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Thread: 2019 Steelers by position: WR. Are we better off?

  1. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher View Post
    I think it's more likely to have Juju as our starting flanker and Moncrief as our starting split end, and then when we go 3-wide, Juju moves into the slot and Washington enters as the new flanker outside.

    I agree with using Samuels more in roles other than a traditional RB. He lined up all over the place at N.C. State...total utility man. I think since our depth at TE behind Vance is not as strong this year with only X. Grimble and Z. Gentry back there, Samuels could be a quasi-TE H-back type for us like, say, Chris Cooley was in Washington back in the day. Or he could also be like former Cardinal Larry Centers out of the backfield.
    You may be right on Juju playing in the slot a lot because that's where he's been most effective. But I suspect he'll move inside and have Moncrief come in on the outside. Time will tell between Washington and Moncrief, but the first game looked to me like Washington is a completely different player and ready to step up. Of course they paid Moncrief to start, so there's probably a 95% chance you're right. But I really like what I've seen out of Washington so far and think he defies the odds.

    Where does that leave the other WRs? I'm not 100% sure. But I think Switzer is going to take the biggest step forward of anyone on the roster, especially now that he has a full offseason with the team. He could easily become Ben's safety valve in this offense. Ben seems to like him and I could see him getting a lot of the newly available looks/targets.

  2. #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by flippy View Post
    You may be right on Juju playing in the slot a lot because that's where he's been most effective. But I suspect he'll move inside and have Moncrief come in on the outside. Time will tell between Washington and Moncrief, but the first game looked to me like Washington is a completely different player and ready to step up. Of course they paid Moncrief to start, so there's probably a 95% chance you're right. But I really like what I've seen out of Washington so far and think he defies the odds.
    Since we are in 3 WR sets way more than we are in 2 WR sets anymore, essentially Juju, Moncrief, and Washington should all be considered to be starters.

    If Diontae Johnson improves as the season moves along, perhaps he could steal some snaps from Moncrief as we get deeper into the season.
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  3. #223
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    Quote Originally Posted by flippy View Post
    You may be right on Juju playing in the slot a lot because that's where he's been most effective. But I suspect he'll move inside and have Moncrief come in on the outside. Time will tell between Washington and Moncrief, but the first game looked to me like Washington is a completely different player and ready to step up. Of course they paid Moncrief to start, so there's probably a 95% chance you're right. But I really like what I've seen out of Washington so far and think he defies the odds.

    Where does that leave the other WRs? I'm not 100% sure. But I think Switzer is going to take the biggest step forward of anyone on the roster, especially now that he has a full offseason with the team. He could easily become Ben's safety valve in this offense. Ben seems to like him and I could see him getting a lot of the newly available looks/targets.
    We gotta see what Moncrief does with all things being even as well. Washington looked wonderful but Moncrief has to be given an opportunity.
    From the 2010-2018 season, (An 8 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks. Our history has been defined by what we do in the postseason; not the regular season.

    FIRE MIKE TOMLIN

  4. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    we are fooling ourselves, Huge step back in the passing game this year
    Okay “Mark”. ����

  5. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzStillers1989 View Post
    Okay “Mark”. ����


    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  6. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzStillers1989 View Post
    Okay “Mark”. ����
    yeah............
    From the 2010-2018 season, (An 8 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks. Our history has been defined by what we do in the postseason; not the regular season.

    FIRE MIKE TOMLIN

  7. #227
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    Tomlin On WR Holton: ‘He Has NFL Resume In Tape’

    By Dave Bryan
    Posted on August 13, 2019

    Earlier in the offseason the Pittsburgh Steelers signed wide receiver Johnny Holton following him being waived by the Philadelphia Eagles. At the start of this year’s training camp, however, Holton missed a lot of practice time due to a hamstring injury. Fortunately for him, he was able to get over that injury in time to play in the Steelers preseason opener Friday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Not only did Holton play, he provided the game’s longest play from scrimmage, a 59-yard gain after a short reception.

    Holton also had one other catch Friday night good for 10 yards in addition to drawing a defensive pass interference penalty good for another 27 yards. Oh, he also returned two kickoffs Friday night for a total of 45 yards in addition to registering one assisted tackle on special teams.

    During his Tuesday press conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked to disclose how aware he was of Holton prior to the team signing him back in May.

    “Very, very,” Tomlin said. “He has NFL resume in tape.”

    Holton, who originally entered the NFL with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati, indeed does already have some limited NFL playing time on tape. In his 2016 rookie season with the Raiders, Holton registered just 2 receptions for 34 yards in the 51 total offensive snaps that he played. He did, however, play 137 special team snaps as a rookie and ended the 2016 season with 12 total special teams tackles, the second-most on the team.

    In his 2017 season with the Raiders, Holton registered another 9 receptions for 218 yards and 3 touchdowns in 230 total offensive snaps played. He also logged another 187 special team snaps in his second season and contributed 5 tackles, which tied him for the team high.

    Last season, Holton spent most of the year on the Raiders practice squad. He did, however, get promoted to the Raiders 53-man roster for one game in November but logged just 5 offensive snaps in that contest and finished without any catches. He also logged 5 special teams snaps in that one game but failed to register any tackles.

