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costanza2k1
03-25-2009, 09:52 PM
http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-2 ... mself.html (http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-2-280/Sweed-ready-to-prove-himself.html)

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

The 2009 season will be unlike any other year for Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Limas Sweed.

Not only is he expected to produce, but he is coming off a season in which he struggled for playing time and catching the football for the first time in his football career. That's inspiring Sweed, a Steelers 2008 second-round draft pick, to improve in his second season.

The Steelers won their record sixth Super Bowl title with a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Feb. 1. About three weeks later, Sweed was independently training, running through routes and doing cone drills.

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2009/0325/nfl_g_sweed_ward1_480.jpg

After what the organization deems a "redshirt year" in 2008 when Sweed caught six passes for 64 yards, the former University of Texas star knows the training wheels are being removed. He will be under the spotlight of playing for the reigning Super Bowl champions.

"I don't look at it as pressure -- I love pressure and I believe the Steelers love pressure," Sweed said in a telephone interview with ESPN.com. "This team is so close that guys are like brothers, and you don't want to let your family members down.

"I think that's how guys take it when they're out there playing -- they're not only playing for themselves but they're playing for the man next to them. And I definitely, definitely don't want to let any of those guys down."

The opportunity comes after former teammate Nate Washington signed a six-year, $27 million contract with the rival Tennessee Titans, whom the Steelers will face in the season opener on Sept. 10.

In addition to starting cornerback Bryant McFadden, Washington was one of the few productive free agents Pittsburgh lost this offseason.

"I figured something might happen," Sweed said of the opportunity. "I may have been more shocked that [Washington] ended up in Tennessee. But I believe I can step in and do the job."

Pittsburgh believes both Sweed and a fellow 2008 draft pick, first-round tailback Rashard Mendenhall, are due for more productive sophomore campaigns. In many ways, the Steelers view the pair as extra draft picks or this year's free-agent acquisitions.

Starting receivers Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes also have been two of Sweed's biggest supporters, which Sweed says "is like an added bonus." From the first day he arrived, both starters worked with Sweed in an effort to bring him up to speed with the offense.

Looking beyond the surface, there are plenty of reasons to believe in Sweed's potential. He is big (6-foot-4, 220 pounds), fast and has shown the ability to get open. Sweed also didn't have problems with drops in college, which leads many to believe his issues last season were more mental (inexperience, nerves) than physical.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Sweed did not drop a pass during the regular season. But in the AFC Championship Game victory over the Baltimore Ravens, the streaking Sweed dropped a possible touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The rookie atoned for the miscue with two receptions for 20 yards and a crushing block on Ravens cornerback Corey Ivy.

"Being around guys like Ward, Holmes, [tight end] Heath Miller and Ben Roethlisberger should have a real positive effect on the kid,” Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. said. "He can certainly play at this level. I think he can be a real capable No. 2 receiver, maybe as soon as a year from now. He proved he was able to get separation and that's harder to do than anything.”

Sweed also is a winner. He is one of the few second-year players who sport both BCS Championship and Super Bowl rings. Sweed estimates that he has more than 100 career victories and just 20 losses on his résumé playing football since high school.

"I wouldn't call it spoiled; I would call it getting used to winning," Sweed said. "To win a national championship in college in Year 2 and then come in here with the Steelers and win a world championship in Year 1, it's been unreal."

The Steelers are counting on Sweed to be prepared for his next reality check.

Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Bruce Arians likes to run a lot of three-receiver sets at the expense of the fullback. The third receiver is almost considered a starter for the Steelers, as Washington caught 40 passes from that position last season and had plenty of opportunities to affect the game with big plays.

Sweed knows exactly what is expected of him from the beginning of camps this year. Instead of waiting his turn as a rookie, he will see significant playing from the beginning of the season.

That is why Sweed already is eager for September. All the work he is putting in now is focused toward the goals of fitting in with the defending champs and quickly erasing the memories of his rookie mistakes with his coaches and teammates.

"We're in the offseason program working out, and I'm seeing guys like NFL Defensive MVP James Harrison working out right next to me," Sweed said. "That's added motivation that if a guy can be Defensive MVP and come back early and workout, that tells me what this team is about.

"I'm glad I'm a part of that, and I don't want to let these guys down. I'm doing everything in my power every day to be prepared, so when the time comes I'll be ready to deliver."

