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hawaiiansteel
01-11-2012, 02:55 AM
Steelers WRs Sanders, Brown are already plotting encore

By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2012-01-10/0111SteelSandersInsidCAP-a.jpg

The influence that veteran Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward has had on second-year men Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown apparently extends beyond football.

Sanders and Brown plan to incorporate dancing yes, dancing into their offseason training regimen.

"Me and Antonio are talking about getting together in Miami," Sanders said Tuesday, prior to his exit interview with coach Mike Tomlin. "I don't know what type (of dancing), but we'll be doing it."

If the dancing helps Sanders put his foot problems in the past, it could turn into a question of whether he or Brown leads in the passing game.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder showed what he can do when close to full strength Sunday.

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2012-01-10/0111SteelSandFirstPGP-g.jpg

Sanders led the Steelers in catches (six) and receptions (81) in a 29-23 overtime loss to Denver. Sanders was also the primary receiver on the play near the end of regulation that the Steelers hoped would put them into field goal range, but Roethlisberger was sacked for an 11-yard loss.

Sanders, Brown and Mike Wallace could form one of the top receiving trios in the NFL next season. The caveat there is that Sanders has to stay healthy.

Sanders had fractures repaired in both feet in the past year. A knee problem related to the foot injuries also contributed to Sanders missing six games in 2011.

Sanders, who caught 22 passes for 288 yards during the regular season, said he will take a month off before he starts training for 2012. One key difference this offseason, he said, is that he will be able to practice and work out at Steelers' headquarters.

"There's no lockout," Sanders said, "so I'll be training here in Pittsburgh and getting the best treatment possible."

Sanders said rest is the best treatment for the foot problems that plagued him since he broke his right foot in Super Bowl XLV.

"I'm looking forward to taking a month off and then getting bigger, stronger and faster," Sanders said, "and trying to come back in 2012 to get (Super Bowl) No. 7. It's all about championship around here."

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2012-01-10/0111ABrownCAH-a.jpg

That sensibility is what will also drive Brown following a breakout season in which he set a Steelers single-season record for all-purpose yards (2,211) and was voted MVP by his teammates.

"Even with all the records, that wasn't enough," said Brown, who opened the season as the Steelers' No. 4 receiver but finished with 1,108 receiving yards. "It's all about continuing to play and getting to that highest level. I definitely can get better. I can get stronger and catch more balls."

The biggest question surrounding the wide receiving corps is whether Hines Ward will be catching passes for the Steelers next season.

Ward, who just completed his 14th season, refuted a report Monday that he is likely to retire.

"I talked to him about two weeks ago, and he told me that he still doesn't know 100 percent (what he's going to do)," Sanders said. "But if he comes back, we'll welcome him with open arms. Hines has helped the receiving corps a lot, and he definitely taught me, Antonio and Mike what it takes to be a pro in this league."

SOUNDING OFF

Here are sound bites from assorted Steelers players who met with reporters Tuesday at team headquarters:

"We felt like we had a great shot. We pretty much handled New England in the regular season, and we felt like we could make a good run to the Super Bowl. It's unfortunate. We got Tebowed." Running back Isaac Redman, on how he rated the Steelers' chances of making it back to the Super Bowl

"That'll be tough, but all the older guys, they installed the mindset of how to play Steeler football. So, new captains are going to have to step up, guys who have been around, but it's just the same old thing, playing Steelers football. So, that's what we're going to do." Cornerback William Gay, on the potential for significant roster turnover before next season

"I want to be a starter, and I'd love to start for the Steelers. But we'll see what happens in the offseason, but I feel like I helped myself out here, showing my versatility by playing multiple positions. And I think playing center helped me out a lot, so we'll see what happens." Guard Trai Essex, who becomes an unrestricted free agent in March

"I think I made good progress. First two seasons I really didn't showcase anything, but came back stronger this year as a more mature player and just listened to guys like Troy (Polamalu), Ryan (Clark), Ike (Taylor) and Gay and B Mac (Bryant McFadden). I'll come in ready to compete for a starting spot next year." Cornerback Keenan Lewis, on his 2011 season

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1j7tRmwp7 (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_776007.html#ixzz1j7tRmwp7)

Steelers>NFL
01-11-2012, 09:18 AM
They can only be as good as the OC is. If BA is STILL here, he will hold them and Big Ben back from progressing even more. Get rid of BA, and the sky is the limit...

phillyesq
01-11-2012, 09:20 AM
For this trio to be the best in the NFL, a lot of things need to happen. Wallace needs to work on his hands and on catching the ball with his hands. Sanders needs to stay healthy. And they will need an OC that puts them in a position to succeed.

BradshawsHairdresser
01-11-2012, 09:32 AM
For this trio to be the best in the NFL, a lot of things need to happen. Wallace needs to work on his hands and on catching the ball with his hands. Sanders needs to stay healthy. And they will need an OC that puts them in a position to succeed.

:Clap :Clap :Clap :Clap :Clap :Clap

Slapstick
01-11-2012, 09:37 AM
They were in position to succeed on Sunday. Sanders succeeded, Wallace did not.

Chadman
01-11-2012, 10:14 AM
If the Steelers can get at the least- servicable blocking- how much different would the Offense be?

You could rely on the running game. Ben might have time to go through progressions..less negative plays...


Could Arians succeed if the OL just played 'good', not even so far as 'great'?

Shoe
01-11-2012, 01:42 PM
You said it chadman.

If the O-line could block more consistently, it affects everything. We have the run option available more often, setting up more 3 & shorts... opening up passing opportunities, etc. Shoring up the o-line affects all areas of the offense... and defense for that matter!

flippy
01-11-2012, 01:48 PM
I think Sanders can be the best of the 3. He just needs to get over his injury hump.

feltdizz
01-11-2012, 04:23 PM
They were in position to succeed on Sunday. Sanders succeeded, Wallace did not.

:Agree

pittpete
01-11-2012, 04:38 PM
Id give my left thumb for half the amount of time Brees gets in the pocket
BA's problem is he knows his O-line cant protect Ben but he continues to have receivers run 30 yard routes and calls 5 wr sets
I mean he knows we cant run a screen because of the O-line, cant he apply that knowledge towards the length of the routes.

papillon
01-11-2012, 04:56 PM
Id give my left thumb for half the amount of time Brees gets in the pocket
BA's problem is he knows his O-line cant protect Ben but he continues to have receivers run 30 yard routes and calls 5 wr sets
I mean he knows we cant run a screen because of the O-line, cant he apply that knowledge towards the length of the routes.

I'm willing to bet that each and every pass play has an underneath route of some type designed into the play. Ben chooses to try and hit the 30 yard route and that's why he's consistently under pressure. Against Denver there were at least 2 or 3 replays from behind Ben after an incompletion or INT and you can clearly see underneath receivers open for 4, 5, or 6 yards plus whatever they can make after the catch; this isn't Ben, never will be, it's a last resort to him.

Five receiver sets require a quick decision and throw, you can't expect to drop back survey the field for a 30 yard play, find the open receiver, get him the ball and let him make a play, otherwise, a sack or worse will be the result. I love Ben and the way he plays, but he is the biggest reason for Arians getting a lot of heat, IMHO.

The Steeler screen package is pathetic I will give you that and that's on Arians to fix.

Pappy

SteelCrazy
01-11-2012, 05:13 PM
The OL blocked good enough and more times than not the WR's were not open in the Denver game.

Wallace is starting to regress or at best not improve. Sanders didnt get open a lot and was hurt most of the time. Brown was the only true bright spot all year consistently. Wallace was looking like a pro bowl player then the 2nd half came and boom, out go the lights. He doesnt fight for position and doesnt catch with his hands. Its like he stopped trying.

BA doesnt help with his 5-7 second plays. How in the hell Tomlin cant see whats going on is beyond me. Can not believe we have to endure another season with him.

steelblood
01-11-2012, 05:35 PM
I disagree STeelcrazy. After the first quarter or so, whenever they showed downfield views on replays, there were receivers open. A few views showed wide receivers wide open and Ben was not seeing them or able to find them because he was under duress. This group of receivers gets open. That is not the issue.

pittpete
01-11-2012, 05:44 PM
Wow, I must have watched a different game
The O-line blocked good enough, good enough for what?
For a pee-wee game?
Yes, there were a couple plays where Ben didnt take the short pass(Heath to the left and D.Johnson to the right side wide open, come to mind)
Didnt Denver play man up almost every time we went 5 wide?
Didnt teams all year play man up on us almost every time we went 5?
Brady or Brees will take that short dink consistently,and I would have to agree that Ben is constantly looking for the deep ball but isnt that up to UncleBA to try and fix that
UncleBA is an enabler, a big risk,big reward type guy to make up for his innaccuracies in his gameplanning.
Oh, just Ben being Ben :oops:

skyhawk
01-11-2012, 06:08 PM
This trio is not big or physical enough to make them the best.

hawaiiansteel
01-12-2012, 04:15 PM
On the Steelers: Wallace could leave in offseason, but, for now, that seems unlikely

Thursday, January 12, 2012
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/images/201112/wallace0101_160.jpg

Mike Wallace becomes a restricted free agent in March, and, while the Steelers partially can protect their rights to him by offering him a one-year tender, there is no guarantee another team might see more value in him and try to sign him.

Hines Ward will not be the only receiver in danger of leaving the Steelers before the 2012 season begins.

One of the Young Money trio's contract expires, and, whether Mike Wallace returns, could depend on several factors inside and outside the organization.

Wallace becomes a restricted free agent in March, and, while the Steelers partially can protect their rights to him by offering him a one-year tender, there is no guarantee another team might see more value in him and try to sign him.

The Steelers likely will tender him a contract high enough -- those numbers have yet to be determined by the league -- to guarantee that, if someone else signs him, the Steelers would receive a first-round draft choice in return or be able to match the contract and keep him. They also could negotiate a long-term deal with Wallace before he becomes a restricted free agent.

Veteran Jerricho Cotchery, who signed a one-year contract with the Steelers in August after asking for and receiving his release from the New York Jets, is a different case. Cotchery will be an unrestricted free agent and, while the Steelers would like him back, they will not offer him big money, and he could look for a team on which he could start.

Losing Ward, Wallace and Cotchery would be a blow to a receiving corps that blossomed in its transition over the past two seasons. Chances are good, however, that they will be able to keep Wallace. Antonio Brown, whose unexpected and phenomenal season earned him the MVP vote from his teammates, will return along with Emmanuel Sanders for their third seasons.

"We know the direction in which we are going with the receiving corps," Sanders said.

Sanders, who began the season as the No. 3 receiver, had a tough year with foot and knee injuries, but he finished strong and led them in receiving Sunday in Denver with six receptions for 81 yards.

Wallace and Brown each produced 1,000-yard seasons, both made the Pro Bowl, but they did it in very different ways.

Wallace had 377 receiving yards in his first three games, but slumped badly in the second half of the season with only 395 yards in the final eight. Brown began no better than No. 4 to start the season, but came on in a big way in the second half and was promoted to starter.

He was asked the other day if he reached his expectations in 2011.

"I think I surpassed them," Brown said. "I came into training camp as the No. 4 receiver. I was prepared to get extra opportunities. I got a lot of opportunities and I took advantage of them. I continued to get better as the season progressed."

Brown made the Pro Bowl as a return man after becoming the first player in NFL history to have a 1,000-yard season in both receiving and returns. He also received the fifth-most votes among receivers for the Pro Bowl.

If the Steelers keep Wallace and Sanders can shake the injuries that dogged him this season, they will have one of the best young receiving corps in the league. Counting veteran tight end Heath Miller, third on the team with 51 receptions, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger again will have targets both big, fast and quick.

"We could be a lot better," Brown proclaimed. "One aspect of our game is to get better in the red zone. We have to take that approach and mentality of wanting to be better into the offseason."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12012/12 ... z1jH07PSbB (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12012/1202980-66-0.stm#ixzz1jH07PSbB)

NJ-STEELER
01-12-2012, 10:07 PM
This trio is not big or physical enough to make them the best.

$$

jennings, jordy, driver (or who ever is there next year)

hikcs, cruz, manningham...

austin, bryant, robinson

colston , graham (more a receiver then TE) and who ever

megatron, burleson and that titus

roddy, julio, douglas

houston's top 3 with AJ

AZ top 3 with fitz


lots of teams are loaded with their top 3 receivers

skyhawk
01-12-2012, 10:13 PM
This trio is not big or physical enough to make them the best.

$$

jennings, jordy, driver (or who ever is there next year)

hikcs, cruz, manningham...

austin, bryant, robinson

colston , graham (more a receiver then TE) and who ever

megatron, burleson and that titus

roddy, julio, douglas

houston's top 3 with AJ

AZ top 3 with fitz


lots of teams are loaded with their top 3 receivers

Yep. I think alot of people aren't taking the steeler blinders/rose colored glasses off.

