Tag Archives: Wide

2012 Pittsburgh Steelers training camp roster throwdown: wide receivers

Finally the light that is the NFL season is starting to actually come into view, even if it is a few weeks away still. Considering how far away it seemed before the draft, we’ll take what we can get right? With camp just around the corner it’s time to start really looking at the key battles that will face the Steelers and their roster full of young talent waiting to make a name for themselves. Sure, we could call this series “training camp roster battles” or training camp position battles”, “roster breakdown” or something else generic like that but we like to do things a little bit differently around here.
Training camp roster throwdown seemed appropriate because that’s really what it is, these guys are fighting for their NFL lives right now against pretty steep odds in some cases. It’s a full on battle, everyone giving everything they’ve got in the summer heat in Latrobe to try and land one of the coveted final spots avail...

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

Battle of the (AFC North) Wide Receivers—How Do They Compare?

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I began this series with a comparison of the quarterbacks in the AFC North. Since the performance of the quarterback is going to depend to a greater or lesser extent on the competence of his receiving corps, it makes sense to continue my series with the wideouts. Since the number of players to consider is a great deal larger, I’m going to look at the presumed #1 and #2 receivers, and just mention the depth at the position. If there is any depth (*cough, cough* Cleveland.) And I’m aware the terms #1 and #2 receiver aren’t terribly meaningful, but for the purposes of this post they are a useful shorthand for the starting wide receivers.

Since this is a Steelers blog I’ll begin with our guys. A year ago it was a definite question as to whether Antonio Brown or Emmanuel Sanders would snag the spot in the lineup. This year Brown has a jersey in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his record-breaking 1000+ yards as both a receiver and returner, while Sanders missed numerous games due to recurring problems with his feet and knees. Fortunately the injury situation looks better for Sanders, and he should be a real contributor this season, particularly in the slot where he is especially valuable for his blocking. But for the purposes of this post he is "depth," as is Jerricho Cotchery and whoever else makes it through camp. The money is on Toney Clemons at this point, but he has some competition.

The other receiver is Mike Wallace. Admittedly he hasn’t signed his tender yet, and it is possible he will hold out through training camp and even partway into the season. But that isn’t particularly likely, mainly because he surely understands he’s only hurting himself at this point. One hopes his agent understands this as well.

Both Brown and Wallace are young, and both have put up fairly remarkable numbers in their early years. In fact, few players ever in the NFL have matched Wallace’s numbers for his first three seasons. And Brown has proven his worth over and over. Nobody, at least on the receiving corps, works as hard as he does, and he works to very good effect.

There has been a fair amount of argument over whether Brown would look as good without Wallace to pull double teams from the opponent. This is a legitimate concern, but it shouldn’t matter for the coming season, unless Wallace gets injured, or decides to sulk over the contract situation. Neither are particularly likely—Wallace has been extraordinarily durable, never even appearing on the injury list as I recall, much less missing a game. And I think he is ultimately too sensible to destroy his prospects of a big contract, either from the Steelers or another team, by playing poorly and seeing his numbers tank next season.

And speaking of numbers, here is a comparison between Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown. This has been discussed over and over, but frequently with either unsubstantiated assertions such as "Brown has better hands" or with cherry-picked stats. (In case you’re wondering, the Drop Rates for the AFC North receivers, including Brown and Wallace, will appear later in this article.) Here are some of the relevant numbers from their careers. (I may, of course, also be cherry-picking, but I picked the stats allowing for easy comparison on a chart. The full range of stats may be found on the table which follows.) The key is, GP = Games Played, Rec = Receptions, RT = Returning, FD = First Down and ATT = Attempts.

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Wallace_brown_table_medium

I apologize for the size—the bigger files get automatically sized down, and I can't alter it.

