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fordfixer
05-19-2009, 12:00 AM
Reports On Sweed Are Good

Posted May 18, 2009 9:56PM By JJ Cooper

http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2009/05/18/repo ... -are-good/ (http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2009/05/18/reports-on-sweed-are-good/)

If there's one 2008 Steeler draftee who is being counted on more than any other, it's Limas Sweed.

Even a year after he was drafted, first-round pick Rashard Mendenhall will be the No. 2 tailback, but even if he fails at the job, Mewelde Moore and Tank Summers are available to step in. Third-round pick Bruce Davis and fourth-round pick Tony Hills will need extremely impressive training camps just to make the gameday roster, fifth-round pick Dennis Dixon is likely the No. 3 quarterback while sixth-round pick Ryan Mundy is battling for a roster spot.

But Sweed is the No. 3 receiver heading into training camp and the Steelers need him to replace Nate Washington. We saw last year that he can get open. We saw that he can throw a block (when motivated), but we also saw that he sometimes has a problem with hanging on to the ball.

And according to ESPN's John Clayton, he's starting to catch the ball.

Reports from the minicamp are very encouraging about Sweed. It's still too early to determine if he's ready to make a big jump, but he will be closely monitored in training camp to see if he can be a real factor in Year 2. He's got a chance.

Any expectations for Sweed to step in and dominate as a rookie were unrealistic, something that was obvious before the 2008 season began. But it's not too much to ask a second-year receiver to be ready to contribute significantly. Shaun McDonald gives the Steelers someone who could fill in if Hines Ward goes down with an injury, and Mike Wallace could eventually prove to be a deep threat, but the Steelers passing game will need a lot of Sweed this year. Hopefully he's ready to step up.

Oviedo
05-19-2009, 07:49 AM
I see him getting 30+ receptions and 5 TDs in 2009. I think he will be a great complement to Santonio and Hines.

Don't forget though that Steelers fans having unrealistic expectations about rookies tends to be the norm. How anyone thinks someone can step into the highest level of competition in the world in a specific sport and contribute from Day 1 is laughable. Getting any contribution is icing on the cake particularly on a strong team with solid talent where you aren't going to get lots of repetitions needed to get better.

Discipline of Steel
05-19-2009, 08:34 AM
I think he will have a better than expected year (at least from the fans) but pull a few bonehead plays ala Plexiglass. The good thing is that this 'plain as a bowl of grits' guy will probably not get caught being stupid with firearms.

phillyesq
05-19-2009, 09:47 AM
As we saw with Burress, big receivers can take time to develop. I'd love to see Sweed step forward in a big way this year, and I'm optimistic that he can do so.

aggiebones
05-19-2009, 10:19 AM
I don't get the 'more' need thing from the article.
Is he more needed that Mendenhall? Yes, we have MMoore and a rookie Tank 'ready to take over if Mendi fails.
But don't we have SMcDonald and a rookie WR equally 'ready' if he fails?

Its the same show. Different position. Frankly, I'd prefer McDonald, who proved he could stand up and play on the worst team in history. Add him to a SB team and he could be a huge help.

Sweed has alot to prove and the Steelers are not 'counting' on him, I assure you. They would like him to step up and it would benefit us greatly to have a WR with size and speed that was also able to use his talents on a pro level. But at this point, noone is relying on him. We are going to rely on Ward, Holmes and McDonald to give what they have shown they could give. Any progression from Sweed or rookie WR (dang can't remember his name right now, ugh, late night watching Pens in delay), would be simply a bonus.
Hell, we won the SB with 1 able bodied WR and Nate running routes and Ward pretending he wasn't incapacitated.

Oviedo
05-19-2009, 10:36 AM
I don't get the 'more' need thing from the article.
Is he more needed that Mendenhall? Yes, we have MMoore and a rookie Tank 'ready to take over if Mendi fails.
But don't we have SMcDonald and a rookie WR equally 'ready' if he fails?

Its the same show. Different position. Frankly, I'd prefer McDonald, who proved he could stand up and play on the worst team in history. Add him to a SB team and he could be a huge help.

Sweed has alot to prove and the Steelers are not 'counting' on him, I assure you. They would like him to step up and it would benefit us greatly to have a WR with size and speed that was also able to use his talents on a pro level. But at this point, noone is relying on him. We are going to rely on Ward, Holmes and McDonald to give what they have shown they could give. Any progression from Sweed or rookie WR (dang can't remember his name right now, ugh, late night watching Pens in delay), would be simply a bonus.
Hell, we won the SB with 1 able bodied WR and Nate running routes and Ward pretending he wasn't incapacitated.


