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Mike Tomlin Believes Markus Wheaton Will Be One Of The Answers Moving Forward

The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking for answers after dropping to 0-2 on the season following their 2010 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals Monday night. Head coach Mike Tomlin, however, doesn’t believe that he has to go far to find those answers.

“I believe honestly that the answers are still in that room,” said Tomlin during his post game press conference.

One of those answers might just be rookie wide receiver Markus Wheaton, who saw very limited playing time for a second straight game.

“He will be,” said Tomlin when asked if Wheaton will be part of those answers moving forward.

The Steelers take on the undefeated Chicago Bears next Sunday night at Heinz Field, so you can expect that Wheaton will likely overtake Jerricho Cotchery on the depth chart this coming week.

To Cotchery’s credit, he did have three catches for 59 yards Monday night, but he is not a threat to stretch the field and hasn’t been for some time now.

The Steelers need a receiver that can take the top off the coverage so that Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown can both work underneath more. The Steelers lost Mike Wallace to free agency during the offseason and the offense is certainly suffering without him.

With Wheaton now expected to see more playing time, Sanders will likely see more time in the slot when the team uses their 11 personnel grouping.

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Whcr Communicators

    Wheaton is ready now but I think Haley is not getting it done so I dont think Wheaton will solve anything let Ben call his own plays

  • Shannon Stephenson

    If Ben has no run game and the porous line gives him no time…do we have those answers in the room?

  • Bob Loblaw

    Yeah, this is what I don’t get about people saying we need to throw it deep. What time do we have? And what receivers? It isn’t Sanders, Brown, or Jericho. Quick count on ESPN says 14/37 passes we went deep. Only four of those deep balls connected.

    So we better hope Wheaton can bring something. Or perhaps Moye. Otherwise keep sending Heath and Bell positive vibes.

  • 2443scott

    didnt like the play calls at all why throw a one yard pass is beyond me and right at line at that …..running backs just run straight into line where is no hole what play call is that pee wee team could stop that kind a run …just plain bad play calls ….and taylor cant tackle any more and left green catch the chain moving short passes and he even left a guy run all by him self down field for a score his age is showing up more and more ….now tomlin says lets use wheaton why wasnt he used to begin with….and that end around wheaton should had that job but no lets use the slower cotchery ….i thought new center played well i think hes a keeper ….but these play calls are just bad ….

  • Christopher Wilkes

    The fumble and that tripping penalty were the game changers. The Bengals came out with momentum and scored 2 tds off those plays. As badly as the offense played I think we coulda won that game if those 2 plays went differently.

  • Mike Carroll

    Not sure Wheaton is actually ready, since he still seems to be making some bad errors like hesitating on taking the kickoff out the end zone last week. But it’s the right move since he seems to have playmaking potential. Hopefully, he learn quickly on the job. Cotchery is reliable, but should be kept as a veteran backup only.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Ike had a stellar game. He personally held one of the best WR’s in check. He did miss a tackle in this game but nobody is perfect.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    The fumble was huge because it was a 10 point swing. On the penalty play it is hard to say what would have happened but we did lose filed position in the end. The 10 point swings has this game at a tie.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    Yeah I know the penalty wasn’t a turnover, but it might as well have been one. That was a 33 yd gain to AB, so subtract that, plus the 10 yd penalty, and then Ben takes an 11 yd loss on a 3rd and 20. That’s -54 yds and a big momentum swing for the Bengals.

  • Mike Carroll

    I’m not ready to throw in the towel on this offense just yet. Down 10 with 8 minutes to go, I still thought they had a real chance to win. But they came up short tonight.

  • Bob Loblaw

    Steelers weren’t much more effective in the no huddle last night.

  • Pete

    That is a big question and really what else could Tomlin say? I hope the answer is in that room. That the O line improves and is able to run and pass block. The Steelers have never really been a West Coast offense style but that type of offense has a lot of quick slants over the middle and gets the ball out quickly. Suffering from the loss of Pouncey and Miller has been huge. Maybe Wheaton offers some relief. But if they can’t run, they won’t be able to pass either. Not with the current O line.

  • Pete

    And also what about the people saying they have to pass because it’s a passing league? Well, the Steelers threw 76% of the time. I mean they had to since they couldn’t run. But they really need to be able to do both. This shows you have to be able to run the ball or have incredible passing weapons and the threat of the run.

  • steeltown

    No way you can take Cotchery off the field.. no way

  • steeltown

    Ha had 162yds and 2TDs last week… Ike held AJGreen to 41yds on 6catches.. that’s masterful

  • Bell Cow

    Mike Wallace and Bruce Arians are probably laughing their asses off right now.


    Yes, it was good to see Moye make a play in the RZ…hopefully they can use him more as the yr goes along.

    Cotchery…was the pass too high that he tipped and was picked? I thought he should’ve caught it…that said…he’s solid, but he’s not a playmaker…9 targets 3 recp for 59 yds…they have to get Wheaton involved or Brown will barely get 1000 yds this yr.


    I’m not either, but it’s pretty clear to me now that Paulson is not a blocker at all, decent receiver so I think they need to work with his strength and use him more in the passing game…only 4 targets last night.

    The OFC will get better…I thought the OL played okay…one really bad sack imo was on Ben…changed field position in CIN favor.

    F. Jones was clearly much quicker to the line than Redman…I like his effort…if Bell has this same kind of burst in real games…a combination of those 2 guys is enough to get the job done. IMO Redman should not be a Steeler any longer.

  • Ahmad

    So we wait until the 3rd freaking game to use Wheaton? Why wasn’t he getting snaps the first 2?

  • steeltown

    Cotch had an uncharacteristic drop for sure, but that INT was Ben’s fault, he was overthrowing receivers all night, he was strangely inaccurate

  • Bob Graff

    If you watch the game here is what happen for the most part. the Steelers committed to max protect Ben and sent only 3 receivers out sometimes 4. and the Bengals were only rushing 4. Our 3 couldn’t beat there 7 that was the ball game. And i have said this before what makes people think that a 6′ 1″ 230lb’s power back is going to be able to run behind this line? Can Wheaton make a difference? My answer would be , not with the plays they are running.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    There’s plenty of blame to go around: poor play-calling, iffy play by receivers, porous run defense at critical times, Paulson’s key fumble, and PISS-poor officiating call on the “tripping.”

    BUT…I’m not hearing enough blame being shifted to Ben. In spite of everything else, his line gave him time to throw and make plays at key times, yet somehow Cotch is wearing the blame for Ben overthrowing him (and Sanders) again and again? That pick was Ben’s fault. And once Cincy dropped into zone coverage, it’s on Ben to recognize it and exploit it.

    That being said, Ben and Todd need to get MUCH more on the same page. The best-drawn play was the keeper run by Ben. He even fooled me watching.


    Live I thought it was slightly high but catchable…watching the replay later, I agree the pick was on Ben…too high.

  • Mike Carroll

    I agree, all good points. I’d be fine with Redman being cut because he is way too slow and defenders swarm all over him as if a free turkey dinner is up for grabs. But, unfortunately I believe his $1.3M salary is guaranteed.

  • Mike Carroll

    I agree with just about everything you say except the last paragraph. I think Ben and Haley are getting on the same page. Ben just had a poor game last night. The pick was definitely on him, not Cotchery. If Ben had a good game, they actually might have won in spite of the Paulson fumble and BS tripping penalty which were crippling.


    Redman…agreed…Bell is already on the 53 so they don’t have to do anything, but Redman doesn’t seem to have it anymore.


    They played their standard 4 man front, but were sending a guy late Bob when they got pressure most of their pressure I thought….Ben just missed quite a few throws last night.

    “What makes people think…” Good point…I think F. Jones was much quicker to the line and would get 3+/- yds when Redman would get stuffed for no gain…same OL….F. Jones made the OL look like they will be okay…hopefully Bell carries that same kind of burst to the holes and the running game will be decent.

    There’s such a big drop off from Paulson to Miller that I need to see him in the lineup, but I’m concerned that Sanders is not going to do enough so Wheaton has to factor imo for this team to make the playoffs.