You can all draw your own conclusions from what you see, assuming you can see it at all, but a few things were really interesting to me. First was how close Brown got in 2011 to matching Wallace’s average yards per reception. Second was his number of first downs in 2011, which beat Wallace’s number in any of his three seasons. But note Wallace is still the touchdown king, at least in Pittsburgh. What it mainly establishes is what a double-edged weapon they are together. As I noted above, there is no reason to think this will be different in 2012, especially with quality depth in Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery. But let’s move on to the rest of the AFC North.

Next up, Cleveland, since I dissed their receiving corps in my previous post about quarterbacks before I really looked at the numbers. It turns out I was at least partially correct to do so, at least with the information we have at this point. First, the positives.

Greg Little finished the 2011 season leading the Browns in catches and receiving yards. He will be their #1 receiver in 2012, barring, of course, injury or other unforeseen circumstances. The phrase "leading the Browns in catches and receiving yards" may seem like damning with faint praise, but in fact Little was the No. 2 rookie wide receiver in the NFL in catches, behind A. J. Green. He was also No. 4 in yards, behind Green, Torrey Smith of the Ravens, and Julio Jones. As a side note, this is quite an impressive showing for the AFC North.

So what was bad? Well, the Browns led the league last year with dropped passes, missing 43 catches. Which is a lot. Since this was an issue, I decided to check out the rate of dropped passes last season for the receivers presumed to be the starters in the AFC North in 2012. Pro Football Focus has a calculation, the Drop Rate, based upon what they view as catchable balls. The lower the rate the better. (The number on the chart is a percentage.)

Drop_rate_2011_medium

When we look at the chart, we can indeed see Little missed a great many balls, approaching one in every five catchable balls thrown to him. Mohamed Massaquoi was much better, but still missed more than 10% of catchable balls. According to Jamison Hensley, ESPN’s AFC North beat writer, wrote this several weeks ago:

I went to the Cleveland Browns' minicamp this week with an open mind about their wide receivers. I left shaking my head.

By my count, there were six dropped passes in a 90-minute practice Wednesday. If this carries into the season, the passing attack will struggle again and it wouldn't matter whether the quarterback is Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy or Aaron Rodgers.

While this was disputed by several commenters, Hensley’s words are not particularly encouraging for those hoping Brandon Weeden will have a good season.

Please note as you look at the chart—Mike Wallace has by far the lowest rate of dropped catchable balls in the AFC North. (For those of you who are wondering why there is no second receiver for the Bengals, keep reading.) In fact, out of 45 ranked receivers Wallace ranked No. 8. Little ranked No. 45.

To return to the Browns, their depth doesn’t, at this point, appear to provide a clear challenge Massaquoi for the #2 position. In this draft the Browns didn’t address the WR issue until they chose Travis Benjamin in round four. This doesn’t mean Benjamin or Jordan Norwood or Owen Spencer can’t step up and overperform, as did 2010 sixth-round pick Antonio Brown or, for that matter, 2009 third-round pick Mike Wallace, but there is little indication at this point the Brown’s receiving corps will be a major strength of the team. Hensley believes they remain a weakness.

So how about those Bengals? Why do they only have one wide receiver? Well, unlike the situation for every other AFC North team, I could not find substantial agreement about who the #2 receiver is on the Bengals’ depth chart for 2012. Last year the second wideout was of course Jerome Simpson, and he left in free agency this off-season. The name cropping up the most frequently to fill the void is Armon Binns. This surprised me, as the Bengals drafted Mohamed Sanu in the second round. But for whatever reason he only appears to be in the mix, along with other names such as Marvin Jones.

Binns was signed by Jacksonville as an undrafted free agent last spring. He was cut and picked up by the Bengals in September. They stowed him on their practice squad for 2011, and he never played in a game. So even if I went with Binns as the #2 receiver I wouldn’t have any stats to put up for him. However, it looks as if the Bengals have several options for a strong competition for the second spot. Sanu is said to be a very good possession receiver who can run any type of route and with excellent hands. Marvin Jones is expected to split time at the various receiving spots. Jordan Shipley is a promising slot receiver.