Flasteel
03-25-2009, 10:28 PM
How could anyone not be excited about getting Sweed and Mendenhall back in the line-up? It's actually better than getting two extra draft picks or free agents. These guys are top talents who really didn't get to play or contribute but have a year in our system. If our line matures in pass protection and in opening some holes, these guys will be unleashed on our already out-matched competition...it's almost unfair. :tt2

Jooser
03-25-2009, 10:46 PM
I can't wait. I think both of these guys (Sweed & Mendy) are going to have very productive seasons.

http://i683.photobucket.com/albums/vv199/2tasti/SCAN0043-1.jpg

RuthlessBurgher
03-26-2009, 12:39 AM
I can't wait. I think both of these guys (Sweed & Mendy) are going to have very productive seasons.

http://i683.photobucket.com/albums/vv199/2tasti/SCAN0043-1.jpg

I DEMAND an Upper Deck Exquisite Dual Patch card for Sam Cassell.

http://slamonline.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2006/09/20060515t122137z_01_nootr_rtrjonp_2_chinat1877561p ic0.jpg

:lol: :lol:

Jooser
03-26-2009, 08:01 AM
I can't wait. I think both of these guys (Sweed & Mendy) are going to have very productive seasons.

http://i683.photobucket.com/albums/vv199/2tasti/SCAN0043-1.jpg

I DEMAND an Upper Deck Exquisite Dual Patch card for Sam Cassell.

http://slamonline.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2006/09/20060515t122137z_01_nootr_rtrjonp_2_chinat1877561p ic0.jpg

LMAO. Classic RB.
:lol: :lol:

Oviedo
03-26-2009, 09:11 AM
How could anyone not be excited about getting Sweed and Mendenhall back in the line-up? It's actually better than getting two extra draft picks or free agents. These guys are top talents who really didn't get to play or contribute but have a year in our system. If our line matures in pass protection and in opening some holes, these guys will be unleashed on our already out-matched competition...it's almost unfair. :tt2

Just look at these guys as this year's Compensatory Picks since Faneca got us nothing. I think both will have a very positive impact on the offense.

Mister Pittsburgh
03-26-2009, 09:27 AM
One drop Sweed had was an absolute bomb against San Diego that Leftwhich laid right over his shoulder and that was right in his hands. Nobody seems to mention that one. Seeing that, then the sure TD drop against the Ravens, and then his fake injury after that was irritating. Plus a lot of the local pittsburgh media said he was dropping a lot of passes in practice where there should not be any pressure. That was troubling to hear.

Hopefully that is all behind him.

papillon
03-26-2009, 12:34 PM
How could anyone not be excited about getting Sweed and Mendenhall back in the line-up? It's actually better than getting two extra draft picks or free agents. These guys are top talents who really didn't get to play or contribute but have a year in our system. If our line matures in pass protection and in opening some holes, these guys will be unleashed on our already out-matched competition...it's almost unfair. :tt2

Because, these players weren't the ones they wanted drafted, because one fumbles and one drops every pass :roll: , because some fans would rather have other team's castoffs, need I go on?

:tt2 :tt2

Mendenhall and Sweed rule this year, mark it down!

Pappy

feltdizz
03-26-2009, 01:49 PM
One drop Sweed had was an absolute bomb against San Diego that Leftwhich laid right over his shoulder and that was right in his hands. Nobody seems to mention that one. Seeing that, then the sure TD drop against the Ravens, and then his fake injury after that was irritating. Plus a lot of the local pittsburgh media said he was dropping a lot of passes in practice where there should not be any pressure. That was troubling to hear.

Hopefully that is all behind him.

the SD drop isn't mentioned because the game was already won...

until I see it I'm not sold on him... I won't keep mentioning the drops though like plenty of people did with Nate after the fact...

but right now all Sweed can do is talk until the season starts... gotta prove it.
I think he will but if he drops another wide open bomb in the preseason, oh boy...

Oviedo
03-26-2009, 02:11 PM
Nate who????

Herewegosteelers!
03-26-2009, 05:06 PM
Nate who????


I sure hope that Sweed can make us forget Nate. :tt1

It just might happen. :wink:

Oviedo
03-26-2009, 05:32 PM
Nate who????