  • HopalongCassidy

    They need to run a straight west coast offense with a back coming out of the backfield. Wheaton can fill Wallace’s old role. He has the speed and has good hands. Start grooming Brian Arnfelt to play guard. He has the quickness and power to be an offensive guard and God knows they need those bad. There is no law that says you can’t change a lineman from defense to offense. Where is the creativity to try different things ? Tomlin has no clue. His shortcomings as a coach are now showing since a lot of Cowher’s players have gone.

  • HopalongCassidy

    True but when you always have to depend on every thing going to perfection to just be in the game, you are in trouble. There is simply not enough offense to overcome any small setback in a game. Pittsburgh has turned into Cleveland… good defense with no offense. You will not win many games when all you can score is 9 or 10 points.

  • Chris

    Todd Haley needs to go. I never liked the hiring of him. His type of offense might be good at a college level but not the pros. Let’s face it, there are more issues than just him. But Let Haley go, fine someone to fill in the rest of the season and give Ben more control over play calling. Offensive line is terrible even with Pouncey. He is a great player but the only one. Running backs, are not worth their contracts. Redman needs to be shown the door. To slow and no heart!

  • Jim Underwood

    Exactly. Those 2 plays cost us that game. Ugh..

  • CrazyTerry

    Blame is to spread all around. Haley had only two or three bad playcalls.So compared to the TN game, his playcalling was better. But his blame is more for the way he uses personnel. Not using Wheaton when time and time again Sanders showed a lack of chemistry with Ben on sideline passes (Ben mentioned WRs complaining about the lights!!!!!) . Sanders is OK on those passes in the middle of the field. Yet, Crotchery and Sanders kept being used for sideline passes and for whatever reasons they were not on the same page with Ben and I think that wore on Ben who was to blame for all the mistaks in teh 4th Q though I blame his WRs for the earlier Qs.
    The OL was a joke inm th erunning game. I was a Redman fan. But it is clear, whether due to injury or not, he is not effective anymore. Why do you keep wasting downs with him?
    This is the weakest receiving corps since the late 90s days. Antonio is a #2 Wr being paid inexiplcably #1 Wr money by a desperate Colbert who lost his marbles the last two years. Colbert foolishly caved in and matched Sanders 2.5M offer and lost a potential 3rd round pick (I highly doubt Sanders will net the Steelers anything more than a 5th round comp pick in free agency) from NE. There is hope with Wheaton and Moye and this coaching staff refuses to use them for two games for more than a snap or two. Let’s find out if they can play.
    And Paulson does not even feel desperate enough to look and recover his fumble when he was right next to the loose ball. Even if he thought he made the catch, why not be sure?
    I dont miss Wallace. for that money, he was not the only game in town. Steelers could be targeting big cheaper WRs like the one that Denver has. How did Denver manage to stockpile all those big guys? Onloy D Thomas is a first rounder. Free agency and trades are not bad tools. Colbert used to believe in them at one time. Now we get stuck in the some weird concept of what the Steelers way is supposed to be. No big trades. No decent free agency moves(like Hartings, Farrior, hell, even Mewelde).

  • CrazyTerry

    Felix is an upgrade but the dude is a pitiful blocker. Pick your poison. And how do we even know Bell will help as some on this board seem to think is a sure thing. Decastro was supposed to be this great guard and he is not looking any better than Foster was his rookie year.

  • Callentown

    Then where the hell was he???

  • seadoovet

    Wheaton is faster than Sanders!! Those fly patterns to Sanders would have been to an open Wheaton. Poor coaching.

  • Callentown

    Where the hell is he?!?!?!? What are they waiting for? Are they afraid that if they put him in the game, we may lose????

    Ridiculous. Coaching staff is failing at a new level of ineptness.

  • Callentown

    Before the season began, I had it in my head that it would take a few games, maybe 5-6 before the O-line and Bell got into a groove.

    Now, I think this is just a development year for the offense, which is a bummer for Ben as he has now lost two years in his career where he would have been very effective if Haley had not come along.

    I do not believe this offense could score in the CFL. 0-4 looks probable and possibly 4-12 on the year :(

  • Callentown

    Why is Redman even on this team? Seems he can’t run for more than one yard on a carry.

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