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fordfixer
09-30-2009, 01:32 AM
Tomlin threatens to bench struggling Sweed

By Scott Brown, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 45615.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_645615.html)



The competition for the No. 3 spot at wide receiver is over.

And the loser of the battle that had been waged since the start of training camp may not even be in the Steelers' immediate plans.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that Limas Sweed could be dropped from the rotation at wide receiver because of hands that can make concrete look soft by comparison.

Sweed couldn't hang onto what would have been a 34-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the third quarter of Sunday's 23-20 loss to the Bengals.

Drops have plagued the second-year wide receiver, and Tomlin is admittedly concerned about the miscues having a lingering effect on Sweed.

"He's quite frankly not catching the football when he's deep down the field, and he's got some tape that shows that," Tomlin said at his weekly news conference. "If and when he gets the next opportunity to make a similar play, he better make it."

Sweed, a second-round draft pick in 2008, may not get an opportunity to redeem himself Sunday against San Diego.

Tomlin said he will consider putting sure-handed veteran Shaun McDonald ahead of Sweed on the depth chart. Such a move would make Sweed the No. 5 wide receiver the Steelers have only been dressing four wideouts for games and it would mark a precipitous fall for the former University of Texas star.

Sweed had been splitting time with rookie Mike Wallace at No. 3 wide receiver, but Wallace is coming off his first 100-yard receiving game. Sweed, meanwhile, has just one catch for 5 yards in two games.

He is not the only member of his draft class that needs to show Tomlin something.

Running back Rashard Mendenhall made enough mistakes in practice last week that Tomlin didn't play the 2008 first-round pick on offense in Cincinnati.

"If Hines Ward misses an assignment on a Thursday, you kind of move on. Young guys have to earn that opportunity," Tomlin said. "They have to make coaches comfortable with their ability to execute details of their assignment. They need to make the other guys in the huddle very comfortable with their ability to execute details of the assignments. He didn't do that to my satisfaction last week."

Tomlin said Mendenhall is not in his doghouse. But he made it clear that he wants to see a more focused Mendenhall as the Steelers get ready for the Chargers.

"If he plays above the line in preparation for the game," Tomlin said, "he'll be given an opportunity to play for us."

It is not quite as clear with Sweed, who had just six catches for 64 yards as a rookie but appeared to make significant progress during training camp and preseason practice.

There is no questioning his talent, and the fact that at 6-foot-4 Sweed provides a nice target for Roethlisberger. He has shown an ability to get open, but the problems have occurred when Sweed has had to finish plays.

He dropped a deep ball that would have gone for a touchdown against the Ravens in last season's AFC title game. Against the Bengals, Sweed broke free in the middle of the end zone and appeared to catch Roethlisberger's pass.

The ball, however, squirted out his grasp as Sweed fell to the turf.

"At the end of the day, I can't go out there and make plays for him," Ward said when asked what he can do to help Sweed. "His playmaking ability has got to turn on. We've got to keep working and tell Limas he's got to take advantage of the opportunities you get and keep it moving."

SanAntonioSteelerFan
09-30-2009, 07:51 AM
Dang, this has GOT to work out. Don't they have sports psychologists or something? It seems like it's obviously a pure mental thing.

"Be the Bowl".

Jooser
09-30-2009, 08:18 AM
Maybe he needs glasses. http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p262/jooser73/nerdtype.gif

Steeler Mafia
09-30-2009, 10:42 AM
Dang, this has GOT to work out. Don't they have sports psychologists or something? It seems like it's obviously a pure mental thing.

"Be the Bowl".


"There is no spoon!"

RussBII
09-30-2009, 10:46 AM
Maybe he needs glasses. http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p262/jooser73/nerdtype.gif

Didn't he already get contacts?

It's gotta be in his head, although, my UT friends say he has a history of the dropsies.

Steeler Mafia
09-30-2009, 10:52 AM
Maybe he needs glasses. http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p262/jooser73/nerdtype.gif

A set of hands would be better.

drprwnap
09-30-2009, 12:57 PM
Maybe he needs glasses. http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p262/jooser73/nerdtype.gif

Didn't he already get contacts?

It's gotta be in his head, although, my UT friends say he has a history of the dropsies.