As far as A.J. Green goes, there isn’t much to say. Green was a top-10 receiver in the NFL last season, and there is no reason to believe he is going to regress this season.

Finally, the Ravens. Last season Torrey Smith emerged as one of the most exciting rookie receivers in the league, or one of the most annoying if you were a Steelers fan watching the second Steelers-Ravens game. Like A. J. Green, he only promises to get better this season. The second receiver, Anquan Boldin, was an amazing player early in his career, but he is not the player he was in 2003. Boldin is still a very solid receiver to all appearances, though, and in combination with the omni-talented Ray Rice and a couple of good tight ends gives Joe Flacco plenty of good options to throw to. (However, I shouldn’t be taking the backs and tight ends into consideration at this point, as the picture for all the teams may well change when we look at those positions.)

So how do we compare the various receiving corps? The lack of a clear #2 in Cincinnati makes it a bit more difficult to do, but let’s take a look at some more numbers and see where they take us. First, here is a chart using the same stats I used to compare Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown. (All numbers are for 2011.)

Afc_north_wr_2011_medium

I’ll let you all draw your own conclusions.

Next, let’s look at what Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, and Football Outsiders have to say about these players. First up, Pro Football Reference’s "Average Value" for 2011:

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Next, Pro Football Focus’s Wide Receiver Rating:

Pff_2011_wr_medium

PFF's top-ranked receiver for 2011 was Jordy Nelson, who blew everyone else out of the water with a 150.2 score. (The next closest was Marques Colston with 132.4.) The highest AFC North receivers were Torrey Smith (No. 9) at 108.6 and Mike Wallace (No. 10) at 108.0.

Finally, the Football Outsider ranking of receivers for 2011. Unlike the other two, lower is better in this ranking, with the No. 1 receiver for 2011, league-wide, being Calvin Johnson.

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Well, the best receiver in the AFC North last season was Mike Wallace, by almost any measure. That doesn’t come as breaking news, of course, except to those of the BTSC faithful who have busily been trying to persuade themselves we don’t really need Wallace. (This may, of course, be true, but shouldn’t downplay what he has done for the Steelers thus far.) A. J. Green is in hot competition with Antonio Brown for the #2 spot. Mohamed Massaquoi is the undisputed holder of last place. Greg Little is better than his drop rate would indicate, and if he can clean this up (or buy himself a vat of pine tar) he will be a force to be reckoned with this season.

So now for my (usual disclaimer about homerism) ranking of the AFC North, combining the information about the quarterbacks and receiving corps:

1. Pittsburgh Steelers

2. Baltimore Ravens

2. Cincinnati Bengals

4. Cleveland Browns

At this point I believe slot No. 1 and No. 4 are fairly obvious. I have the Ravens and the Bengals tied because while the Bengals have, I believe, the better quarterback as well as an excellent No. 1 receiver, the question mark at the No. 2 receiving slot makes me unwilling to put them in front.

So far things don’t look very rosy for the Browns, but that may change when we look at Running Backs in my next post. Stay tuned!



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain


Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders is Healthy, Looking to Breakout in 2012

As the Pittsburgh Steelers inch closer to mini-camp, there is still no resolution to the contract situation between the team and stay wide receiver Mike Wallace. While this is unfortunate, it may actually be a benefit for some members of the wide out corps.
One player who is looking to capitalize on the absence with some added reps is third-year wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (SMU).Sanders is an intriguing talent, who is looking to rebound from an injury riddled and subpar 2011 campaign and this opening may be all that he needs.
Looking back at his early career, it is interesting that during their rookie campaigns, Sanders was entrenched higher on the depth chart than last years team MVP Antonio Brown.
During that season, Sanders had worked his way up the depth chart to the number three role that season finishing with 28 receptions for 376 yards and 2 touchdowns.
However, when he injured his foot during the Super Bowl at the end of the 2010 season, little did anyone know that injury...