I sure hope that Sweed can make us forget Nate. :tt1

It just might happen. :wink:

Nate who? I don't know of any Nate on the Steelers so therefore he must not exist.

RuthlessBurgher
03-26-2009, 06:04 PM
Nate who????

Nate Adibi.

Remember that guy? Boy, he didn't last long in the Burgh.

_SteeL_CurtaiN_
03-26-2009, 11:44 PM
How could anyone not be excited about getting Sweed and Mendenhall back in the line-up? It's actually better than getting two extra draft picks or free agents. These guys are top talents who really didn't get to play or contribute but have a year in our system. If our line matures in pass protection and in opening some holes, these guys will be unleashed on our already out-matched competition...it's almost unfair. :tt2

Because, these players weren't the ones they wanted drafted, because one fumbles and one drops every pass :roll: , because some fans would rather have other team's castoffs, need I go on?

:tt2 :tt2

Mendenhall and Sweed rule this year, mark it down!

Pappy

Just like Troy, Willie, Wood, Timmons etc etc etc :tt1

SteelHoss
03-26-2009, 11:59 PM
Am I the only one to remember all of the balls Nate dropped :?:

Iron Shiek
03-27-2009, 09:41 AM
Alot of what this article says coincides with an interview Sirius NFL radio did with Kevin Colbert earlier this week. He consistently talked about how Steelers rookies generally don't play alot their first year. That is how their system is set up. So anytime we have a rookie, just don't expect much out of them...even in the playing time category. Then if they do actually perform, its a bonus. But the mindset of the organization is to not overwhelm the rookie and let them learn the ropes the first year. That is a mindset I agree with.

And Sweed and Mendenhall will be stellar additions to the offense this year. Can't wait.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
03-27-2009, 11:03 AM
I think that Sweed will take a huge step forward this year. A big positive from him is that he showed the ability to get open. He also has no prior history of drops. That leads me to believe that most of the problem is rookie jitters.

Hopefully with a year under his belt those nerves begin to disappear. Then he is simply a big receiver who can get open. Here's hoping......

Oviedo
03-27-2009, 12:54 PM
Mark it down now!!! Sweed will have 30+ catches and 5 TDs.

ghettoscott
03-29-2009, 09:41 AM
And Sweed and Mendenhall will be stellar additions to the offense this year. Can't wait.


Anyone heard anything about Sepulveda? It will be nice to have him back as well...

buckeyehoppy
03-29-2009, 08:16 PM
Mark it down now!!! Sweed will have 30+ catches and 5 TDs.

Agreed! :tt1

I liked Sweed in last year's draft, but never as a 1st rounder. When he came up in the 2nd, I figured his value was just about there and was not at all surprised when the Steelers selected him.

He already has demonstrated that he can get open. Once he can improve his handle on catches we'll see those stats, OV. I have no doubts that it can be done next year. He should be slowly, but surely, assuming the Ward role in the next two or three years.

drprwnap
03-30-2009, 01:36 PM
One drop Sweed had was an absolute bomb against San Diego that Leftwhich laid right over his shoulder and that was right in his hands. Nobody seems to mention that one. Seeing that, then the sure TD drop against the Ravens, and then his fake injury after that was irritating. Plus a lot of the local pittsburgh media said he was dropping a lot of passes in practice where there should not be any pressure. That was troubling to hear.

Hopefully that is all behind him.
:Agree But.... it's going to take a long, long time (and quite a few big plays) for him to get out of MY doghouse! :Beer

True Fan
03-30-2009, 09:48 PM
Am I the only one to remember all of the balls Nate dropped :?:


i feel that sweed can step in and drop as many or more balls than nate did

NorthCoast
03-30-2009, 11:09 PM
Mark it down now!!! Sweed will have 30+ catches and 5 TDs.

I would hope so...he is replacing a guy that had 40 catches and 3 TDs.

Was Sweed the one with a wrist injury early last year?

RuthlessBurgher
03-31-2009, 10:11 AM
Mark it down now!!! Sweed will have 30+ catches and 5 TDs.

I would hope so...he is replacing a guy that had 40 catches and 3 TDs.

Was Sweed the one with a wrist injury early last year?

The wrist injury was the reason he fell to the mid-second round.