There you have it. The guy CAN"T CATCH. I know many in here say give him time, he needs to learn the pro game, blah, blah, blah. I would agree with that if he wasn't getting open because he didn't know the defense, ran bad routes, ect. All that can be corrected with coaching. YOU CAN'T COACH GOOD HANDS. Either you have them, or you don't. He doesn't.

Slapstick
09-30-2009, 03:21 PM
There you have it. The guy CAN"T CATCH. I know many in here say give him time, he needs to learn the pro game, blah, blah, blah. I would agree with that if he wasn't getting open because he didn't know the defense, ran bad routes, ect. All that can be corrected with coaching. YOU CAN'T COACH GOOD HANDS. Either you have them, or you don't. He doesn't.

Except it isn't true...

In 2005 Limas was second on the Longhorns in receptions...

In 2006 Limas led the Longhorns in receptions and had 12 TDs...

In 2007 he was injured and only played in 6 games...

You can correct catching the ball...you can't correct the inability to get open...

ikestops85
09-30-2009, 03:29 PM
There you have it. The guy CAN"T CATCH. I know many in here say give him time, he needs to learn the pro game, blah, blah, blah. I would agree with that if he wasn't getting open because he didn't know the defense, ran bad routes, ect. All that can be corrected with coaching. YOU CAN'T COACH GOOD HANDS. Either you have them, or you don't. He doesn't.

Except it isn't true...

In 2005 Limas was second on the Longhorns in receptions...

In 2006 Limas led the Longhorns in receptions and had 12 TDs...

In 2007 he was injured and only played in 6 games...

You can correct catching the ball...you can't correct the inability to get open...

I completely disagree with the highlighted statement. You can do all the catching drills you want and a receiver might nominally improve but ask any receiver and I can almost guarantee they will say their route running has improved with experience. That's what Hines works with the younger receivers on -- running routes better to get open. Why would he waste his time if it doesn't help? Of course if you ask Hines ... and someone did ... and he'll tell you he can't catch the ball for them.

Starlifter
09-30-2009, 03:30 PM
You can correct catching the ball...you can't correct the inability to get open...

respectfully, i think that's completely backwards. you can fine-tune ball catching ability but the skill needs to be there from the start. as for getting open in the pros, i think it's something that truly must be learned with regards to running routes, timing etc. this isn't streetball where you just find a spot. it's about precision and execution. that needs to be learned. if you have to learn all that and then worry about the ball not being dropped, it's a lot to overcome.

frankthetank1
09-30-2009, 03:49 PM
does anyone know how many drops sweed had in college? getting open and running routes are coachable and correctable errors. having bad hands i dont think is correctable. just ask ike

Slapstick
09-30-2009, 04:48 PM
Well, when you consider that Limas either led the Longhorns in receptions or was second when he played a full season, I don't imagine catching the ball was a problem for him in college...at least it wasn't at the Horseshoe during the Horns' national championship season when Limas caught the go ahead TD in the 4th quarter to give Texas the victory...

Also, the idea that he has bad hands is patently ridiculous...if you watched the rest of the game, you would have seen Sweed make a much tougher catch than the one he dropped where he held onto the ball after being popped hard by a Bengals' defender...

He doesn't have bad hands...he does seem to have a concentration problem hauling in the wide open passes...I say "seems" because he has dropped a total of two or three balls, so his body of work isn't quite big enough to judge accurately...

Personally, I think people tremendously overreact just like they did with Nate Washington...the dude has a drop or two early in his career and that's all people remember...

LordVile
09-30-2009, 05:04 PM
glad they are benching this turkey. the show must go on and we got other talent to get us there. maybe later in the season he'll be given another chance, but as Tomlin said. next time "HE BETTER CATCH THAT BALL!"

They don't pay u the big bucks to F up. Maybe they should put some TREE SAP on those hands of his...

proudpittsburgher
09-30-2009, 06:00 PM
Personally, I think people tremendously overreact just like they did with Nate Washington...the dude has a drop or two early in his career and that's all people remember...

Respectfully . . . do you honestly think it has "only been a drop or two?" The only true part of that statement is that one or two of his drops have been huge for this team, one which would likely have won the game for us last week, and the other which would have closed out the Ravens game in the AFCC game.

