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costanza2k1
12-16-2008, 07:59 AM
Receiver's stock is on the rise
Buzz up!
By John Harris, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Home Delivery

Nate Washington was talking about the Steelers' offense righting itself while rallying to defeat the Baltimore Ravens -- courtesy of a hair-raising, close-out touchdown drive -- but he could have been discussing his NFL career.

"We never deliberately get in those type of situations," Washington said. "It's just that no matter what happens, no matter the situations that we're in, we do a great job of picking each other up and standing together as a family."

For every big catch that Washington has made during his four years with the Steelers, there always seems to be an equally big drop that prevented quarterback Ben Roethlisberger from consistently targeting him in crunch time.

But with defenses erecting a force field around Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes struggling with inconsistency, Roethlisberger badly needed another downfield receiver he could trust. For the past two games, Washington has been that receiver.

On the Steelers' final drive against Dallas that led to the game-tying touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Ward, Washington caught three passes for 51 yards, all resulting in first downs.

No longer an afterthought in the passing game, Roethlisberger went right back to Washington at key points during Sunday's 92-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown drive at Baltimore.

Again, Washington caught three passes down the stretch, this time for 49 yards and two first downs, including a 24-yarder to the Ravens' 14.

"I don't get down on myself anymore," said Washington, who was signed as an undrafted free agent from tiny Tiffin College in 2005. "I stay confident. I know there's a lot of opportunities out there to be made. Big opportunities. I just try to stay focused on the game itself instead of dwelling on anything that might have happened in the past."

Asked how much better of a receiver he is now, Washington said his improvement has been substantial.

"Ten times better," he said.

A member of the Steelers' Super Bowl XL championship team, Washington figures to sign a new contract for substantially more than his current $1.4 million salary as an unrestricted free agent after the season. His big-play potential makes him an attractive option for teams seeking a speedy No. 2 receiver who can beat single coverage.

"I still have a long way to go," Washington said. "I still have a lot of learning to do and a lot of focusing to maintain. I've just been trying to make the plays that I can make.

"It's not necessarily about free agency. It's not necessarily about the money. It's just about I look at everybody in this locker room, and I know the opportunity we have this year. We have a great opportunity to get another championship ring if we handle our business."

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
12-16-2008, 08:51 AM
If the Steelers could get Hines to re-structure next year...It would be a good idea to sign Washington for the future.

SidSmythe
12-16-2008, 09:42 AM
If the Steelers could get Hines to re-structure next year...It would be a good idea to sign Washington for the future.

are you kidding me???
the market will give this guy at least $3 million a year ... some shmoe might even give him a 4 yr. $15 million/yr contract just b/c they need a WR.

It's time for Sweed to develop cuz I can't take watching Nate's ups and downs. :Boobs

birtikidis
12-16-2008, 10:37 AM
i can handle these ups and downs :Boobs

mshifko
12-16-2008, 10:49 AM
nate is always open...he has great speed, great physical tools, he just sometimes lack the concentration to make big time catches, but thus far this season he's made big plays in key situations

Oviedo
12-16-2008, 11:00 AM
We should let Nate go. Hines has a couple years left and if someone really thinks that Nate is a legit #1 or #2 let them pay him. My mental health cannot take anymore years of his inconsistency.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
12-16-2008, 12:37 PM
If the Steelers could get Hines to re-structure next year...It would be a good idea to sign Washington for the future.

are you kidding me???
the market will give this guy at least $3 million a year ... some shmoe might even give him a 4 yr. $15 million/yr contract just b/c they need a WR.

It's time for Sweed to develop cuz I can't take watching Nate's ups and downs. :Boobs
$8.5 MIL
That's Ward's cap number next year. He is still playing at a high level but he won't be playing at that number next year. So...What will happen? Let's hope he restructures. He has another year or two left in him...But not at a $6 mil plus WR. Washington should be in the future plans of this organization because Ward is not in the long-term plan if he wants over $6 mil. Sweed is just another WR on the roster right now. Without having an answer on Sweed and Ward at the end of his career...Washington needs to be retained. If they could sign him for $3 mil a year...Bargain! You might not think it is now but you will when Ward is gone! This team paid Wilson that...Washington has proven more. Washington would equal Holmes #'s if he was a #2. I also think Washington wants to stay because he knows his time is near. I've seen many drops across the board including Holmes & Ward. Nate has made some plays...He should stay in my book! We are only 2 years away from seeing Holmes, Washington, & Sweed on top of the depth chart. It hurts not to see Wards name there but the Steelers always know when the time has come to move on. The ball is in Ward's court...I just don't know if his pride will get in the way of him retiring a Steeler. I hope he takes the "Bettis" discount!!!!

