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

  1. #161
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    I think we keep 6 WR's: Juju, Moncrief, Washington, both Diontaes, and Switzer. I think we trade Eli Rogers. Maybe for added depth at S or TE or maybe in a swap of late round picks next year.
    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.

  2. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    Labriola Expects Eli Rogers and Ryan Switzer Will Compete For One Roster Spot

    By Matthew Marczi
    Posted on June 25, 2019

    The Pittsburgh Steelers may have lost one of the major talents at the wide receiver position in the NFL after trading Antonio Brown, but they do have, potentially, fairly enviable depth. They have a number of wide receivers on the roster right now who are rosterable—some of whom might not make the roster.

    The Steelers certainly have at least six wide receivers on their 90-man roster who are worthy of a roster spot—largely, based on the fact that they have been on rosters before, short of rookie Diontae Johnson—and possibly even more when factoring in players like Diontae Spencer, Tevin Jones, and Trey Griffey, the latter two of whom had success in the preseason last year.

    But will the Steelers actually keep six wide receivers? Is it necessary, or would it become redundant? Ordinarily, the sixth wide receiver spends his time on the inactive list. Or more accurately, the fifth does, because the sixth is a special teams player.

    Bob Labriola believes that this summer, Eli Rogers and Ryan Switzer will be competing against one another for one roster spot, which may well indicate that he believes the team will only carry five wide receivers this year.

    JuJu Smith-Schuster is obviously going to make the team, as will Johnson, James Washington, and free agent signing Donte Moncrief. After those four, it gets much more up in the air, but they like both Rogers and Switzer.

    The problem is that the two of them have very similar skill sets, and the fact of the matter is that Smith-Schuster is actually their best slot receiver. Rogers and Switzer are both largely limited to playing in the slot, but even if Smith-Schuster plays a lot of snaps on the outside in three-receiver sets, Moncrief and Johnson could also play in the slot.

    If the Steelers feel comfortable in the inside-outside versatility of their top four wide receivers, it’s going to be very difficult to justify keeping both Rogers and Switzer on the 53-man roster in 2019 because of the redundancy already mentioned, and the fact that one of them will spend most of the year as a healthy scratch.

    There are other areas of the roster that could greatly benefit from that extra roster spot, particularly at the linebacker positions and in the secondary. If they are able to acquire another veteran tight end, it would also more easily allow them to carry an extra player there to accommodate rookie Zach Gentry without pressing him into play.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/06/la...e-roster-spot/
    Like Both guys but I think Switzer has the position.
    From the 2010-2019 season, (An 9 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.

    My official proclamation: WE WILL NOT WIN ANOTHER SUPER BOWL WITH MIKE TOMLIN AS OUR HEAD COACH. So why delay the inevitable?

    FIRE MIKE TOMLIN

  3. #163
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    Steelers WR Johnny Holton ‘Gunning’ For DHB’s Old Roster Spot On 53-Man Unit

    By Dave Bryan
    Posted on June 25, 2019

    Not too long after the Pittsburgh Steelers signed wide receiver Johnny Holton after he was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles back in May, our very own Daniel Valente wrote about the former undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati and specifically how he somewhat compares to wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who played the past five seasons in Pittsburgh.

    In his post on Holton, Valente wrote about how the new Steelers wide receiver could offer the Steelers nice special teams abilities in addition to potentially being a speedy deep threat, both attributes that Heyward-Bey brought to the Steelers for the past five seasons. During an offseason practice interview, Holton discussed the role he played during his previous time spent on the roster of the Oakland Raiders and what he said sounded quite familiar.

    “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.”

    When asked during that interview if his style of play and what he offers teams is similar to that of Heyward-Bey, Holton had no problem agreeing.

    “Yeah, DHB,” Holton said. “He used to play with the Raiders, too.”

    While Holton barely saw any playing time with the Raiders during the 2018 season due to him spending most of the year on their practice squad, he did see the field quite a bit with Oakland during the 2017 season after making the initial 53-man roster. In fact, Holton went on to play roughly 230 total offensive snaps in addition to 187 special trams snaps, which was seventh-most on the team that year. Holton finished the 2017 season with 9 receptions for 218 yards and 3 touchdowns in addition to 5 total special teams tackles. Below are his three touchdown receptions from the 2017 season.

    In case you’re curious, Holton registered 46 receptions for 892 yards and 10 touchdowns in his two seasons of college football at Cincinnati. He also returned 45 kickoffs for 942 yards. At his 2016 pro day, Holton reportedly measured in at 6005, 190-pounds and ran his 40-yard dash in 4.42-seconds.

