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SteelCrazy
08-09-2011, 04:12 PM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11221/1166092-66.stm

Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery left the Steelers without a contract, leaving them right back to where they started at the position, having taken two swings and apparent misses to adding a veteran from outside to their group.

And that concerns some, including the only true veteran who practiced Monday for the first time since February.

"Looking at our wide receiving corps -- great talent, we have no experience," said Hines Ward, who officially joined his 14th training camp after coming off the physically-unable-to-perform list prompted by June thumb surgery.

It is, as Ward knows, a game of adjustments, so while the Steelers missed out on Plaxico Burress and, likely Cotchery, they have been preparing internally to solve their problems just in case. And those turn on two players: tight end Heath Miller and receiver Tyler Grisham.

Miller has set up in the backfield as a receiver more than ever, continuing an experiment that began last season. Grisham has been a favorite target of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in camp, continuing another trend from a year ago, and likely will take departed Antwaan Randle El's spot among the group of wide receivers.

Moving Miller to the backfield gives the offense more versatility and also creates more confusion for a defense.

"It's something new and exciting," said Miller, who enters his sixth season. "I'm always up for trying something different. I got exposed to it last year. I'm up for the challenge.

"It's probably more for passing situations than running situations. I think it helps with protections -- maybe when you get two backs in the backfield, it's harder for the defense to pick up on whether you're blocking [for the run], protecting [for the pass] or releasing."

Miller's teammates believe he is the most complete tight end in the league and, at 6 feet 5, can be more productive as a receiver if need be. He made the Pro Bowl after he had personal highs of 76 receptions and 789 yards in 2009. That fell off to 42 catches for 512 yards last season when the Steelers cut back on the passing game.

The new move is an indication they want to take more advantage of his catching ability.

"It's really just taking a halfback out and getting an extra receiver in," Roethlisberger said. "So I think we evolved a little bit. We did it a little bit of it last year but you're going to see a lot more of it. We have different packages. We have to get him in there, we have to use him.

"He's the best full tight end in the game. Nothing against Dallas Clark, Antonio Gates and those guys, but they're receivers playing tight end. Heath is the best because he can also block. He blocks defensive ends sometimes; we ask him to do that, and pick up blitzes. That's why he's so special, he can do whatever we want. He's an extra lineman and a receiver. I see a big year ahead for him."

Roethlisberger also loves Grisham, and that is apparent on the field. He stands just 5-11, weighs 180, has curly dirty blond hair and, while comparisons to Wes Welker are way premature, he's 2 inches taller than the Patriots receiver. Like Welker of Texas Tech, Grisham was undrafted when he finished at Clemson.

Grisham made the practice squad as a rookie in '09, then played in the final four games, catching one pass. He spent all last season on the practice squad after they signed Randle El. Randle El is gone and Grisham is ready to become more of a factor.

"Tyler Grisham [has] been around for a couple years, he's just waiting to take advantage of an opportunity," Miller said.

This is it.



Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11221/11 ... z1UZ3sWpu6 (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11221/1166092-66-2.stm#ixzz1UZ3sWpu6)

hawaiiansteel
08-09-2011, 05:15 PM
posted by Dale Lolley:

© Jerrico Cotchery came and left Saint Vincent College on Monday.

The Steelers seem insistent on finding a veteran wideout to add to their roster.

That tells me they don't think Arnaz Battle can help them in the passing game. Limas Sweed doesn't have any real experience, either, and is on the outside looking in.

Tyler Grisham? He's got less experience than Battle and Sweed.

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sidelines/

chiken
08-09-2011, 07:43 PM
was Grisham the kid last year, late in a game who dropped that wide open pass in the middle of the field? Cant remember the game but it was late in the year.

MaxAMillion
08-09-2011, 08:09 PM
The passing game will be worse if Sanders can't play. All this window dressing won't help.

grotonsteel
08-09-2011, 08:38 PM
Sanders is the key. Brown is looking good so far in the camp. Wallace/Hines/Sanders and Brown would be heck of a WR corp.

Preseason should be interesting. I think Tyler Grisham might make it as a 5th WR or is he next Zamir Cobb??

hawaiiansteel
08-09-2011, 08:50 PM
Depth at wide receiver a concern

TUESDAY, 09 AUGUST 2011 WRITTEN BY BOB SMIZIK

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1295326/37147963E.jpg

Almost inexplicable in the Steelers' success in recent seasons -- three Super Bowls, two Super Bowl championships in six years -- has been the perceived belief that the team regularly underperformed in what many consider the most important unit on the team -- the offensive line.

