise, the Steelers front office would be even less inclined to dole out "Fitzgerald type of money" (ha, ha, ha) for Wallace.

In other words, if Brown & Sanders respectively can establish themselves as a dominant receiver and a rock-solid possession receiver (while Wallace slowly becomes more & more of a one-trick pony), the Steelers could be very willing to allow Wallace to walk...(and, instead, use that money on Brown & Sanders).

Speed kills...(for a few years). No doubt about that. BUT, if your QB doesn't throw you the ball, because he doesn't have the timing with, nor the rapport with, nor the trust in you, really how beneficial is that speed???

Mike Wallace, you should report to camp. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a precarious position, where the Steelers not only think, but know, that they can compete confidently without you. Were I you, I would sign a reasonable contract...before Brown & Sanders "take" your playing time, and in turn, take your money.
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Old 05-23-2012, 04:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Timing, Rapport, & Trust

great 1st post. welcome to steelersfever.
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Old 05-23-2012, 04:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Timing, Rapport, & Trust

I agree with it all. As much as i love Wallace, i would not mind seeing him walk and have us signing Antonio Brown long term. I am not completely sold on Sanders, only because he has not managed to stay healthy. If he can do that this year, we would be set with Brown and Sanders as Sanders wouldnt cost us too much, even if he does have a breakout season.

Speed does kill, but kills temporarily. He will start to slow down enough to where his speed wont be effective in probably 3 years if he doesnt do something about it. I love Wallace, but not at his asking price...
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Timing, Rapport, & Trust

Thanks, Tony. Great to find this site.

RushHard...exactly. As much as I love Wallace, he will slow down in a few years (27ish)...whereas, the skill set that Brown has will last well into his early 30s.
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Timing, Rapport, & Trust

teegre - That was a great first post. Welcome.
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: Timing, Rapport, & Trust

good 1st post, i agree with everything you said except for sanders being primarily a possession guy who doesn't have brown's speed.

sanders has faster straight-line speed than brown does, they are both fast guys. brown does have a little better lateral quickness, but sanders is probably more likely to beat 1 guy and take it to the house

also I think that as far as route running and work ethic goes, sanders is the tops for all the wr's we have. if he can avoid the injury bug he may surprise a LOT of people. he has done nothing but produce when given his chances, he's a stud.
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: Timing, Rapport, & Trust

I agree wholeheartedly. Great post.

It is probably wrong for me to judge Wallace for his absence and holdout-- this is a business, and the Steelers would not batt an eye if they thought it was best to part ways with him, so I can't blame him for going after $$$$ I guess. But I do.

And when you contrast that personality with a guy who was a late round pick, and spends as much time in the film room and on the practice field as Brown (according to every source I have heard from), while showing a comparable level of physical tools, it makes Wallace and his half-season productions that much less of a commodity to the team.

From the very first time Antonio Brown touched the football, he has made splash play after splash play, and only looked to be getting even better. Remember that sweet TD kick return on his very first NFL play?

As far as I am concerned, they can let Wallace walk if we have to give up Brown to keep him or make him show up for camp. I daresay, Hines Ward is probably shaking his head at this holdout wherever he is at too.
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Timing, Rapport, & Trust

This is no indictment on Wallace, but I love everything Antonio Brown stands for. Wallace is in a tough situation and I understand his stance 100%. It's just that unfortunately, Mike is on a very good team. We have to comply with the same cap that every other team does. Good players have to be willing to sacrifice a little more to remain on a good team.

But that's what I do not understand about these hold outs. Drew Brees, like Mike Wallace, seems to be unable to realize that in order to build a great TEAM, you cannot expect to get paid what the stars make on crappy teams. If Drew were to actually get his worth on a team like the Saints, they will be unable to address their crappy defense. Didn't anyone learn a lesson from Peyton Manning? Stop listening to the agents because in the end, they want the biggest pay day they can get. They could give a damn about the team's success.
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Timing, Rapport, & Trust

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Arians View Post
good 1st post, i agree with everything you said except for sanders being primarily a possession guy who doesn't have brown's speed.

sanders has faster straight-line speed than brown does, they are both fast guys. brown does have a little better lateral quickness, but sanders is probably more likely to beat 1 guy and take it to the house

also I think that as far as route running and work ethic goes, sanders is the tops for all the wr's we have. if he can avoid the injury bug he may surprise a LOT of people. he has done nothing but produce when given his chances, he's a stud.
I probably should have been more clear on my admiration for Sanders's route running; I agree that he is easily the best route runner. When I said "broke Revis's ankles", I was alluding to this route running ability (to make CBs cut the wrong way).

Anyway, I am high in Sanders, too. Not as high as I am on Brown, but high enough. Two great, young WRs.
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Old 05-23-2012, 07:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Timing, Rapport, & Trust

I don't agree but maybe. I don't think Wallace will miss camp and with it being a contract year, he will shine. I also think you like Josey Wales.
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