New Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers coach Richard Mann had his first real talk with media following the selection of Oklahoma wide receiver Justin Brown in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL draft. After talking about Brown, Mann was asked if he had to adapt to the style of offensive coordinator Todd Haley or did he bring in his own concepts.
“I\’ve been around the track a little bit,” said Mann. “Usually there isn\’t too much that I haven’t seen. What I have to get used to is the verbiage. A lot of the same concepts, but they call them different names. I think that’s the biggest thing. A lot of people don’t realize that Coach Haley and I were together from years ago from when we first started. So a lot of what he believes in, I believe in it and a lot of what he does, I\’ve seen it before and my biggest thing is in this room asking, “What does this mean?” So I can take it and get a comparison because like I’ve said, everybody copycats. Most I’ve done, I just have to turn the words over.”
Mann mentioned that he worked with Haley years ago and that was when both were with the New York Jets. Haley got his start with the Jets in 1995 as an assistant scout and in 1997 he was promoted to the offensive assistant position. Mann, on the other hand, was the Jets wide receivers coach from 1994-96.
Mann is regarded as a coach that focuses a lot on technique and he was asked this past weekend what he thinks about his group of receivers overall.
“From what I have seen, I don’t know them that well, but I know we have some good receivers. The thing I’m going to look for is where we play the guys to get the most out of them. Some guys are body types to dictate and play the weak side, some are strong side and some guys aren\’t good at playing the inside slot. I think the inside is a special place. Everyone cannot play it. I think with Todd [Haley] and Coach Tomlin, we will sit down and figure that out and put them where we can get the most out of them.”
As far as the wide receivers that can play in the slot, Emmanuel Sanders, Jerricho Cotchery and third-round draft Markus Wheaton are all players that can play that position. Antonio Brown is best suited on the outside, as is veteran Plaxico Burress and the aforementioned Justin Brown, one of the Steelers two sixth-round draft picks.
Mann will get his first good look at the younger wide receivers on the roster starting on Friday with the rookie camp getting underway in Pittsburgh.