I understand what you are saying but if Sweed develops then McDonald will be an afterthought. IMO the team going in position is that Sweed is the #3 and McDonald is insurance against an injury to Hines or Holmes. It is unlikely that both Hines and Santonio make the whole season without getting dinged so having an experienced #3 or #4 just makes sense.

RuthlessBurgher
05-19-2009, 12:33 PM
I see him getting 30+ receptions and 5 TDs in 2009. I think he will be a great complement to Santonio and Hines.

Don't forget though that Steelers fans having unrealistic expectations about rookies tends to be the norm. How anyone thinks someone can step into the highest level of competition in the world in a specific sport and contribute from Day 1 is laughable. Getting any contribution is icing on the cake particularly on a strong team with solid talent where you aren't going to get lots of repetitions needed to get better.

Nate Washington's numbers as the #3 WR for the Steelers:

40 catches for 631 yards and 3 TD's
29 catches for 450 yards and 5 TD's
35 catches for 624 yards and 4 TD's

I think an average Nate-type season (say 35 catches for about 550 yards and 4 TD's) would not be asking too much from Sweed. I think he can pull that off in year two.

SteelCzar76
05-19-2009, 12:46 PM
I think an average Nate-type season (say 35 catches for about 550 yards and 4 TD's) would not be asking too much from Sweed. I think he can pull that off in year two.


I agree Ruthless. (concerning Sweed's ability to match Nate's productivity) But here's a thought though,...how about a player actually improving on Nate's previous production and thereby contributing to the team getting better as a whole as opposed to simply remaining "static"?

And how long do you believe that it will take before Sweed will be able to add that dimension to the position for the Steelers ? And what do you consider a reasonable "time span" so to speak for this to come to pass ?

Oviedo
05-19-2009, 12:53 PM
I think an average Nate-type season (say 35 catches for about 550 yards and 4 TD's) would not be asking too much from Sweed. I think he can pull that off in year two.


I agree Ruthless. (concerning Sweed's ability to match Nate's productivity) But here's a thought though,...how about a player actually improving on Nate's previous production and thereby contributing to the team getting better as a whole as opposed to simply remaining "static"?

And how long do you believe that it will take before Sweed will be able to add that dimension to the position for the Steelers ? And what do you consider a reasonable "time span" so to speak for this to come to pass ?

Conventional wisdom is it really takes a WR 3 years to go to the next level in NFL.

RuthlessBurgher
05-19-2009, 01:08 PM
I think an average Nate-type season (say 35 catches for about 550 yards and 4 TD's) would not be asking too much from Sweed. I think he can pull that off in year two.


I agree Ruthless. (concerning Sweed's ability to match Nate's productivity) But here's a thought though,...how about a player actually improving on Nate's previous production and thereby contributing to the team getting better as a whole as opposed to simply remaining "static"?

And how long do you believe that it will take before Sweed will be able to add that dimension to the position for the Steelers ? And what do you consider a reasonable "time span" so to speak for this to come to pass ?

Conventional wisdom is it really takes a WR 3 years to go to the next level in NFL.

I agree. Washington was a solid 3rd WR, but he never seemed to take that next step. I think Sweed can match Nate-level production in year two and surpass it in year three. As Hines' production inevitably declines with age, Sweed's production should increase with experience.

ramblinjim
05-19-2009, 01:20 PM
I think an average Nate-type season (say 35 catches for about 550 yards and 4 TD's) would not be asking too much from Sweed. I think he can pull that off in year two.


I agree Ruthless. (concerning Sweed's ability to match Nate's productivity) But here's a thought though,...how about a player actually improving on Nate's previous production and thereby contributing to the team getting better as a whole as opposed to simply remaining "static"?

And how long do you believe that it will take before Sweed will be able to add that dimension to the position for the Steelers ? And what do you consider a reasonable "time span" so to speak for this to come to pass ?

Conventional wisdom is it really takes a WR 3 years to go to the next level in NFL.

I agree. Washington was a solid 3rd WR, but he never seemed to take that next step. I think Sweed can match Nate-level production in year two and surpass it in year three. As Hines' production inevitably declines with age, Sweed's production should increase with experience.


I hope you are right on this, it'll be a shame to watch Hine's production decline..

RuthlessBurgher
05-19-2009, 01:34 PM
I think an average Nate-type season (say 35 catches for about 550 yards and 4 TD's) would not be asking too much from Sweed. I think he can pull that off in year two.


