View Full Version : Sweed hopes to finally live up to potential

05-02-2010, 10:26 AM
Sweed hopes to finally live up to potential

By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... ntial.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1501/2010/may/02/sweed-hopes-to-finally-live-up-to-potential.html)

Sunday May 2, 2010 06:04 AM

In year three of his pro career, Limas Sweed feels like he has a new lease on life.

The tall and lanky wide receiver has recovered from a mysterious, undisclosed non-football illness that forced him to miss the last two games of the 2009 season.

And no longer does he wear No. 14 on his jersey. He’s switched to 80.

“New number. New man. Can you dig it?” Sweed said.

Based on his meager performance since the Steelers picked him in the second round in 2008, this is a crucial year for Sweed. He’s definitely at the crossroads of his stay in Pittsburgh.

So far as a Steeler, Sweed has made headlines for the wrong reasons. As a rookie, he dropped what should have been a touchdown pass in the AFC Championship Game. Last year in an early season loss at Cincinnati, he dropped what should have been a TD pass that would have given the Steelers an insurmountable lead.

After catching only eight passes as a rookie including two in AFC championship, he caught only one last year.

This could be his last chance to prove he’s not a second-round bust like cornerback Ricardo Coclough from the draft class of 2004 and linebacker Alonzo Jackson from the ’03 draft class.

“It feels good,” Sweed said. “I feel like a kid again. I’ve been playing this game for a long time, so it’s good to be back. It’s good to be around the guys, and it’s good to be playing.”

As far as to why he was placed on the season-ending non-football injury/illness list last December, Sweed wouldn’t say.
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“Nothing happened,” Sweed said. “There were just some personal things that I went through in my life, but my family and the Steelers helped me get through it. So, it’s water under the bridge. I’ve been working my butt off, and now I’m glad to be back out there playing.

“There's no question there's a lot of competition, but this is the NFL. And you have to work hard to get someplace in this league.”

Even though the Steelers traded away Santonio Holmes last month, Sweed may find it hard to get more playing time this year.

Mike Wallace, a third-round pick and the team’s 2009 rookie of the year, will likely join Hines Ward in the starting lineup.

Antwaan Randle El, a starter on the Steelers’ Super Bowl XL team, was signed during the off-season and will likely be the No. 3 receiver. Arnaz Battle, who spent the past seven years with San Francisco, will also be competing for a roster spot.

And the Steelers did take Emmanuel Sanders, a wide receiver out of SMU, in the third round of this year’s draft.

“This is the same game we’ve been playing all of our lives, so whatever happens, happens,” Sweed said. “I always try to take advantage of every opportunity. With Santonio not out there, it definitely opens up a spot. So, I’m going to work hard to try to get into a spot.”