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DIESELMAN
05-03-2008, 04:58 AM
The Pittsburgh Steelers' receiving corps has a new look this year. The group was unveiled yesterday at the first day of this weekend's minicamp. Find out who's looking good out of the gate.

http://media.scout.com/Media/Image/54/547135.jpg

With Hines Ward sidelined by recent knee surgery, the Steelers showcased a receiving corps that’s either from the future or Redwood National Park.

Yes, the Steelers’ receivers are that big.

“Coach (Mike) Tomlin was saying we’ve got a lot of power forwards around here,” said Ward. “But you still need some point guards out on the field, on the court, to run things, so we’ll see. Hopefully they go out and help contribute to the team.”

Fans may have expected Ward to become vocal over the new breed of receiver being brought in to connect with the 6-foot-5 quarterback, but Ward was vocal in another way: He was a second coach on the sideline, particularly with rookie Limas Sweed.

“If the organization feels this is a player who can help us win the championship, then of course I’m going to welcome them because I want to win another championship,” Ward said.

Sweed, the Steelers’ second-round draft pick, was just one of the giants running patterns for Ben Roethlisberger at the start of minicamp Friday. Counting tight ends, the Steelers have seven receivers taller than 6-4½. That’s the size Sweed brings to the team and he only ranks as the team’s seventh-tallest receiver.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Sweed said. “These guys are pretty big.”

Heath Miller who at 6-5 is tied for No. 5 on the list, wonders if Roethlisberger will be able to find him anymore.

“I used to be the tallest guy in the room,” Miller said. “Even weight-wise, I’m small. I put on a couple of pounds and stepped on a scale feeling good about myself, and then the other guys got on behind me and made me look small. I guess I’m the runt of the room.”

Miller weighed in at 254 pounds, only four pounds more than 6-5, 250-pound Jon Dekker. You may remember Dekker as that skinny kid from Princeton.

While Dekker’s looking like a real tight end these days, the other tight ends are looking like NBA power forwards. Matt Spaeth checked into his second season at 6-7, 270 pounds and the re-signed Cody Boyd is 6-8, 264 pounds. And the wideouts appear to be interchangeable with the gigantic tight ends.

Sweed, ticketed to become Roethlisberger’s “big receiver,” must first find his way past a couple of other giants: Former MSU basketball player Matt Trannon and undrafted free agent Micah Rucker are both 6-6. Last year’s big guy, 6-3 Dallas Baker, isn’t even in the top seven anymore.

“You can’t really pay attention to that,” Baker said. “It’s football, not basketball. It reminds of Jacksonville’s receivers right now.”

Baker, of course, isn’t lost behind the other big men. He has a year under his belt and is feeling confident.

“I’m starting to understand it a little bit better” he said. “I wouldn’t say I completely understand, but I think I understand a little bit better.”

On the field, the young giants drew mixed reviews. Sweed dropped a few balls the first practice but showed plenty of deep speed and tracking skills. Rucker doesn’t excite the personnel people as much as his size and 4.4 40 time should. Trannon looks great in shorts, but contact has been his undoing on the football field the last few years.

Of course with Ward out, Santonio Holmes -- all 5-11 (listed) of him -- was the best receiver on the field. Did he notice all the new Redwoods out there?
“Yeah,” he said, “but they’ve got to be athletes, too. Just because they’re big and tall, and just because people are starting to pay attention that we’ve got three or four guys that are tall, they’ve still got to prove themselves. Being tall isn’t going to mean you’ll be on the field here.” Probably not, but the intention of the Steelers’ personnel department – that of finding Roethlisberger some big receivers -- is unmistakable.

By Jim Wexell
SteelCityInsider.com
Posted May 2, 2008


:lol: at Miller at 6'5 saying he's the runt of the bunch. I figure as long as Hines keeps a good attitude and helps these guys become Steeler receivers, we got a scary WR corp. :yellowthumb:

BlitzburghRockCity
05-03-2008, 07:10 AM
We're so used to seeing smurfs out there for so long now with the Steelers that this is going to be a real nice change for the team to have such big group of targets for Ben. Coupled with the fact that several of them are speed burners this is going to be a great opportunity for us to have multiple options in the red zone with big targets and more opportunities to stretch the field. I can't wait to watch this offense in action!

ejsteeler
05-03-2008, 10:07 AM
Oh yeah! Imagine a couple big receivers with a Hines Ward attitude toward the game.:greenbounce2: It will be a wonderful thing to behold.:yellowthumb:

Iron City South
05-03-2008, 01:05 PM
“Coach (Mike) Tomlin was saying we’ve got a lot of power forwards around here,” said Ward. “But you still need some point guards out on the field, on the court, to run things, so we’ll see. Hopefully they go out and help contribute to the team.”