Chadman
01-12-2012, 10:17 PM
You can't compare WR groups without including the QB, in Chadman's opinion...

skyhawk
01-12-2012, 10:21 PM
You can't compare WR groups without including the QB, in Chadman's opinion...

Ben is not a top 10 QB :stirpot

Chadman
01-12-2012, 10:27 PM
When you include the QB's in the equation, Pittsburgh's passing offensive unit is only behind the Packers & Saints you'd think.

They are superior to the others.

And to be honest, with decent blocking- they might be better as a unit than both GB & NO.

But for now, probably the 3rd best group.

skyhawk
01-12-2012, 10:35 PM
When you include the QB's in the equation, Pittsburgh's passing offensive unit is only behind the Packers & Saints you'd think.

They are superior to the others.

And to be honest, with decent blocking- they might be better as a unit than both GB & NO.

But for now, probably the 3rd best group.

Except when it comes to scoring points. Which is kinda the point of football ;)

Chadman
01-12-2012, 10:39 PM
When you include the QB's in the equation, Pittsburgh's passing offensive unit is only behind the Packers & Saints you'd think.

They are superior to the others.

And to be honest, with decent blocking- they might be better as a unit than both GB & NO.

But for now, probably the 3rd best group.

Except when it comes to scoring points. Which is kinda the point of football ;)

There's more to scoring points than running downfield & passing...

you're trying to compare offensive units...not passing games. :wink:

NJ-STEELER
01-12-2012, 10:42 PM
who do the steelers have at WR that they can throw it up to even though there's double coverage?

wallace is fast enuff to beat it, but we've seen if the throw isnt perfect he doesnt fight for it like other top receivers do

Chadman
01-12-2012, 10:46 PM
Maybe threein lies the real question- why does Ben throw into double coverage so often?

SteelCrazy
01-12-2012, 10:46 PM
Yea, there were plays and even series where the OL forgot to block, but on more than one occassion Ben would run out of the pocket and no one was open. The WR's did not get open enough and some of the plays took too long to develop.

Chadman
01-12-2012, 10:53 PM
It's safe to say the number of times they didn't get open was in proportion to how often they do get open- it's not like the Steelers can't move the ball through the air.

skyhawk
01-12-2012, 10:55 PM
Maybe threein lies the real question- why does Ben throw into double coverage so often?

No he doesn't.

I think one of his weaknesses is that the receiver has to be pretty darn open for him to throw it - one of the reasons he holds onto the ball so long. Brees and Brady and Rodgers throw to an area and also let the receiver make a play.

SteelCrazy
01-12-2012, 10:58 PM
Maybe threein lies the real question- why does Ben throw into double coverage so often?

No he doesn't.

I think one of his weaknesses is that the receiver has to be pretty darn open for him to throw it - one of the reasons he holds onto the ball so long. Brees and Brady and Rodgers throw to an area and also let the receiver make a play.

you're right but we dont have a receiver I'd trust throwing to a spot in tight coverage with the exception of Brown. Ward when he was a lil younger, but definitely not Wallace or Sanders. Wallace will not even try to fight for the ball.

NJ-STEELER
01-13-2012, 12:15 AM
It's safe to say the number of times they didn't get open was in proportion to how often they do get open- it's not like the Steelers can't move the ball through the air.


watch brees throw into double coverage to colsten

watch him throw into triple coverage to graham

warner made it to SB 43 chcuking it up to fitz even around 3 defenders (still a play i remember pretty well vs. philly)

the difference between them and ben is their guys go up and get it

Dresden
01-13-2012, 12:43 AM
If we want a talented, productive and clutch Yancey/Hines type of player at WR,....then Draft Jordan White out of Western Michigan.

Brown and Wallace have great potential,...but neither of their games have the polish that this kid's does. He's the type of receiver that would bring the effectiveness of our receiving Corps full circle. Sanders is HIGHLY overrated.