Heading into the Thursday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles we really hadn\’t seen any of the Pittsburgh Steelers young wide receivers emerge head and shoulders above one another at the bottom of the depth chart, but wide receivers Scottie Montgomery let be known in a recent interview with David Todd for ESPN 970 Radio, that both Tyler Beiler and Derrick Williams caught his eye in the Steelers first preseason game.
Todd asked Montgomery specifically about the guys on the back end of the wide receiver depth chart that are currently battling for a roster spot. “It\’s always someone who disappoints that you think that\’s going to go really well and then there\’s always the flip side of the coin – someone that does really well that you don\’t know what they\’re going to do usually in a game,” said Montgomery. “But this week it was kind of guys went in and did a really, really good job as far as knowing their assignments, we really didn\’t have very many mental errors, which is a very, very first good step.”
Montgomery went on to say why two players specifically caught his eye Thursday night with their play. “I like to see just more playmaking with guys in situations. I thought Tyler Beiler did an unbelievable job of making a play when we needed it the most on that last drive.” Montgomery continued, “So as far as making plays, I always put a lot of emphasis on when we need the play, he made the play. So as far as I\’m concerned, a guy that jumped out at me on that drive was definitely him.”
“From a physical standpoint, I was really, really pleased with 15, Derrick Williams,” Montgomery noted. “He applied himself in that football game, and if you want to be a Steelers, the thing that comes with being a Steeler receiver, is you got to be physical when it\’s time to be physical. And I thought he did an unbelievable job there.”
While Montgomery would go on to give an obligatory mention to both Toney Clemons and Marquis Maze, it was clear that both Beiler and Williams have a leg up right now in his eyes. Montgomery also mentioned that they were disappointed that they didn\’t get a chance to see David Gilreath play Thursday night as he evidently was not able to go because of a small bunion on one of his feet. Gilreath is now back practicing, so we can likely expect him to get some looks Sunday night in the Steelers second preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts.
As far as how the wide receivers rotation went this past Thursday, Williams entered the game at the same time that Clemons did and Maze was used in the slot when three receivers were used. After that group exited it was Beiler and Juamorris Stewart that entered with Maze remaining the third receiver of the group. Both Jimmy Young and the newly signed Paul Cox did not see any action in the game on offense, so they figure to be on the bottom of the totem pole entering the second preseason game.
The participation rotation in the upcoming game could shed a little more light on how the depth chart is shaking out and it will be interesting to see if Beiler gets playing time earlier, perhaps in the place of Clemons. With only one preseason game in the books, and with Beiler being the only one of the group with a reception thus far, it is still hard to draw any hard conclusions right now other than what Montgomery noted in his interview with Todd.