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Thread: Draft pick a Sweed addition to receivers

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  1. #1
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Draft pick a Sweed addition to receivers

    Tuesday, May 06, 2008
    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Peter Diana/Post-Gazette
    Steelers No. 2 pick receiver Limas Sweed gets a few pointers from veteran Hines Ward at minicamp.

    X marks the spot for Limas Sweed. In football speak, the X position is the split end and that is where the rookie receiver will line up, behind Santonio Holmes.

    At least, that's where things started for the Steelers receivers at their weekend minicamp. It all could change between now and the start of the season.

    Sweed's addition to the roster in the second round of the draft prompted many to take notice of a receiving group that can claim to be a team strength.

    The group includes as its starters Hines Ward, who owns almost every team receiving record, and Holmes, who led all NFL receivers in yards per catch (18.1) last season. No. 3 man Nate Washington, who is 6 feet 1, and the 6-4 Sweed can go deep and give quarterback Ben Roethlisberger more options. There is also 6-5 tight end Heath Miller, whose 47 receptions ranked third on the team last season, and his backup, 6-7 Matt Spaeth.

    "I'll put it to you like this," Washington said of an offense that also added rookie halfback Rashard Mendenhall in the first round. "We had a good unit, but with the additions we made, I think we went from good to great -- we have the potential to be great, rather. We're not there yet. ... It's a great opportunity for us to come out and open up as an offense."

    Holmes sees all kinds of opportunities developing with the addition of Sweed.

    "We can get somebody that's as physical as he is to come in and bring a different threat to the program. Being a big guy and very explosive, it's going to help us a whole lot.
    The receivers
    A glance at the Steelers' top pass catchers and their experience:

    86 - Hines Ward - 6-0

    83 - Heath Miller - 6-5

    85 - Nate Washington - 6-1

    10 - Santonio Holmes - 5-11

    89 - Matt Spaeth - 6-7

    14 - Limas Sweed - 6-4

    "If I can stretch the field, we can have Hines in the middle and we have another guy who can also work the middle with Hines and take hits and be physical in the middle. It'll help us with the tight ends and all."

    Coordinator Bruce Arians already tinkered with the lineup, the lower-end of the alphabet dancing through his head. Ward is the Z, or flanker. Then there are other letters that account for slot men and wing men and H-backs

    "Limas is at X," Arians said. "We can move Santonio around, which we started doing a lot last year because he plays in the slot very well. Limas can play in the slot, no problem. Hines can obviously play everywhere. Nate can play everywhere -- he's had to play every position on the team the last two years; he's lined up at X, F, Y and Z."

    And sometimes W?

    "We're fortunate to have guys who can take the top end off our coverage," said Arians, which means running deep routes, "and they're tough enough to go over the middle."

    Washington envisions a cornucopia of passes in which Roethlisberger can hang passes high with a reasonable expectation that his receivers will come down with the ball.

    "Limas gives us versatility," Washington said. "Teams are going to have to respect our jump balls now. A lot of teams know I can jump, but with my size -- 6-1, 185 -- they can deal with it and my jumping ability. Now they have to respect some height.

    "It's going to open us up more on deep patterns with me and 'Tone, the speed we have, and the underneath game Hines has. If we're in game at the same time, they can't just double me going deep, because Limas will be back there somewhere. If there's a bailout situation, you can just throw it up to him."

    Randy Fichtner, who coaches the Steelers wide receivers, believes Sweed can be an integral part of the Steelers offense as a rookie.

    "I don't think there's any question," Fichtner said. "Obviously there's a learning curve, but that hits everybody. But I know that he's capable of learning."

    Fichtner envisioned Sweed claiming the No. 3 job this year. Moments after they drafted him, he said, "It tickles you to death because you're looking at a three group that's really strong and a possibility of Nate Washington being four is really exciting."

    Holmes knows what it's like to pick up the NFL game as a rookie receiver; he led all AFC rookie receivers with 49 receptions.

    "He's very, very much more an asset right now," Holmes said of Sweed. "The system will be hard. It will take him 12, 15 games to learn the system. But if he's one of those guys who can pick up the system early, then we'll need him as soon as possible."
    If you can look at our WR corps and not get excited you must not have a pulse. I can't remember the last time we could look at a group of pass catchers on the Steelers and see such a talented bunch with so much potential. When you have 4 legitimate threats at WR and then TE like Heath and backup like Spaeth there's just no way to cover everyone if you're on defense. Throw in Parker and Mendenhall and Im just ecstatic to see what these guys can do with Ben.

    We haven't done anything yet though but man it sure looks like right now we've go the potential to be as deadly an offense as an Steeler team in history.

  2. #2
    BlitzburghNation's Avatar
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    Hell Yeah,,,,,,,,,,This fire powered offense can put up some points,that'll make our defense even better,,,,,,,,,

    My biggest worry every single year,,,,,,,,,,Pre-Season,always worried about some senseless injury~~~~Man I hate those pre-season games !

  3. #3
    SA's Biggest Fan
    SteelersWoman's Avatar
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    Sounds like music to my ears

  4. #4
    Veteran DIESELMAN's Avatar
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    Now that our offense is going to be scary for the next few years, maybe, just maybe we can concentrate on our DL in the next couple of drafts.

    If you don’t stand behind our troops.....Please feel free to stand in front of them!!!

    "Give me a 6 pack, half hour of rest and lets go play them again....We can beat them."
    --Jack Lambert

    "They say that when you're the champs, everybody will try to beat you. Well, I'm glad we're the champs, so bring 'em on, bring 'em all on. If we die, we ain't gonna die running. It's gonna be a fight."
    --Joe Greene

  5. #5
    2nd String Koopa's Avatar
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    HOOK 'EM

    damn i can't wait, and i get to see the first game because it's against the texans
    "SA, it's more than a FEVER it's an ADDICTION" -BlacknGold Bleeder

  6. #6
    Da Film Crew Mike Tomlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koopa View Post
    HOOK 'EM

    damn i can't wait, and i get to see the first game because it's against the texans
    Me either I got tickets right by the visitors locker room when the Steelers come to the Vikings. I gotta a get a full size helmet by then so I can get the team to sign it since i'll probably never be that close to them again.
    C:\Documents and Settings\Owner.NASHA\My Documents\My Pictures\steelers-logan%20large.jpg

  7. #7
    2nd String
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    man we have the ability 2 put up 30 points an game, it's gonna b an good run this year

  8. #8
    ejsteeler's Avatar
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    Exciting stuff. Think about it. When was the last time we had that much talent at WR? I can think of no time we had that many weapons (potential weapons I guess is more appropriate) and depth in that area. Anyone have a better memory?

  9. #9
    Tailgate Coordinator
    Stlrs4Life's Avatar
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    Swann, Stallworth, Cunniongham were no slouch.

    I'm A "Champion"

  10. #10
    2nd String MDSteel15's Avatar
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    Don't forget about another rookie WR Micah Rucker 6'6" 221 from Eastern Illinois ! I talked about him a long time ago and this kid was clocked at running a 4.40 40!!! If we can put him on the practice squad and develop him, MAN! Talk about stretching the field... And what about Dallas Baker? Still potential there, too............ I'm feeling the excitement building like it used to a lonnnng time ago!
    Last edited by MDSteel15; 05-06-2008 at 09:59 PM.

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