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers


Steelers Wide Receiver Coach Reveals Flaw Of Antonio Brown

Well, well, well. It seems that Pittsburgh Steelers third-year wide receiver Antonio Brown has a flaw. Despite busting out his sophomore year with 2,048 all-purpose yards, and always saying and doing the right things both on and off the field, wide receivers coach Scottie Montgomery revealed this past week that Brown has a problem. That problem is that he needs to rest some.

What? In reality, Montgomery, in his one-on-one interview with Bob Labriola on Steelers Live at 4, heaped a ton of praise on the former sixth round draft pick out of Central Michigan, when asked to talk about each of the Read more [...]

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers


Talkin’ Wide Receivers: Mike Wallace Setting the Market, Antonio Brown Setting the Bar


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Pittsburgh Steelers WR Mike Wallace has little leverage left in his contract negotiation. Not only is teammate, WR Antonio Brown, rising fast among other NFL wide receivers, but he's taking some of the spotlight from Wallace.

Two dogs, one bone. Or, two great receivers, one big Steelers pay day.

Does Wallace's alleged threats to hold out matter?

No. The Steelers have the ability to reduce his $ 2.7 million tender offer to 110 percent of his 2011 salary (much less than $ 2.7 million) if Wallace does not sign the deal by June 15, one day after mini-camp ends.

Maybe this is Clintonion, but it depends on what a "hold out" is. Will Wallace miss OTAs? That's certainly possible, and it's not something that would draw a fine. In the end, it doesn't matter as much if he's not there for mini camp as if he missed training camp, and Wallace's situation doesn't improve at all by missing any of it.

Keep in mind, too, the reduction piece of the tender offer is an option the Steelers have the right to exercise; it does not mean they will. Such a move would no doubt back Wallace into a corner that could lead to an inevitable training camp holdout, which would be detrimental to both Wallace and the Steelers.

Eagles WR Desean Jackson, a receiver probably a step below Wallace (and signed a deal this off-season worth $ 15 million guaranteed), admitted his contract battle distracted him, and advised Eagles RB LeSean McCoy against doing the same thing he did.

"I think it would be in his best interest to come" to offseason practices and camp, Jackson said. "Looking back now it really hurt me more than I thought it helped me. Hopefully he saw everything I went through, and hopefully [agent] Drew [Rosenhaus] won't have him go through the same thing."

Regardless of what Wallace's agent, Bus Cook, may be telling Adam Schefter, which naturally makes such high quality reporters like Evan Silva report it as if a precursor to the future, a hold out will not help Wallace in any way. His best bet is to hold off on signing it until Cook has had one last pre-mini camp crack at a long-term deal. Sign it, requesting the Steelers come back to the table in training camp (where OLB LaMarr Woodley, SS Troy Polamalu and ILB Lawrence Timmons all signed extensions last season, Woodley having signed his franchise tag without holding out) and take a look at the matter again.

Can Antonio Brown be even better in 2012?

Yes. Lots of simple questions surrounding this group. For as talented as Brown is, the aspect making him such an outstanding receiver is his work ethic. Former 6th round draft picks don't run routes as well as he did in his second year. They don't command as much attention as he did over the second half of the season. His desire to be great is without question his best attribute, and he's setting the bar very high for any Steelers receiver - including Wallace - in the future.

His success may simply force Wallace to another team, and while that does only intensify his own impending contract negotiation (he's set to be a restricted free agent in 2013), it doesn't seem like Brown would have it any other way. Taken off special teams duties for this upcoming season, Brown figures to be a big part of the offense, and rightfully he should. The rapport he developed with QB Ben Roethlisberger after the first quarter of the season was evident to all, and odds of him leading the team in receptions this season are very high.

Is Emmanuel Sanders the Forgotten One among Steelers receivers?

It wasn't long ago Sanders, and not Brown, was the rising receiver among the Steelers. Injuries have really set him back after he led the team in targets in the AFC Championship Game his rookie year. A foot injury in the Super Bowl, and what appeared to be a re-aggravation of that injury in training camp, forced Sanders to lose some ground.