    While it doesn’t appear as though Holton has returned any kickoffs thus far during his NFL career, he did do a lot of that in college. In his two seasons of college football at Cincinnati, Holton returned 45 kickoffs for 942 yards. Also, in case you’re curious, at his 2016 pro day Holton reportedly measured in at 6005, 190-pounds and ran his 40-yard dash in 4.42-seconds.

    This past January, the Eagles signed Holton to a futures contract but waived him not long after the NFL draft took place. The Steelers quickly signed him off the street. During an offseason practice interview, Holton discussed the role he played during his previous time spent on the roster of the Raiders.

    “My role with the Raiders was pretty much a ‘gunner,’” Holton said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “And on other special teams. And just a vertical route runner, too.”

    As our own Daniel Valente pointed out in a May post, Holton can essentially be described as a younger version of former Steelers wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey with a lot less pedigree. Heyward-Bey, who the team chose not to re-sign this past offseason, was a backup deep threat for the Steelers for the last five season and a key contributor on special teams. While the former first-round draft pick of the Raiders only managed to catch 33 passes for 517 yards and 4 touchdowns in the five seasons that he spent in Pittsburgh, he did contribute 13 total tackles on special teams. He also served as a veteran leader to the wide receivers in the locker room.

    Now that Holton has one nice preseason showing with the Steelers under his belt you can probably count on him get another long look in the team’s second preseason game Saturday night against the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field. An even better showing in his second time in a Steelers uniform under the stadium lights is sure to result in Tomlin being even more aware of him than he already is and that could ultimately result in the wide receiver landing a spot on this year’s 53-man roster to start the regular season.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/08/to...esume-in-tape/

  8. #228
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    Steelers inside the ropes: Moncrief back to making plays

    CHRIS ADAMSKI | Wednesday, August 14, 2019

    Over the first three days of training camp, before he suffered a finger injury, Donte Moncrief was wowing onlookers at Saint Vincent. The Pittsburgh Steelers marquee free-agent signing on offense looked as if he could be a quality No. 2 receiver to complement JuJu Smith-Schuster.

    A two-week absence related to the dislocation of his left ring finger muted the hype surrounding the former college star who had underwhelming production during his first five NFL seasons. But Moncrief returned for a full (and fully-padded) practice Wednesday at Chuck Noll Field. And he once again was making plays.

    Moncrief’s tough catches in the end zone during an 11-on-11 scramble drill and during a 7-on-7 were the highlights of what was a strong practice for him. On the former, Moncrief’s “touchdown” was from about 25 yards, beating defenders to the ball coming back to the goal-line pylon. On the latter, Moncrief leaped and got his feet down in the back of the end zone on a throw from Ben Roethlisberger, outmaneuvering a pair of defenders to the ball.

    • Wednesday’s practice was the last of camp to feature pads. It also was situational heavy, and it featured all healthy players. It was spirited in its hitting and its celebrating after positive plays, a departure from the more somber rain-affected practice Tuesday that was the first after the death of wide receivers coach Darryl Drake.

    • The offense was successful on four of the Seven Shots snaps, splitting the four using first-teamers. McDonald had an easy score, and JuJu Smith-Schuster beat Terrell Edmunds to the ball at the goal line. But Smith-Schuster threw a wounded duck that was intercepted by Mark Barrron on a trick play after an end-around. Edmunds also knocked down a looping Ben Roethlisberger pass to Smith-Schuster in the middle of the end zone.

    • Diontae Johnson caught touchdowns on the final two snaps with second-teamers, albeit the first might not have happened in a live game (and perhaps in a different era) because a looming Marcus Allen would have hit him very hard. Earlier, Xavier Grimble couldn’t get his feet down in play in the back of the end zone off a pass from Josh Dobbs.

    • Malik Williams was figuratively invisible over the first week or so of camp, but the big first-year running back has raised eyebrows with athleticism and playmaking in recent practices. Wednesday, he beat defenders to the corner of the end zone after catching a pass from Dobbs in a 7-on-7 situation. Earlier, Williams earned coach Mike Tomlin’s praise when he executed an ankle-breaking cut back to the inside on Allen. “Ohhhhh, the juke!” Tomlin exclaimed.

    • Tomlin was in a talkative mood, perhaps his way of guiding his team back to a normalcy after the death of Drake. After the Williams’ move on Allen, Tomlin reminded the latter, “It’s an angle-tackling drill! This is an angle-tackling drill we’re doing. Stay inside him!”

    • A pair of simulated 2-minute drills ended practice: ball at the offense’s 35, one timeout and 1 minute, 51 seconds on the clock. The defense won each. The first-team offense managed just one first down (a 25-yard completion from Roethlisberger to McDonald) before an ill-advised spike to stop the clock and an incompletion and short gain to Smith-Schuster brought up a fourth-and-long, on which Tyler Matakevich nearly had an interception. On the second snap of the “drive,” the offense was “flagged” for a false start. Tomlin initially instructed to leave the ball where it was in lieu of walking off a 5-yard penalty. Matakevich, though, yelled over toward Tomlin, “We don’t allow re-dos, Coach!” Tomlin smiled and used Matakevich’s nickname when he relented by saying, “I hear ya, Dirty Red!”