SteelerOfDeVille
12-16-2008, 12:46 PM
If the Steelers could get Hines to re-structure next year...It would be a good idea to sign Washington for the future.
they should have signed him ths past offseason. they blew it.

i think he's a UFA after this season.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
12-16-2008, 12:58 PM
If the Steelers could get Hines to re-structure next year...It would be a good idea to sign Washington for the future.
they should have signed him ths past offseason. they blew it.

i think he's a UFA after this season.
Agreed. That was their chance to get him long-term at a bargain. Let's hope winning is more important to him.

flippy
12-16-2008, 12:59 PM
nate's is becomming the best WR on the team.

teams have to account for him as a deep threat.

santonio does not command double coverage.

Jooser
12-16-2008, 01:08 PM
To sign him last year woulda been a bit foolish, because he was still too inconsistent to rely on. He has come into his own this year and has made himself a bit more desireable because of his deep threat capability. He's got to work on his concentration though before he can demand big money from anyone. Hopefully, we'll get him signed for at least a year or two more until Limas develops a little more.

Chadman
12-16-2008, 06:26 PM
nate's is becomming the best WR on the team.

teams have to account for him as a deep threat.

santonio does not command double coverage.

Agreed....which begs the question...

Is Washington a better #2 than Homes right now?

If the answer is yes, does Washington become the 'long term' WR & not Holmes?

Add to this- Washington has never been in trouble, Holmes...well....

SteelerOfDeVille
12-16-2008, 06:38 PM
To sign him last year woulda been a bit foolish, because he was still too inconsistent to rely on. He has come into his own this year and has made himself a bit more desireable because of his deep threat capability. He's got to work on his concentration though before he can demand big money from anyone. Hopefully, we'll get him signed for at least a year or two more until Limas develops a little more.
i disagree - he's exactly the same WR as the 2nd half of last year... still drops an occasional catchable pass, but, makes his share of plays.

last year, he had 5 TDs... all of which came in week 9 or later.

the FO blew it on this one.

Steeler Shades
12-16-2008, 07:05 PM
nate's is becomming the best WR on the team.

teams have to account for him as a deep threat.
Is Nate better than Hines?


santonio does not command double coverage.
What does it say about our #1 draft choice if Nate is better than him and opposing defenses don't feel the need to cover Holmes? 8)

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
12-17-2008, 09:49 AM
To sign him last year woulda been a bit foolish, because he was still too inconsistent to rely on. He has come into his own this year and has made himself a bit more desireable because of his deep threat capability. He's got to work on his concentration though before he can demand big money from anyone. Hopefully, we'll get him signed for at least a year or two more until Limas develops a little more.
i disagree - he's exactly the same WR as the 2nd half of last year... still drops an occasional catchable pass, but, makes his share of plays.

last year, he had 5 TDs... all of which came in week 9 or later.

the FO blew it on this one.

They could have got him signed last year longterm in the $1.5-$2.5 range easily. Maybe his high year $3 mil. That would have been a bargain because I think his value now is at $3 mil plus. Nate has developed and could be an 80 catch guy for many clubs. I hope he stays because Holmes, Washington, & Sweed would be a nice future.

Oviedo
12-17-2008, 09:56 AM
nate's is becomming the best WR on the team.

teams have to account for him as a deep threat.

santonio does not command double coverage.


santonio does not command double coverage

The reason Washington is getting open is because Holmes is commanding double teams. Teams single cover Washington because they know that there is a 50% chance he won't catch the ball. When have you ever seen Washington being covered by two defenders?

NorthCoast
12-17-2008, 10:31 PM
[quote="JUST-PLAIN-NASTY":3tl50hqe]If the Steelers could get Hines to re-structure next year...It would be a good idea to sign Washington for the future.

are you kidding me???
the market will give this guy at least $3 million a year ... some shmoe might even give him a 4 yr. $15 million/yr contract just b/c they need a WR.

It's time for Sweed to develop cuz I can't take watching Nate's ups and downs. :Boobs
$8.5 MIL
That's Ward's cap number next year. He is still playing at a high level but he won't be playing at that number next year. So...What will happen? Let's hope he restructures. He has another year or two left in him...But not at a $6 mil plus WR. Washington should be in the future plans of this organization because Ward is not in the long-term plan if he wants over $6 mil. Sweed is just another WR on the roster right now. Without having an answer on Sweed and Ward at the end of his career...Washington needs to be retained. If they could sign him for $3 mil a year...Bargain! You might not think it is now but you will when Ward is gone! This team paid Wilson that...Washington has proven more. Washington would equal Holmes #'s if he was a #2. I also think Washington wants to stay because he knows his time is near. I've seen many drops across the board including Holmes & Ward. Nate has made some plays...He should stay in my book! We are only 2 years away from seeing Holmes, Washington, & Sweed on top of the depth chart. It hurts not to see Wards name there but the Steelers always know when the time has come to move on. The ball is in Ward's court...I just don't know if his pride will get in the way of him retiring a Steeler. I hope he takes the "Bettis" discount!!!![/quote:3tl50hqe]

Someone who is thinking straight. As inconsistent as Nate has been, he has equally contributed to positive game time. As the years tick by injury to Ward due to his style of play looms large. Sweed is a complete unknown and may turn out as inconsistent as Washington (he has dropped a few this year). Washington will be a bargain at $3M....but would not go much higher.