Injuries happen to everyone, and the ones affecting Sanders are ill-timed. He's still very talented and, with some luck, could really surprise some people this year. He's also a year away from restricted free agency, so this is an important off-season and training camp for him. Injuries are unpredictable and they take their toll on a player mentally. The real question we should be asking is how good can he be if the Injury Bug passes over him for just one year?

What are rookie WR Toney Clemons' chances of making the roster?

Normally I take a quick glance into the seventh-round picks and see what unique skill they may bring to the table, but more, what weaknesses they show that may have caused them to fall so far. In Clemons' case, it really seems to be his rocky collegiate career that affected him, even more than just needing some work on his hands. Playing for two coaches at Michigan, transferring to Colorado and working for numerous coaches there, it's tough to ask any player to grow and improve under such conditions.

Dropping passes, though, isn't nearly as much coaching as it is focus, concentration and coordination. Tough to be an NFL receiver if you can't catch the ball.

In Clemons' case, and no doubt, his agent is saying the same thing, he's on a great team to move past all of that. While wide receivers coach Scottie Montgomery has to be moving closer each passing year to a promotion, the coaching staff is otherwise stable for the foreseeable future, and he has some great younger receivers around him.

Will it be enough to make the 53-man roster? I'd say right now, it won't be. With Sanders' injury concerns, I think they'll want to bring in a low-priced veteran for the sake of stability to that group. Clemons could be a riser and need a year of seasoning, and the Steelers won't want a guy like that to take a spot now. He'll get a camp to prove that prediction false. It sure would help the Steelers in the future for him to earn playing time now, though.




Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Money(Foot)ball: Are There Wide Receiver Bargains in the NFL Draft?

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Here is the promised continuation of my previous post, "Mike Wallace, Man of Mystery," in which I compared Mike Wallace’s stats in his first three years to a number of receivers drafted after 1995 who had similar early success. The original intention for this post was to try to project Wallace's value over the next few years.

However, there have been at least several thousand words written about the Mike Wallace situation by various of the other writers on this fine blog since that first article was published. As a result I decided to make this follow-up a more general look at the career trajectory for receivers taken at various levels in the draft.

For the original post I chose 100 receivers drafted or signed as a UDFA between 1994 and 2009, out of around 520 drafted during that time. Most of the receivers I chose had early success in the NFL. Out of those 100 I looked at 27 players whose initial three years resembled Mike Wallace’s the most closely, and added in Hines Ward for interest.

Receiver_chart_1_nfl_rankings_medium

The Top Four Picks line is a result of averaging the career results for eight receivers, Braylon Edwards, Kevin Dyson, Ike Hilliard, Plaxico Burress, Johnnie Morton, David Boston, Javon Walker, and Santana Moss. (For the purposes of comparison I assumed the two years Plaxico Burress was, shall we say, otherwise engaged didn’t occur, and moved his 2011 numbers back to 2009.)

The Round One and Two line is an average of the career results for Peerless Price, Eric Moulds, Reggie Wayne, Roddy White, Chad Ochocinco, Chris Chambers, Bobby Engram, and Vincent Jackson. The Rounds Three - UFDA line is an average of the career results for Hines Ward, Steve L. Smith, Terrell Owens, Marty Booker, Laveranues Coles, Antonio Freeman, Jerricho Cotchery, Donald Hayes, Az-Zahir Hakim, T. J. Houshmandzadeh, Wes Welker, and Rod Smith.

Now let’s turn it upside down, as it were, and look at these same receivers, except this time we will look at their Approximate Value (hereafter AV) as per Pro-Football-Reference. (You can find an explanation of the Approximate Value on their website.) It’s upside down because in the NFL stats low is better, but for the PFR stats high is better.

Av_comp_medium

The PFR plots are less "noisy" because they have constrained the numbers a good bit. A banner year for a receiver would give him an AV of +10, and the highest number I saw for anyone was less than 20. The NFL rankings go up to about 170 or so, depending on the year.