No matter how many titles, wins and yards the Steelers racked up, the offensive line, in the eyes of many, if not most, was never quite good enough. It is widely believed the Steelers win in spite of their offensive line.

To seemingly compound the situation this year is the fact the Steelers have released in this pre-season the two players who started at offensive tackle to open last season, one of whom started on their two most recent Super Bowl winners.

But as the 2012 season draws near, the line might not be the gravest concern of the Steelers offense. Wide receiver is right there, side by side with the line, as a worry.

The Steelers return their top three wide receivers, Hines Ward, Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders, who caught, respectively, 59, 60 and 28 passes. Additionally, Antonio Brown, who caught 16 passes, also returns.

But there are circumstances that cast some doubt on this group.

First and foremost is the age of Ward. He’s 35 and clearly on the downside of a great career. His 59 catches were his fewest since 2000. His 755 yards were his second lowest since 2002. His five touchdowns were his fewest since 2004.

Of more significance, Ward made a number of uncharacteristic drops last season.

He’s been a great clutch performer, a deserving Hall of Famer and, as he likes to say, ``the leader of the wideouts’’ for almost all of this century. But can he play up to the necessary standard in 2011?

Mike Wallace has an outstanding breakout season last year, his second in the NFL. His 60 catches produced 1,257 yards, fifth best in the NFL. His 21 yards a catch were second only to DeSean Jackson.

There’s nothing not to like about that. But can he do it again? Can he produce so spectacularly when every defense is geared to stop him from the start of the season? Can he do it again with Ward getting less respect on the other side of the field?

The answers to those questions are probably yes. But Wallace must prove that while playing in a spotlight he’s never seen before.

Sanders gave indications last season he’d some day be the player to replace Ward. But he’s out with foot injuries and will miss a significant portion of training camp. Combine that with the absence of organized off-season workouts, and Sanders development is considerably stalled.

Brown has a chance to step into Sanders’ role with a good camp. But although he showed much talent it’s way too early to determine if he can be a good No. 3 receiver.

This is not the same quality of receivers that won the Steelers last Super Bowl when Ward was more in his prime. 81 catches, 1,043 yards, and Santonio Holmes was one of the most respected deep threats in the NFL.

What this group has going for it is one of best quarterbacks in the NFL in Ben Roethlisberger. That and the presence of Wallace could be enough. But wide receiver still remains a primary concern.

http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazet ... -a-concern (http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports/bob-smiziks-blog/29723-depth-at-wide-receiver-a-concern)

flippy
08-09-2011, 10:31 PM
Grisham is the long shot I'm rooting for most. Interesting to hear he's one of Ben's favorite targets. Also interesting hearing he's being slotted to replace Randle El.

Steelers>NFL
08-10-2011, 08:06 AM
Throw more balls to Heath Miller. And it will open things up for the WRs.
It is not like we need to go out and get a 4th WR. We have him in Miller.
Wish we would use him more like Dallas Clark for the Colts...

feltdizz
08-10-2011, 08:21 AM
was Grisham the kid last year, late in a game who dropped that wide open pass in the middle of the field? Cant remember the game but it was late in the year.

2 years ago I believe... he had a key 3rd down grab and followed it up with the drop....

steelnavy
08-10-2011, 10:35 AM
was Grisham the kid last year, late in a game who dropped that wide open pass in the middle of the field? Cant remember the game but it was late in the year.

2 years ago I believe... he had a key 3rd down grab and followed it up with the drop....

I watched Tyler Grisham at training camp last year and came away with two things:

- He looks like a teenager among men on the field (size wise)
- He is an outstanding athlete

I was pulling for him to make the cut last year and am very happy to hear that he is doing well this year. The kid has heart.

feltdizz
08-10-2011, 10:55 AM
was Grisham the kid last year, late in a game who dropped that wide open pass in the middle of the field? Cant remember the game but it was late in the year.

2 years ago I believe... he had a key 3rd down grab and followed it up with the drop....

I watched Tyler Grisham at training camp last year and came away with two things:

- He looks like a teenager among men on the field (size wise)
- He is an outstanding athlete

I was pulling for him to make the cut last year and am very happy to hear that he is doing well this year. The kid has heart.

Didn't BA give a backhanded compliment last year? He said something like "Grisham is extraordinarily slow... :wink:

If Ben loves him it should go a long way....