I agree Ruthless. (concerning Sweed's ability to match Nate's productivity) But here's a thought though,...how about a player actually improving on Nate's previous production and thereby contributing to the team getting better as a whole as opposed to simply remaining "static"?

And how long do you believe that it will take before Sweed will be able to add that dimension to the position for the Steelers ? And what do you consider a reasonable "time span" so to speak for this to come to pass ?

Conventional wisdom is it really takes a WR 3 years to go to the next level in NFL.

I agree. Washington was a solid 3rd WR, but he never seemed to take that next step. I think Sweed can match Nate-level production in year two and surpass it in year three. As Hines' production inevitably declines with age, Sweed's production should increase with experience.


I hope you are right on this, it'll be a shame to watch Hine's production decline..

We watched Bettis' game decline. He wasn't the same at the end, but he still held a valuable role on the team. I foresee something similar from Hines over the next few seasons (hopefully it is gradual). He may not catch as many balls as we are used to in the coming seasons as Sweed and Wallace progress, but he will still deliver a slobberknocker with the best of them and will be a tremendous leader for the young guys to look up to (making them blue collar WR's instead of prima donna WR's).

phillyesq
05-19-2009, 01:52 PM
I don't get the 'more' need thing from the article.
Is he more needed that Mendenhall? Yes, we have MMoore and a rookie Tank 'ready to take over if Mendi fails.
But don't we have SMcDonald and a rookie WR equally 'ready' if he fails?

Its the same show. Different position. Frankly, I'd prefer McDonald, who proved he could stand up and play on the worst team in history. Add him to a SB team and he could be a huge help.

Sweed has alot to prove and the Steelers are not 'counting' on him, I assure you. They would like him to step up and it would benefit us greatly to have a WR with size and speed that was also able to use his talents on a pro level. But at this point, noone is relying on him. We are going to rely on Ward, Holmes and McDonald to give what they have shown they could give. Any progression from Sweed or rookie WR (dang can't remember his name right now, ugh, late night watching Pens in delay), would be simply a bonus.
Hell, we won the SB with 1 able bodied WR and Nate running routes and Ward pretending he wasn't incapacitated.

I don't think that McDonald contributing and Sweed developing are mutually exclusive. McDonald seems like a classic possession, move the chains WR on third down, which is something this team needs. Sweed has a lot more big play, home run potential.

Oviedo
05-19-2009, 02:31 PM
I don't get the 'more' need thing from the article.
Is he more needed that Mendenhall? Yes, we have MMoore and a rookie Tank 'ready to take over if Mendi fails.
But don't we have SMcDonald and a rookie WR equally 'ready' if he fails?

Its the same show. Different position. Frankly, I'd prefer McDonald, who proved he could stand up and play on the worst team in history. Add him to a SB team and he could be a huge help.

Sweed has alot to prove and the Steelers are not 'counting' on him, I assure you. They would like him to step up and it would benefit us greatly to have a WR with size and speed that was also able to use his talents on a pro level. But at this point, noone is relying on him. We are going to rely on Ward, Holmes and McDonald to give what they have shown they could give. Any progression from Sweed or rookie WR (dang can't remember his name right now, ugh, late night watching Pens in delay), would be simply a bonus.
Hell, we won the SB with 1 able bodied WR and Nate running routes and Ward pretending he wasn't incapacitated.

I don't think that McDonald contributing and Sweed developing are mutually exclusive. McDonald seems like a classic possession, move the chains WR on third down, which is something this team needs. Sweed has a lot more big play, home run potential.

:Agree McDonald is more a complement to Hines. The game breakers need to be Santonio and Sweed (maybe Wallace). Like I said before I think McDonald is insurance if Hines goes down.

BURGH86STEEL
05-19-2009, 05:38 PM
It appears the Steelers have pretty good depth at the WR position heading into training camp. Not a bad problem to have.

NorthCoast
05-22-2009, 12:50 PM
We watched Bettis' game decline. He wasn't the same at the end, but he still held a valuable role on the team. I foresee something similar from Hines over the next few seasons (hopefully it is gradual). He may not catch as many balls as we are used to in the coming seasons as Sweed and Wallace progress, but he will still deliver a slobberknocker with the best of them and will be a tremendous leader for the young guys to look up to (making them blue collar WR's instead of prima donna WR's).[/quote][/quote][/quote]


I don't think we even go to the 'Bowl without Bettis in his last year. He was such a huge motivation factor for the team. This is the difference between a team like the Steelers and one like the Browns or Detroit. A balance of veteran leadership and youthful stud athletes. I am truly amazed at the FO's ability to maintain this balance throughout the onset of free agency.