With two wide receivers already on the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad in Kashif Moore and Justin Brown, the decision to add free agent wide receiver Devon Wylie earlier this week to the eight man unit was a curious one. In a recent interview with David Todd of 970 ESPN Radio, wide receiver coach Richard Mann explained the reasoning behind it.
“I think what it is, is another set of legs and plus I’ve heard that he’s a pretty good receiver,” said Mann. “I don’t know him that well. Getting to know him, spent a lot of time together in the last day or so, but that’s another set of legs that will help us in practice, because with Markus [Wheaton] down, that puts a little more pressure on the guys to be on the show teams and I think Coach [Mike] Tomlin is just giving us a chance to not wear a couple guys out all the time.
Wylie, who was released from the practice squad of the Arizona Cardinals just over a week ago, was selected in the fourth-round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs out of Fresno State. After making the Chiefs roster as a rookie, he played in just six regular-season games, catching 6 passes for 56 yards. He was also used occasionally as a kickoff and punt returner.
So will Wylie stick once rookie wide receiver Markus Wheaton, who is still recovering from surgery to repair a broken pinky finger suffered in the London loss to the Minnesota Vikings a few weeks ago, is ready to return to practice? Mann wasn’t ready to say just yet.
“You never know what you got,” said Mann. “He seems like he might have some talent. He looks quick, he looks like he has good hands. So, we’ll see.”