    Obviously, Holton has his work cut out for him this summer when it comes to him potentially making the Steelers 53-man roster and he’ll probably need to hope that team ultimately keeps six wide receivers in total just as they did last year. Assuming he sticks through the start of the preseason, we can probably expect to see Holton play some as a gunner on punt coverages and especially in the first few exhibition games. He’ll have to have a very good showing in that phase of the game and it sounds like he’s already well aware of that fact.

    “Gunner is a big part of my game, so I look forward to coming in here and competing and just filing that role,” Holton said after a minicamp practice, according to the newspaper. “Try to do the best I can do to be on this team.”

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/06/st...n-53-man-unit/

  4. #164
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    James Washington Picked As Reggie Wayne’s Top Breakout Receiver Of 2019

    By Alex Kozora
    Posted on June 26, 2019

    In Pittsburgh, we know James Washington is under the spotlight. Apparently, the national media has taken notice too. Former Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne, now working for NFL.com, listed the Steelers’ sophomore receiver as his top breakout player of 2019.

    In the article, which I encourage you to check out here, the players aren’t listed in any particular order. But in regards to Washington, Wayne writes:

    “There are a lot of factors working in Washington’s favor heading into the coming season. With Antonio Brown‘s departure, JuJu Smith-Schuster will attract attention as the team’s new WR1. Washington will get plenty of chances to make big plays against single coverage opposite JuJu…Expectations are high for everyone in Pittsburgh, and it’s up to the 2018 second-rounder to solidify his spot for years to come.”

    Hard to argue with anything Wayne writes there. Washington will be counted on for a big role after an obviously disappointing rookie season that ended with just 16 receptions for 217 yards. His biggest play came on his first career reception, a touchdown during a scramble drill versus the Kansas City Chiefs. To his credit, he battled the whole way and finished the season strong with impressive showings against the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals.

    Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner noticed improved swagger in Washington’s game late in the year. Here’s what we wrote in late December.

    “You could see” him playing with more confidence, and practicing as well, Fichtner said. “He’s getting a lot more reps and he’s going with the [scout] team, so he’s actually getting more reps that way, too”.

    Washington is expected to step into the Z role he held for parts of last year. Playing well there will let JuJu Smith-Schuster spent most of his time in the slot, though he’ll play the Z in two receiver sets, which will allow Donte Moncrief and Diontae Johnson battle it out at the X spot.

    Expect Washington to have another solid training camp just as he dazzled last year. But he’ll have to translate that to Sunday’s in order for Wayne’s prediction to come true.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/06/ja...eiver-of-2019/

  5. #165
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    It's interesting that Reggie Wayne talked about James Washington potentially being a breakout WR candidate without mentioning Donte Moncrief at all, considering that Wayne actually played with Moncrief for 1 year (Wayne's last year in Indy overlapped with Moncrief's rookie year in Indy). Plus, Moncrief's rookie season opposite Wayne back in 2014 was more impressive statistically (32-444-3) than Washington's rookie season here last year (16-217-1)...essentially doubled him up.
    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. #166
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    Wayne Remains Bullish On Steelers’ Washington; Expects Him To Be Team’s No. 2 WR In 2019

    By Dave Bryan
    Posted on July 2, 2019

    Last week, former NFL wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who is now an analyst for the NFL Network, named Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington as a top breakout player at his position for the 2019 season. On Monday, Wayne once again talked about how he expects Washington to have a great second season in the NFL with the Steelers and how he even expects him to be the number two wide receiver in the offense.

    “Well, he should, Wayne said Monday on Total Access when asked to confirm that he thinks Washington will be the Steelers number two wide receiver in 2019. “I mean, that’s why two drafts ago they picked him in the second round with the 68th pick. Right? This is another year under his system where he can learn to be a professional. Also another year where he can learn that offense and get on the same page with Big Ben. Right? We saw little glimpses of what he can do towards the end of the season last year. Man, the last three games he had 129 yards total and now that’s being a third receiver in that receiving group because obviously A.B. [Antonio Brown] was number one and JuJu [Smith-Schuster] was number two.”

    While I’m also bullish on Washington in 2019 after he caught just 16 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown during his 2018 rookie season, it’s hard to agree with Wayne’s assessment that the Oklahoma State product will be the Steelers number two wide receiver in 2019. Washington is once again expected to play the Z position in 2019 in three or more wide receiver personal packages with JuJu Smith-Schuster mainly playing in the slot and newcomer Donte Moncrief mainly playing the X position, the same position that former wide receiver Antonio Brown had played. That means that whenever the Steelers utilize less than three wide receiver personnel groupings in 2019 that Washington isn’t likely to be on the field as it will likely be Smith-Schuster out wide at the Z and either Moncrief or rookie Diontae Johnson playing opposite him.