    • The second-team defense ended its 2-minute drill after one first down when Cameron Sutton intercepted a Dobbs pass intended for Ryan Switzer.

    https://triblive.com/sports/steelers...-making-plays/

  9. #229
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    Diontae Spencer hopes big plays for Steelers in preseason opens NFL eyes

    KEVIN GORMAN | Sunday, August 18, 2019

    Diontae Spencer didn’t play in the first half of Saturday’s preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs, so he told himself to make the most of every touch.

    Spencer knew he would be handling the returns for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second half, so he told himself to be ready to be successful whenever he got an opportunity, even if he didn’t have a catch.

    When the Chiefs punted to Spencer, he darted right, made one defender miss and then cut to the outside and slipped another tackle on his way to a 38-yard return to the Kansas City 47.

    “That was my job, to come in and start the offense off in good field position,” Spencer said, “and I felt like I came in and did that.”

    A 5-foot-8, 170-pounder who spent four seasons in the CFL, Spencer has a resume as an explosive playmaker. That’s especially true as a return specialist. He averaged 11.3 yards on punt returns with two touchdowns and 22 yards on kick returns.

    “That’s what I do: I make plays,” Spencer said. “When I settle down and get a feel for this game and how fast the speed is, it’s going to come. It’s going to come to me. I just don’t want to press it, press it, press it. I felt like that’s what I was doing last week. This week, I just felt a lot better. I was able to have some good plays, some good exposure plays. Hopefully, I can carry that on to the next one.”

    Spencer’s next play involved a carry, as he ran an end-around 19 yards to the Kansas City 29 in the fourth quarter. Three plays later, Devlin Hodges threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson in the 17-7 victory over the Chiefs at Heinz Field.

    The 27-year-old Spencer realizes he faces long odds to make the Steelers, as veterans Johnny Holton, Eli Rogers and Ryan Switzer have NFL resumes, and Johnson was a third-round draft pick. All four also are vying for slot receiver/return specialist roles.

    As much as Spencer’s ability to break a big play opened eyes, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was blunt when asked if Spencer has done enough to earn a higher ranking on special teams.

    Tomlin’s answer: “No.”

    But Spencer knows he put plays on film, whether that’s for the Steelers or another NFL team. And he plans on making more plays when given the opportunity.

    “Any position I’m at, it’s all about making plays and trying to be successful,” Spencer said. “That’s not my job to determine. If I can go out there and make plays, there’s always a spot for me.

    “Last week was my first NFL game. It took me awhile to get here. There were a lot of emotions running through my head. This week, things started to slow down. I was kind of myself a little bit, going out there and playing fast and not thinking too much.”

    https://triblive.com/sports/diontae-...pens-nfl-eyes/

  10. #230
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    Young Steelers receivers James Washington, Diontae Johnson making impression

    GERRY DULAC
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    AUG 18, 2019

    Ben Roethlisberger has maintained it will take a committee of targets to help replace the production loss of Antonio Brown, who has more catches since 2013 than any player in any six-year period in NFL history.

    Roethlisberger knows he has one receiver with big-time production already — JuJu Smith-Schuster, who actually eclipsed Brown’s receiving numbers in 2018. But, if the past two preseason games are any indication, he might have two more receivers he can depend on to be part of the committee.

    James Washington has shown in victories against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs he can be a big-play receiver catching any type of throw, whether deep over the middle, a toe-tapper on the sideline, a leaping two-hander or a back-shoulder touchdown. He is averaging 20.3 yards per catch on his eight receptions in the preseason and appears ready to make a big jump in his second season.

    And now there’s rookie Diontae Johnson, who showed in his Steelers debut Saturday night at Heinz Field he can be as good as advertised.

    “When he’s been in there at practice, we identified him as a guy who can really run any route and get open,” quarterback Josh Dobbs said. “We were expecting that. For him to go out in his first opportunity in a stadium, to do it and deliver, is definitely a good thing to see.”

    It was for the Steelers because they hadn’t seen much of Johnson since the spring. The third-round draft choice from Toledo was limited in OTAs by a hamstring injury and in training camp by nagging hip and groin injuries. But, in his first game in a Steelers uniform against the Chiefs, he caught three passes for 46 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown, and had what appeared to be another 24-yard touchdown catch negated by a debatable offensive pass interference call against him.

    Granted, it’s only the preseason and defenses will start to game plan once the regular season begins. But, like Devin Bush in his debut, Johnson showed in his opening performance he can be a good addition for the offense. He runs solid routes and catches the ball with ease, and will be a nice extra target for Roethlisberger when he makes his expected preseason debut Sunday night in Nashville, Tenn.

    “The catches he makes, you anticipate,” Dobbs said. “Throw him the ball and he’s able to snap his head around make catches. He can hold the ball in the air, make contested catches with big strong hands. He has a big catch-radius for his size. I think he’s going to be a really good player.”

    https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/...s/201908180150

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