All 7th round WR's will never make it....and Chadman is serious about this too...
All 7th round WR's will never make it....and Chadman is serious about this too...
Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Competition: WR Toney Clemons vs. Field
by Neal Coolong on Jun 27, 2012
At some point in Toney Clemons' wayward collegiate career, he got it.
Nevermind that he was good enough to earn a roster spot at Michigan his freshman year. Equally dismissive is the fact, a year and a half later, he took his 12 career catches to Colorado. Then a redshirt year. Then some more lack of production.
His final five games, though, playing for a brutal Buffaloes squad, 25 catches, 476 yards (19 yards per catch) and five touchdowns.
A total of 31 NFL teams passed on Clemons' four and a half years of collegiate sub-mediocrity. The Steelers drafted the last five games in the 7th round. And now, Clemons looks poised to take the final receiver roster spot behind one of the league's best four-deep group.
It's odd a team would simply give a roster spot to a 7th round pick in that year's draft. But when you have a depth chart reading Wallace, Mike; Brown, Antonio; Sanders, Emmanuel; Cotchery, Jerricho; you're able to do pretty much whatever you want with that last spot.
And this isn't exactly a team lacking drafting success at the receiver position. None of the aforementioned Four Deep From Hell were taken earlier than the 82nd overall pick (Sanders). No team has the depth at receiver the Steelers do without having invested a pick in the position.
The main competition Clemons will see from the field comes from Tyler Beiler and David Gilreath. Beiler was undrafted out of Division III Bridgewater College in Virginia, and he has probably the best combination of size and speed outside of Clemons.
Gilreath, a slight and fast receiver from Wisconsin, has return skills and could make things interesting from a special teams standpoint. The same could be said for Marquis Maze, who, playing for Alabama, was a pulled hamstring from returning a punt for a score against LSU in the national championship game. Maze is listed at 5-foot-8, meaning he's 5-foot-7 or less, and would need a stellar camp both as a receiver and a return man to fight off players better suited to play a position along with handling return duties.
It wouldn't be surprising to see the Steelers bring a veteran longshot in, if for no other reason, to push the young group of receivers and see how they respond to it. Regardless of Clemons' ability (he was said to flash a lot of talent during minicamp, but looked less-than-average at other times), a team isn't going to give a jersey to a rookie for no reason other than he's the best one left on the roster. At the same time, a veteran, even at the minimum, would be slated to make more than twice what Clemons will in the 2012 season, and could shy away from signing with the Steelers.
Knowing that, the Steelers may simply let the younger guys do battle. In that scenario, the Steelers are looking for the last five games version of Clemons, not the previous 4.5 years.
Clemons ready to get rolling
Posted by Teresa Varley on August 8, 2012
Among the players getting their first audition for a roster spot on Thursday night will be wide receiver Toney Clemons, the seventh-round draft pick out of Colorado.
“I am extremely excited,” said Clemons. “It’s a chance to go out there and compete against some different players. Every chance you get to compete, especially on a high level in the NFL, it’s an exciting time. I am looking forward to it.”
Clemons said he is comfortable in the offense, knowing it’s just a matter of now executing it when his number is called.
“I am comfortable and confident in it,” said Clemons. “There are things you want to go over to make sure you know your assignments. I will do that to make sure I can execute as much of the offense as I can. It’s just being confident in yourself and doing the little things first, knowing your assignment. If you know your assignment, big plays will come.
“That is the way to impress the coaches, knowing what to do, how to do it and doing it at full speed. They are going to give us all of the opportunity in the world to prove we belong and can play on this level. It’s what you do with that opportunity that matters. There is a lot more I have to go out there and do. This is an opportunity for me to go out and do it.”
Clemons said one of the toughest aspects so far has been making sure he stays consistent, having a solid practice every day.
“It’s about not being up and down on the roller coaster,” said Clemons. “Being the same guy every day, making plays and get better every day. That is the hardest thing, consistency in route running, learning stuff and picking up technique. When I get that down everything should go smooth.”
He added that it’s something that he is getting better at.
“It is moving in the right direction,” said Clemons. “Every day I set something for myself, a practice task and I work for it and that is how you put together consistency and grow off it.”
Clemons is learning from the team’s veteran receivers, Antonio Brown, Jerricho Cotchery and Emmanuel Sanders, picking up all of the tips he can.