Excellent quote by Ward. I agree, he needs to play the role of point guard. I totally see him making sure these guys are running the right routes while he's providing the big block for them. Ward will also still get his share of grabs. :tt02:

SteelerDan43
05-03-2008, 01:17 PM
Im still not sure about this go big movement, especially with the recent success of the small guys in the league, IE S.Moss, S.Smith, etc...

Captcoolhand
05-03-2008, 01:25 PM
Nice to see that we are improving on the height of this team now let's just hope that we can get some real good players and not just a bunch of training camp foddlers. :eyecrazy:

$teelersRule
05-03-2008, 01:25 PM
Im still not sure about this go big movement, especially with the recent success of the small guys in the league, IE S.Moss, S.Smith, etc...

what about R. moss and P Burress? haha:yesnod:

SteelerDan43
05-03-2008, 01:36 PM
But we have more than enough big targets as was discussed in the article, but we really only Willie as a little guy that can beat people in a small space

MDSteel15
05-03-2008, 02:08 PM
I can't believe being a Michigan fan I am going to say that a Ohio State WR said it all when Holmes said "Just because they are big doesn't make them good, they have to be athletes too...." God that hurt! lol

SteelersWoman
05-03-2008, 03:19 PM
As long as Hines teaches them to block like he does... That's a skill that's got to be passed on to all our receivers yet to come. So that way, even after Hines is gone, the tradition will live on!

Stlrs4Life
05-03-2008, 04:53 PM
But we have more than enough big targets as was discussed in the article, but we really only Willie as a little guy that can beat people in a small space



I thought we were looking for a tall receiver. We already have 1? Which way is it?

SteelerDan43
05-03-2008, 07:56 PM
Well we have 3 6'5" plus tight ends, as well as Washington who is 6'1" and Baker who is 6'3" and we kept him around all year so the must see something in him. And once again as was commented by Holmes, big doesn't mean good

BlitzburghNation
05-03-2008, 09:19 PM
We're so used to seeing smurfs out there for so long now with the Steelers that this is going to be a real nice change for the team to have such big group of targets for Ben. Coupled with the fact that several of them are speed burners this is going to be a great opportunity for us to have multiple options in the red zone with big targets and more opportunities to stretch the field. I can't wait to watch this offense in action!

:ditto: Well put TG :clap:

SteelerFan87
05-05-2008, 03:02 PM
1. In regards to our tall TEs, ok yeah they're tall, but they're not the same as a tall athletic WR. They do provide big targets, but Sweed should have a bigger range of passes he can catch, since I'm sure he can jump alot higher than Heath and Spaeth.

2. In regards to the fact that there are alot of great shorter WRs like Santana Moss and Steve Smith, we have Santonio Holmes for that, and Hines Ward. We have 2 short starters and 1 tall rookie WR. Always good to have a nice mix like that.

3. I can't wait to see Hines, Holmes, Sweed, Miller, and Parker/Mendenhall all on the field. If the O-line can just be decent, that's a TON of weapons for Ben to use. Should be a really explosive offense.

Koopa
05-05-2008, 06:21 PM
i hate when they say power fowards....... the **** kind of midget league do they watch??? if you are a power fowards and 6'5 or under you are a bum and must be playing high school basketball

Black@Gold Forever32
05-05-2008, 07:58 PM
i hate when they say power fowards....... the **** kind of midget league do they watch??? if you are a power fowards and 6'5 or under you are a bum and must be playing high school basketball

Its not that to figure out....Some TE's in the NFL were former power forwards when they played college ball...You might have heard of that one guy named Antonio Gates...He played power forward at Kent State....You just like to bitch about everything.....:lol:

Koopa
05-05-2008, 08:05 PM
Its not that to figure out....Some TE's in the NFL were former TE's when they played college ball...You might have heard of that one guy named Antonio Gates...He played power forward at Kent State....You just like to bitch about everything.....:lol:

then he was a bum, cause short power fowards don't do good in the league unless your name is charles barkley

Black@Gold Forever32
05-05-2008, 08:17 PM
then he was a bum, cause short power fowards don't do good in the league unless your name is charles barkley

Did I say Gates was a great power forward....Plus I wasn't even talking about the NBA.....Just trying to explain that Gates and some other TE's in the NFL played power forward in college....So thats why some people call them power forwards.....You would be surprised how many TE's played that position for their college hoops teams...

TEEMONT
05-05-2008, 11:47 PM
i hate when they say power fowards....... the **** kind of midget league do they watch??? if you are a power fowards and 6'5 or under you are a bum and must be playing high school basketball

I don't even think they are saying they ARE power forwards, they are just saying they are the PF's of the NFL.

Black@Gold Forever32
05-05-2008, 11:54 PM
I don't even think they are saying they ARE power forwards, they are just saying they are the PF's of the NFL.

That to and the fact remains TE's like Gates played college hoops and were power forwards....

BlitzburghRockCity
05-06-2008, 06:14 PM
Considering the smurfs we've had at WR for the last 15 years ( for the most part) having so many guys over 6" they are definitely the NFL's version power forwards :lol: