View Full Version : Steelers' Sweed biding his time

09-20-2008, 12:43 AM
Steelers' Sweed biding his time
By John Harris
Friday, September 19, 2008
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 88995.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_588995.html)

Sunday's Steelers-Eagles clash in Philadelphia will feature one of the NFL's most exciting young talents in rookie receiver DeSean Jackson.

For all the ridicule Jackson has endured because he celebrated too early Monday night against Dallas and released the football before crossing the goal line, Jackson ranks fourth in the league with 216 receiving yards.

Jackson, the 49th player selected in the draft, is only the second rookie in league history to register 100-yard receiving yards in each of his first two games.

Steelers rookie receiver Limas Sweed, taken four picks after Jackson, has a simpler goal right now - get on the field.

"Some people may take it as a negative," said Sweed, who has been inactive for the Steelers first two regular-season games. "But all this does is make me work harder and want to be out there even more.''

At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Sweed had his way against college defensive backs. He finished sixth in school history with 124 receptions, fifth with 1,915 receiving yards and second behind Roy Williams with 20 TD catches. A nagging wrist injury suffered during his senior year seemed to be the only obstacle preventing him from being a first-round pick.

The Steelers selected Sweed in the second round, even though they had other positional needs. Following a quick start in camp, Sweed's play tapered off. He dropped passes and was fitted for contact lenses.

Sweed acknowledged Thursday that he may not have been totally prepared for the higher level of play in the NFL.

"In college, you could use your physical ability to win against a defensive back,'' Sweed said. "It's not all talent here. You have to be a technician. You learn that it's the little technical things. You watch more film because those guys watch film on you every day.''

Sweed said he isn't paying attention to the impressive numbers being compiled by other rookie receivers, which include Jackson's 12 receptions for an 18.0-yard average. Denver's Eddie Royal, taken 42nd overall, has 14 catches for 183 yards and two TDs.

"Different teams have different situations at different times,'' Sweed said. "Those guys are out there earlier, but it's not a sprint. It's a marathon.

"It's an adjustment (not playing), but that's life. I'm just being patient. Hines (Ward) has been here for a while, making big plays. (Santonio Holmes) making big plays. Nate (Washington). Every day I keep learning, preparing for game situations, so when my opportunity does come, I can step in and play.''

The NFL fined Steelers linebacker James Farrior $7,500 Thursday for making an obscene gesture to Cleveland Browns' fans during Sunday's game. "I thought it was going to be more," Farrior said. "I can't even complain."

The Steelers' offensive line has been credited with one fewer sack because of a statistical change following Sunday's 10-6 win at Cleveland. The Steelers have now allowed four sacks in two games.

Farrior (back), WR Hines Ward (coach's decision) and G Chris Kemoeatu (ankle) returned to practice yesterday. CB Deshea Townsend (heel) and LB Donovan Woods (hamstring) missed practice. DE Brett Keisel (calf) is out for Sunday's game.

For Philadelphia, G Shawn Andrews (back) and C Jamaal Jackson (not injury related) did not practice yesterday.

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

09-20-2008, 09:00 AM
It's been my fear that Sweed is in that situation of you either have it or you don't. I would llve to see him earn some playing time and come around to being what Pittsburgh had plans for as an early-round pick. But I'm not holding my breath. The guy obviously knows how to catch a football, although you would be hard-pressed for anyone who has seen him play in the preseason to admit to it. Maybe the NFL is too quick for him.

09-20-2008, 12:27 PM
So, Limas dropped a couple of passes in the preseason. That's a given, but let me throw this thought out there. How many drops does Nate have this season already, or Hines for that matter? Now, don't get me wrong I'm trying to say Limas is better than Hines or anything that ubsurd, but I think he should get into the game and start getting better. The game's not too fast for him.

09-20-2008, 12:55 PM
Anyone who has seen this kid play has to know how much athletic talent he has. He does the things you want big WRs to do. He can catch a ball over defenders...can grab the tough balls, is fast for his size. But, like I said when we drafted him...we will have to be patient. First, he got limited PT in college due to some injury issues. Second, he is still very raw from a technical stand point. He isn't Holmes. Holmes was VERY polished coming out of college and still struggled a bit. Not to mention it takes bigger WRs longer to "get it". It will be 3 seasons before he is starter ready. By this time next season he will be our #3. Give the guy some time.