He has been dropping very catchable balls since last seasons trainign camp, and things haven't improved. I am as patient a fan as they come, but I have lost patience with him.

steelfanforlife
09-30-2009, 07:48 PM
ok - lets all agree on being reasonable here - first off - Sweed DID NOT cost us this game. After his drop we missed a field goal - that also didn't cost us the game - and the next drive we scored a td.

Had Sweed caught this pass we would all be on his jock with two young guys playing great in the game - but also had he caught this pass our play calling on the next drive would have changed and we may not have scored on it.

The fact of the matter is we had a 20 - 9 lead with around 10 minutes left and our D let them drive and score 2 tds - we got the ball one more time in between and our coaches called run run pass punt - so quit beating on a dead horse - he was the 4th receiver in the game he dropped a catchable ball that will affect what future opportunities he gets but its WAY freakin too early to be giving up on this kid.

If you ask me - its maturity - he's a kid - he super athletic - and most like on the easy catches he is dropping his guard and subsequently the ball - give him time - he didn't start college until he was 20 - 4 years later he was drafted and in year 2 of his pro career you want to give up on the kid.

Maturity - some like Ben mature early others like Sweed and most of us take a little longer.

NorthCoast
09-30-2009, 08:27 PM
I have watched a lot of Steeler games over the last 30 yrs and I have to say that the good WRs almost always stand out immediately in terms of catching the ball. Route running might be another story. Even if it is only mental, we cannot afford in-game therapy for Sweed while he works it out. Games are just too close anymore.

Can anyone really argue against the evidence we have right now that Sweed really is only No. 5 on this team? Again, I agree with Tomlin on this move.

RuthlessBurgher
09-30-2009, 08:59 PM
ok - lets all agree on being reasonable here - first off - Sweed DID NOT cost us this game. After his drop we missed a field goal - that also didn't cost us the game - and the next drive we scored a td.

Had Sweed caught this pass we would all be on his jock with two young guys playing great in the game - but also had he caught this pass our play calling on the next drive would have changed and we may not have scored on it.

The fact of the matter is we had a 20 - 9 lead with around 10 minutes left and our D let them drive and score 2 tds - we got the ball one more time in between and our coaches called run run pass punt - so quit beating on a dead horse - he was the 4th receiver in the game he dropped a catchable ball that will affect what future opportunities he gets but its WAY freakin too early to be giving up on this kid.

If you ask me - its maturity - he's a kid - he super athletic - and most like on the easy catches he is dropping his guard and subsequently the ball - give him time - he didn't start college until he was 20 - 4 years later he was drafted and in year 2 of his pro career you want to give up on the kid.

Maturity - some like Ben mature early others like Sweed and most of us take a little longer.

You make a very reasonable, rational point. Which is surprising, since your username starts with "steel" and ends with "forlife" :wink:

steelfanforlife
09-30-2009, 09:12 PM
is there something i am missing about my user name ??

ANPSTEEL
09-30-2009, 09:24 PM
You make a very reasonable, rational point. Which is surprising, since your username starts with "steel" and ends with "forlife" :wink:

that is funny. speaking of said poster-

i thought WoodleyofTroy was his latest incarnation- but he seems to have disappeared as well.

RuthlessBurgher
09-30-2009, 10:01 PM
is there something i am missing about my user name ??

There was a guy on the old Trib site whose name was SteelerFoLife (everyone just called him SFL) who claimed to be a CB from Arizona State (I believe), who was very opinionated and self-important. He tried coming back under a different name for a while, but he wasn't able to fool people for long.

steelfanforlife
09-30-2009, 11:59 PM
Well thats not me - if you can see my ip you'll see i am just an old expat living in Costa Rica staying loyal to my boys.

i decided monday to sign up after reading the board for a long time - what go made me decide to contribute was two things - The mis belief that an early missed play determines the outcome of the game - ie one idiot hawk fan talking smack said we only be the titans because bironas missed the two early field goals - i argued that bs because had he made those field goals and we were down it would have changed our approach to the game and thus we have no idea what the outcome would have been had he made them - it wouldn't be a given that had he made them the titans would have won.

same thing against the bengals as i posted earlier we have no idea what would have transpired had sweed caught the pass - i believe we still would have been sitting on 20 points because our O would have gotten to conservative even earlier and our D would still have had to defend the lead - with likely the same outcome.