    Washington doesn’t necessarily need to be the Steelers number two wide receiver in 2019 to have a breakout year, however. In fact, if can catch 35 to 40 passes for 650 to 750 yards with about 3 or more touchdowns, such stats should be considered quite acceptable based on his expected amount of playing time and times he’ll be targeted. To hear Wayne talk about Washington, it sounds like he’s expecting the second-year wide receiver to catch 60 to 70 passes in 2019 and I just cant see that happening barring a few injuries to other wide receivers. His best season in college was his final one when he caught 74 passes for 1,549 yards and 13 touchdowns and it’s impossible to imagine him posting those kind of stats as a Z receiver with the Steelers.

    Regardless of what i think Washington’s stats might be in 2019, both Wayne and myself expect him to have a much better second season with the Steelers.

    “But he has all the potential in the world to be a big-time receiver in this league,” Wayne said Monday of Washington. “And just history with the Pittsburgh Steelers shows that they know how to grab receivers and bring them into that system and get them to flourish the best. I mean, you can go through a list of names and see those guys come in and as one guy leaves, another guy steps up and makes big plays. So, right there in itself, I feel like James Washington can get it done.”

    Here’s to Wayne being even more right about Washington than me.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/07/wa...-2-wr-in-2019/

  7. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    Wayne Remains Bullish On Steelers’ Washington; Expects Him To Be Team’s No. 2 WR In 2019

    By Dave Bryan
    Posted on July 2, 2019

    Last week, former NFL wide receiver Reggie Wayne, who is now an analyst for the NFL Network, named Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington as a top breakout player at his position for the 2019 season. On Monday, Wayne once again talked about how he expects Washington to have a great second season in the NFL with the Steelers and how he even expects him to be the number two wide receiver in the offense.

    “Well, he should, Wayne said Monday on Total Access when asked to confirm that he thinks Washington will be the Steelers number two wide receiver in 2019. “I mean, that’s why two drafts ago they picked him in the second round with the 68th pick. Right? This is another year under his system where he can learn to be a professional. Also another year where he can learn that offense and get on the same page with Big Ben. Right? We saw little glimpses of what he can do towards the end of the season last year. Man, the last three games he had 129 yards total and now that’s being a third receiver in that receiving group because obviously A.B. [Antonio Brown] was number one and JuJu [Smith-Schuster] was number two.”

    While I’m also bullish on Washington in 2019 after he caught just 16 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown during his 2018 rookie season, it’s hard to agree with Wayne’s assessment that the Oklahoma State product will be the Steelers number two wide receiver in 2019. Washington is once again expected to play the Z position in 2019 in three or more wide receiver personal packages with JuJu Smith-Schuster mainly playing in the slot and newcomer Donte Moncrief mainly playing the X position, the same position that former wide receiver Antonio Brown had played. That means that whenever the Steelers utilize less than three wide receiver personnel groupings in 2019 that Washington isn’t likely to be on the field as it will likely be Smith-Schuster out wide at the Z and either Moncrief or rookie Diontae Johnson playing opposite him.

    Washington doesn’t necessarily need to be the Steelers number two wide receiver in 2019 to have a breakout year, however. In fact, if can catch 35 to 40 passes for 650 to 750 yards with about 3 or more touchdowns, such stats should be considered quite acceptable based on his expected amount of playing time and times he’ll be targeted. To hear Wayne talk about Washington, it sounds like he’s expecting the second-year wide receiver to catch 60 to 70 passes in 2019 and I just cant see that happening barring a few injuries to other wide receivers. His best season in college was his final one when he caught 74 passes for 1,549 yards and 13 touchdowns and it’s impossible to imagine him posting those kind of stats as a Z receiver with the Steelers.

    Regardless of what i think Washington’s stats might be in 2019, both Wayne and myself expect him to have a much better second season with the Steelers.

    “But he has all the potential in the world to be a big-time receiver in this league,” Wayne said Monday of Washington. “And just history with the Pittsburgh Steelers shows that they know how to grab receivers and bring them into that system and get them to flourish the best. I mean, you can go through a list of names and see those guys come in and as one guy leaves, another guy steps up and makes big plays. So, right there in itself, I feel like James Washington can get it done.”