If you look at either chart, though, it looks as if the best long-term results were actually with the lower-round picks. But I also realized I was very much cherry-picking in the low rounds in particular. So I went back to the spreadsheets and entered the data for all receivers drafted between 1998 and 2007. (I stopped at 2007 to give everyone at least five years in the league before looking at their numbers, and I stopped at 1998 because I was going nuts...)

I decided to stick with the PFR numbers, and entered those for everyone drafted between 1998 and 2007. I then went through the lists for each year and removed the names of the guys who just didn’t work out. I took their name off the list if they both had a WCAV of less than five and they had a career of three seasons or less. (By way of comparison, Hines Ward’s AV just for 2011, one of his worst seasons, was 3.) I figure that anybody whose accumulated AV career score is less than five, and yet still persuade a team to sign them for additional years, must have something going for them that isn’t showing up in the rankings.

Before we look at the results, let’s look at some overall information.

The total number of players drafted between 1998 and 2007, including any UDFAs who stuck in the league long enough to generate some stats, was 349. That’s an average of almost 35 players per year.

The total number of players I removed for non-performance, if you will, was 136, or 39% of the total, leaving an average of 61% of players who pan out to some extent. The best percentage for any season was in 2003, at 67% retained. The worst two were 1998 and 2006, when only 56% of the players worked out well for the team drafting them.

So now let’s run the above chart again, but this time with only the lowest performers removed. This gives us about 2/3 of the total players to look at, as opposed to about 1/5 in the chart above.

All_receivers_medium

The results now look a lot like you would expect during the first several years, when the mediocre players drag down the averages for Round 3 - UFDA in particular.

The first few years really reinforces the Advanced NFL Stats guys contention about the difference between top-four picks and everyone else. But an interesting thing happens around Year Seven. The receivers who are still playing at this point have evened out to a great extent. I’m not sure the curves at the very end of the graph are all that meaningful, because by that point only a few players are creating the stats.

Which brings to mind another interesting question—what is the average career, and does it vary by my somewhat arbitrary divisions? I don’t know. And to find out in a meaningful way I have to add the bottom third of low or non-performers back into the equation. So this may take a minute...

Here’s what I found. For this chart I divided the receivers a bit further, this time strictly by pick number, and the rest of the charts in this post will be divided this way. I kept the top four as Group 1. The next group are the fifth through tenth receivers picked in their draft. Group 3 is the eleventh through the eighteenth picks, and the last group is everyone else, minus the UDFAs. (Since the UDFAs that have a good career are outliers, for this purpose I’ve removed them from the equation, since it’s pretty well impossible to get information on the offsetting UFDA receivers who didn’t pan out.)

Avg_career_length_medium

Once again, as you might expect the higher picks are likely to stay in the league longer. With the new CBA rules it seems to me the years of maximum interest to a front office are going to be the first four or five. So once again let’s see what the numbers look like, but this time with everyone.

The next chart is the average PFR Approximate Value, averaged by draft segment, for all the receivers chosen between 1998 and 2006, 2006 being the last year a receiver could have theoretically played six years.

Avg

Notice once again if a low pick (19 or lower) sticks long enough things even out a great deal. But nonetheless there is no getting around the facts—if you want a receiver to give you an immediate impact you generally have to take them at the very top of the draft, or spend a lot of money in free agency. Neither of these are preferred tactics for the recent Steelers organization. The other option is to get lucky.

If I was looking to get lucky I think I would take a chance on some of the guys picked as the eighth to the fifteeth receiver in a draft. You are always going to have the outliers in the lowest rounds and undrafted, like Antonio Brown or Wes Welker, but you have a good chance of getting a serviceable receiver in the eight to fifteen range, and maybe better than serviceable. Mike Wallace was the 11th pick in the 2009 draft. Hines Ward was the 14th pick in the 1998 draft. Both of them are clearly outliers—they have performed at far above their expected value.