“I ask them every time I get a chance about coverage, technique, route running skills to pick up parts of their game and put them into mine,” said Clemons.
Based on what I've been reading, Maze has the upper hand on making this team over Clemons especially given his ST contributions.
Fifth Wide Receiver
Derrick Williams, Toney Clemons, Tyler Beiler, David Gilreath and Marquis Maze.
That's a lot of players competing for the Steelers' fifth wide receiver spot.
All have been plagued by drops, and all have flashed potential.
I would put Williams in the lead right now, but only because he's a veteran. But that does not mean I believe that he should make the roster.
Even if they're inconsistent, I would take a young receiver with a high upside over Williams.
If that is the case, Clemons would be the best option. He has size and speed and has made some very athletic receptions to go along with his drops.
Beiler has demonstrated some good skills, and Gilreath has flashed speed.
Maze rarely drops passes, but he has trouble getting open.
The coaching staff is waiting for one of these guys to step up. Thursday night will be as good of a time as ever.
Valley grad Clemons hoping to nail down Steelers roster spot
By Ralph N. Paulk
Published: Monday, August 13, 2012
Steelers reciever Toney Clemons makes a catch during practice at St. Vincent College Aug. 12, 2012
Toney Clemons, a relatively unheralded seventh-round pick from Colorado, understands he must deliver when given a chance before the Steelers trim their roster.
The Valley High School graduate has to be nothing short of spectacular in practice and exhibition games. There’s hardly room to err, considering the depth at receiver — even with Mike Wallace embroiled in a contract dispute.
Although the odds seemingly are against him, Clemons and rookie Marquis Maze are likely to be given ample opportunities against Indianapolis on Sunday to impress offensive coordinator Todd Haley and receivers coach Scottie Montgomery.
Clemons came away without a catch in his first NFL action Thursday at Philadelphia. However, he was solid on special teams.
“It was surreal but at the same time exciting,” Clemons said. “It was competitive and fun, yet a dream come true. It solidified all the hard work I’ve put in over the years.
“It wasn’t like college. It was a much faster pace. It was the highest level of intensity. It was certainly a learning experience.”
Clemons will have to work even harder to earn a roster spot alongside Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery. The Steelers have deep threats in Brown and Wallace, possession receivers in Cotchery and tight end Heath Miller.
Clemons is hoping to serve as a complement for a receiving corps still grasping the nuances of a new offense. Yet he’s focusing mostly on getting it right on special teams and hoping he’ll have more chances to prove he has the hands and speed to compete against the league’s best.
“It was on punt coverage where I thought I excelled (at Philadelphia),” Clemons said. “As a special-teams player, fighting that vice is one of the toughest things you’re going to do.”
Against the Eagles, Clemons flashed the athleticism that encouraged coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert to make him their first of four seventh-round picks.
Clemons pivoted on his right foot, then uncoiled his body in an attempt to snare an errant pass in the third quarter. He couldn’t come down with the catch, but his effort was impressive.
“I think he proved he’s got a chance to play in this league,” Sanders said. “As long as he continues to work hard and learn all the little things, he’ll put himself in position to take advantage of his chances.”
Clemons was targeted only once against the Eagles. That, of course, isn’t good enough for a long-shot rookie.
“The coaches tried putting me in position to make some plays,” he said. “At the same time, you can’t control whether the ball is coming to you or not. A lot depended on the coverage (Philadelphia) was playing.
“I’m not sure what it looks like on tape, but I felt as if I ran a pretty good route. The quarterback got some pressure, and he made a smart decision to throw the ball out of bounds to get us another play.”
In breaking down the film, Clemons liked what he saw. Yet he would like for Haley and Montgomery to have more to evaluate his talents.
“It puts a lot or things in perspective,” Clemons said. “There was a lot I was anxious to see on the film because there might be more from live action than practice.
“It gives me a chance to see where I stack up. It also lets me know if I belong on this level and that I can play on this level.”
Clemons has been helped, too, by the Steelers’ veteran receivers. They have mentored him throughout training camp in hopes he has what it takes.
“The veteran receivers have really encouraged me,” Clemons said. “They’ve been breaking down my game as well. It’s clear I’ve got to work on route technique and releases. Actually, just watching them work every day is a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s something I’ll never take for granted.”