    Here’s to Wayne being even more right about Washington than me.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/07/wa...-2-wr-in-2019/
    I think we will have to spread around the catches that 84 had and that will enable Washington can have 50+ receptions. I think JuJu may have fewer since he will be targeted as the #1 guy...probably around 85-90. I think Moncrief will also have 50-60.

    I think the biggest beneficiary of 84 leaving could be the TEs.

  8. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    I think we will have to spread around the catches that 84 had and that will enable Washington can have 50+ receptions. I think JuJu may have fewer since he will be targeted as the #1 guy...probably around 85-90. I think Moncrief will also have 50-60.

    I think the biggest beneficiary of 84 leaving could be the TEs.
    I really hope Vance can stay healthy.

  9. #169
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    Nate Burleson Believes JuJu Smith-Schuster Will Have Better 2019 Season Than Antonio Brown

    By Dave Bryan
    Posted on July 4, 2019

    Is there any chance that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster winds up having a better 2019 season than his former teammate, wide receiver Antonio Brown, who is now with the Oakland Raiders? At least one former NFL wide receiver and current NFL analyst seems to think there’s a very good chance of that happening. In fact, he’s even predicting that to happen.

    While in London this past week for the launch of the new NFL Academy, former NFL wide receiver Nate Burelson, who is now a morning analyst on the NFL Network, was asked during a short interview with Oddschecker to give his thoughts on Smith-Schuster and specifically how he thinks the third-year wide receiver will perform in 2019 without having Brown playing opposite him in the Pittsburgh offense. Burelson certainly didn’t beat around the bush with his answer.

    “I think JuJu‘s going to be incredible,” Burelson said. “I feel like JuJu’s going to have a better season than Antonio. I’m not saying that right now that JuJu is a better wideout, because he still has some growth to do, but he definitely has a better quarterback. And for me, if JuJu is really close to the talent and skill level of A.B. as a young wide receiver, what puts him over the top would be Big Ben, who is a Hall of Famer.”

    While that’s a strong prediction on Burelson’s part, it’s not an overly outlandish one. After all, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is indeed quite a better quarterback than the Raiders Derek Carr. Additionally, it’s hard to expect that Carr and Brown will have great chemistry right away during their first season playing together. While Brown should still be expected to have a strong first season in Oakland, it would be outlandish to bet that he wont hit last year’s totals of 104 receptions for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns.

    While Smith-Schuster might also struggle in 2019 to duplicate his 2018 receiving stat line of 111 catches for 1,426 yards and 7 touchdowns, he figures to still hit 85% of those numbers just the same, so 95 catches for 1,212 yards. Will such numbers be enough to top Brown’s in 2019? We’ll certainly see.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/07/na...antonio-brown/

  10. #170
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    Three Under-The-Radar Offensive Players Worth Watching During Steelers Training Camp

    By Dave Bryan
    Posted on July 15, 2019

    The Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 training camp will get underway later next week and as we count down the final days until the team arrives at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, it’s also worth discussing a few under-the-radar players ahead of the first practice taking place at Chuck Noll Field a week from Friday. Today we’ll discuss my three under-the-radar offensive players ahead of the start of training camp and none of them were draft picks. All three are currently considered to be very long shots to ultimately make the team’s 53-man roster.

    WR Diontae Spencer – Can Spencer become the Steelers 2019 version of Stefan Logan? It’s hard to know for sure right now but after reportedly having a strong showing during the team’s offseason practices, Spencer, who to date has had a very nice CFL career, is almost sure to get a chance to make some explosive plays during training camp and the preseason. While Spencer is easily one of the shortest players on the Steelers current roster at 5076, he might just be the fastest player currently under contract as well. From 2016-2018, Spencer registered 3,123 receiving yards on 258 receptions in the CFL and only a few players had more of each in that span. He had 13 receiving touchdowns and registered 23 total plays that gained at least 30 yards. Spencer was also an accomplished punt and kickoff returner the last three seasons in the CFL. He averaged 11.5 yards per punt return from 2016-2018 and 22.6 yards per kickoff return. Two of those punt returns were returned for touchdowns. Spencer’s path to a 53-man roster spot likely includes him needing to win the punt returner job, which right now belongs to fellow diminutive wide receiver Ryan Switzer. Spencer will also need to make quite a few big plays out of the slot and down the field to warrant him being kept. He’s a long shot entering training camp, but it’s not totally out of the question that he might can stick as a No. 6 wide receiver if he has a very impressive summer showing.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/07/three-under-the-radar-offensive-players-worth-watching-during-steelers-training-camp/

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