And out of curiosity, how did the Steelers do at picking receivers during the time period we've been discussing—1998 - 2006? The Steelers made a lot more top-four picks than I would have guessed: three, in fact, Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and Troy Edwards. (That is three out of the 36 top four receivers during the nine-year period, or over 8%. Pittsburgh represents 3% of the league.) They also made three 2nd-tier picks, D’Wayne Bates, Antwaan Randle El, and Willie Reid. They made four 3rd-tier picks, and struck black and gold on Hines Ward, in addition to Fred Gibson, Malcolm Johnson, and Danny Farmer. Finally, there were only two end of the draft picks, both pretty much total busts: Lee Mays and Chris Taylor. Nate Washington was a UDFA who made things look much better in that category. I probably shouldn’t have included him, but the bottom line is too depressing otherwise...

Pit_vs_nfl_1_medium

Pit_vs_nfl_2_medium

The Steelers look slightly better than the rest of the league, but given the number of high picks they should look better than this. However, things have changed for the better since 2006. Santonio Holmes had his flaws, but he was a great receiver, and the Steelers got great value out of him for three years. Since 2009 they have found three bargain-barrel receivers who make up one of the most exciting receiving corps in the league. For the moment, anyhow.

Finally, to return to the original Mike Wallace question for a moment, how have similar receivers turned out as they continued beyond the third year of their career? Quite well, in fact, although interestingly there tends to be a slight dip in production after the third season. Have a look at the final chart, I promise. It's pretty "noisy" but you get the general idea:

Another_6_yr_medium

There is good reason to believe that, barring some unfortunate occurrence, Mike Wallace should continue to produce at a high level. But the fact is, there isn't really enough data to come to a firm conclusion, because what Mike has done in his first three years is quite unusual.

The Moneyball way to deal with this? The Steelers squeeze the value out of Wallace this year and let him walk next year. I don't think that's what the Front Office is hoping to do. That may be what happens, though, because they don't have a choice. But it has been a great three years. I'm hoping there will be more.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Georgia Tech wide receiver, California offensive tackle visiting Steelers


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Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill and California offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz are visiting the Steelers on the next-to-last day teams are allowed to host NFL draft prospects.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver Mike Wallace Will Not Get the Contract That He Is Seeking, and Should Just Sign the Tender Offered to Him

So far, this offseason, no team has offered Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace a contract. The restricted free agent was offered a tender by the Steelers worth a little over $ 2.7 million, but Wallace has thus far refused to sign it.
Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said ESPN reported, “that Wallace will not participate in any spring workouts unless he and the team come to terms on a multiple-year contract.”
Bouchette also stated that the three-year veteran out of Ole Miss will be unable to sign with another team once the deadline of April 20th passes, and that he will only have the choice of a long-term deal or signing the tender with the Steelers.
In the meantime, Pittsburgh’s front office is making sure that everything else is in place offensively just in case the Pro Bowl receiver somehow doesn’t return to the Steelers for the 2012 NFL season.
Veteran receiver Jerricho Cotchery re-signed with the team with a two-year contract worth over $ 3 million dollars. ...

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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Steelers Re-Sign Wide Receiver Jerricho Cotchery


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PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — The Pittsburgh Steelers re-signed wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery Wednesday, helping to solidify their wide receiving corps.

Cotchery reportedly signed for two years. The financial terms haven’t been released.

Cotchery joins Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders on the depth chart, along with restricted free agent Mike Wallace. Cotchery pulled in 15 catches for 227 yards and two touchdowns in the second half of last season.

His biggest impact came in the Wildcard playoff round at Denver, when he caught a 31-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger that sent the game into overtime.

Cotchery and Roethlisberger developed chemistry as the year progressed, as Cotchery slowly moved up the depth chart.

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Wide receiver Cotchery, Steelers work out new two-year deal

Jerricho Cotchery had visited the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs this offseason but stayed true to his desire to play for the Steelers.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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