RuthlessBurgher
10-01-2009, 09:39 AM
Well thats not me - if you can see my ip you'll see i am just an old expat living in Costa Rica staying loyal to my boys.

i decided monday to sign up after reading the board for a long time - what go made me decide to contribute was two things - The mis belief that an early missed play determines the outcome of the game - ie one idiot hawk fan talking smack said we only be the titans because bironas missed the two early field goals - i argued that bs because had he made those field goals and we were down it would have changed our approach to the game and thus we have no idea what the outcome would have been had he made them - it wouldn't be a given that had he made them the titans would have won.

same thing against the bengals as i posted earlier we have no idea what would have transpired had sweed caught the pass - i believe we still would have been sitting on 20 points because our O would have gotten to conservative even earlier and our D would still have had to defend the lead - with likely the same outcome.

Well, welcome. It is truly a PlanetSteelers and not just SteelersNation. We now have posters from Costa Rica (the new and improved SFL), Mexico (Acero), Peru (Expat), Canada (T.O.), Australia (Chadman), and I'm sure a few more that I am forgetting off the top of my head right now.

I imagine it will be much warmer in Costa Rica for the game this weekend than in Pittsburgh. The Floridians coming up for the tailgate will likely be praying for Costa Rican weather in the Burgh that night.

JTP53609
10-01-2009, 11:28 AM
i will defend tomlin on this, even though he has been getting on my nerves
we say as fans that he does not go for the kill when he has a chance to do it, well...
---4th and 3 we are up by 13 with 1 minute left in the first half, he goes for it hoping we can cash in on 7 more points before halftime....., dumb call since it did not work, brilliant if it does
---we are up 10 and we throw the deep ball to wallace, had he scored we are 17-0 instead he steps out and we go up 13-0
---limas sweed deep ball,
--- really it is the fourth qtr that he and the coaching staff go vanilla on us, the first three qtrs you could say what you want, but i do think he was going for the kill..

steelfanforlife
10-01-2009, 12:29 PM
It will be a lot warmer in Costa Rica for this game but I will be going to the game so cold like the rest. Every time the steelers and chargers play a child hood friend of mine who is a devoted charger fan go to the game where ever it is. this year we have a group of 8 of us going 6 steelers fans and 2 chargers.

Steelers 31 - chargers 17

RuthlessBurgher
10-01-2009, 12:32 PM
It will be a lot warmer in Costa Rica for this game but I will be going to the game so cold like the rest. Every time the steelers and chargers play a child hood friend of mine who is a devoted charger fan go to the game where ever it is. this year we have a group of 8 of us going 6 steelers fans and 2 chargers.

Steelers 31 - chargers 17

Stop by the Tailgate then, brother!

stlrz d
10-01-2009, 12:37 PM
It will be a lot warmer in Costa Rica for this game but I will be going to the game so cold like the rest. Every time the steelers and chargers play a child hood friend of mine who is a devoted charger fan go to the game where ever it is. this year we have a group of 8 of us going 6 steelers fans and 2 chargers.

Steelers 31 - chargers 17

Stop by the Tailgate then, brother!

Yes, please do!

steelfanforlife
10-01-2009, 01:57 PM
give me some directions and we'll swing by - what time does the tailgating start?

RuthlessBurgher
10-01-2009, 02:46 PM
give me some directions and we'll swing by - what time does the tailgating start?


Ok Planet Pack...Here are the details to the 2009 Planet Steelers Tailgate. The tailgate will begin about 6 hours before gametime, so 2 pm. I'll actually be there a bit earlier than that I'm hoping. The Reedsdale parking lot opens as early as 6 am, if interested. :tt2 Seriously though, my crew and I will be there by 1. Maybe earlier, if I can talk the Mrs. into it. :HeadBanger

ANyway, below is a satellite view of where the lot is. It is where Reedsdale street turns into Fontella Ave. Right on the bend. The building is called Mercy Behavioral Health. There is an overpass in the lower lot in case it rains. If the weather is ok we'll be parked in the outer lot right next to Reedsdale/Fontella.

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=heinz%20field&sa=N&tab=wl&um=1