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Colts Beat Writer Says New Steelers WR Darrius Heyward-Bey Is A Good Blocker

While new Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey certainly does have a reputation for drops, one Indianapolis Colts beat writer says the former first-round draft pick does excel in other areas of his game.

Immediately after it was announced that Heyward-Bey signed with the Steelers, Tom James of The Tribune-Star offered up some thoughts on the former Colts wide receiver.

James also added this tidbit as well.

Steelers wide receivers coach Richard Mann will certainly like Heyward-Bey’s ability to block, so hopefully all he has to do now is focus on fixing the drop problem that has plagued the Maryland product ever since he came into the league.

Should Heyward-Bey ultimately make the Steelers 53 man roster as a fourth or fifth wide receiver, he will have to play on special teams, so it’s encouraging to hear that he isn’t above doing that.

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About Dave Bryan

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

    That’s something I like to read. He won’t be a primary target so that’s good news he’s a team player.

  • steeltown

    If he makes the Team that is good news… Cotchery and Sanders were out two best blocking WRs so we need to get better in that dept.

  • Virdin Barzey

    Sorry, not buying what they are selling. WR has to be able to catch the ball consistently. He can’t do it. Don’t understand this pick up. Makes no sense to me.

  • steeltown

    It’s most likely a vet minimum deal, we are building an offseason 90man roster, makes sense to me

  • srdan

    Right now we closely resemble a college squad in numbers.

  • wdhammer

    when you have that speed it’s worth the look.. Lighting in a bottle sometimes works ask Belichik

  • Matt Manzo

    You gotta like hearing “volunteered for special teams”?!
    It’s that kinda attitude that can turn things around for a player!

  • Virdin Barzey

    I know that the money is probably peanuts at the vet minimum but I’m of the belief that “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

    As a WR, he is what he is and that’s not very good. Rather see a rookie come on in that space and has a possible future with us.

  • Jason

    Agreed. Why does everyone think that every player we sign is expected to be a starter the 2nd week of September? The guy will be our #5 maybe 4 at best to open the year and if our anticipated draft pick and Moye or Brown show something he may not make the team. Deap breath people.

  • steeltown

    That’s still very possible

  • Christopher Rudisill

    Sean Morey rarely played receiver, but he was the captain of our special teams.

  • Melly

    Put him at left tackle then!!!!!

  • mlc43

    It’s funny how a lot of people don’t like a signing if it isn’t a potential all pro pickup. The dude is big and blazing fast and was picked up for peanuts most likely. He is a camp body. Everyone says they would rather a rookie. Guess what….we still can. This is not a draft changing signing and it was not intended to be. I like it…lets see what happens.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Thanks Jason i’ve been saying this for awhile now. Good role players make up a championship team. There was a reason why Cotchery a good role player was just that. Moye didn’t dress for a lot of games and J Brown was on the PS all year. We don’t need starters at WR IMO we don’t need a high WR draft pick but we need guys that can come in and play a role on this team. Outside of the Mitchell signing which was needed the FO seems to be signing guys for depth purposes and this is going to create some good competition at a lot of positions.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Good info to know about DHB. I wonder how he would do as a KR/PR?

  • James Kling


  • Jeff

    If Heyward-Bey is as good a blocker as claimed, I wonder what the over/under is on how many fake bubble screen go routes he’s going to get over the course of the season haha… Cotch and Heath executed these perfectly a number of times last season… The difference here is Heyward-Bey has the speed to turn these into TDs – he’s just gotta catch the ball!

  • Jeff

    Well said.

  • srdan

    During a weeks preparation, opposing defenses probably prepped for that play and instructed their players to “ah, let them catch it, they’re not going anywhere with it” lol. It oculd be different this year.

  • srdan

    Have to love March through August, everyone looks promising.

  • Jeff

    Then there’s always those select few that think every move looks like crap and the 2014 season is doomed…. because ya know, they’re the experts.

    I tend to lean on the side of optimism all offseason since we really don’t know what’ll happen ’till we see these guys in pads come August.

  • colingrant

    Minimum wage, 4.3/4.4 – 40, blocks well, good special teamer. All needs. This is an exceptional, below the radar, team constructing, (Ho-Hum by most fan) move. Successful teams have 2-4 of these guys. Most want a big wide receiver for red zone targeting, big target for Ben, etc. I’ve wanted one mostly for blocking. With a maturing, up and coming offensive line, Ben’s health and career longevity considerations, and a talented backfield, I foresee a very successful running game coming up. Injuries, lack of talent, and sometimes both have plagued our running game for years, and I think we’re at the end of that period of ineptitude. But hidden behind Ben’s sometimes rogue play, o-line talent deficiencies and injuries is the below the line blocking offered up by the wide receivers. Brown (though willing and feisty) can’t hold a block very long and the same thing for Sanders, with his slight sprinters build. Wallace was even less physical when he was here than either of those guys. At times, when the Steelers stacked wide receivers for that quick flare out intended to be an extended running play, they had Heath positioned at the wideout position to lead block, instead of a wr. I’m assuming due to the limitations of Sanders and Brown. Nonetheless, a special teaming willing, fast guy who can stretch the field and block no-less, is an excellent pickup.

  • Johnny Loose

    Yea, I read this about him before he signed w/ Indy. While his hands have left much to be desired in some cases, he does have the ability to block, which is definitely an asset. Glad Pittsburgh is giving this guy a shot. The competition in camp will only make our final crop of receivers stronger. Prove yourself DHB!!!

  • Z Vranic RMT

    cant believe all the negativity . If Steelers didn’t do anything you arm chair GMs would shit on them. They make moves you still cry like a bunch off babies . DHB signing is a depth signing that’s all folks.

  • Robert Loveless Reid

    He will be relegated to returning kicks and maybe on the field if we go 5 wide “wixh we never do” he brings that 4.2 40 time with him as well

  • Robert Loveless Reid

    Thats what he is in Pittsburgh for…to take the load off AB- and to provide deep speed! AB, Wheaton, miller, and ben goin work him til he is ready to give his all at whatever position he obtains

  • richard

    It’s a signing with little downside, if he shows something in camp and preseason he will earn a spot, If he doesn’t there is nothing lost. This is a really good chance for DHB to turn things around, Pittsburgh shows great patients with players, and they will with him if he shows he can help the team.

  • pat

    Hey sanders wasnt a consistent ball catcher himself

  • pat

    I like it his hands cant be much worse than mike Wallace or Emanuel sanders he is a better blocker than both them and taller and from him saying he will play special teams shows he is a better locker room guy and a team 1st guy

  • Douglas Andrews

    Would be nice to have a good KR for sure. Felix Jones/ Dwyer gave us a few decent returns but they were never really threats to take it to the house. Hopefully DHB can be that guy this year. Nice to be able to bring in a guy for your #4 or #5 receiver who can stretch the field also.

  • steelster

    and he is no longer on the team.

  • steelster

    so does marquise lee and he can catch the ball.

  • Leconte

    Funny thing is if the guy pans out everyone will talk about how great of a signing this was. I remember before LeVeon Bell started to produce. Even though he missed the preseason coming off of two injuries. All I saw was people talking about Eddie Lacy. Not to say Lacy’s no good but you no longer hear the Lacy chatter. The DHB deal as far as I know didn’t take a huge roster move so people need to relax because the Pittsburgh I know normally isn’t this active. All these moves and we still have the draft to look forward too.

  • pat

    I can see him taking the 3rd wr spot away from Moore and Moore only being brought in on 3rd downs

  • Matt Manzo

    You’re so right! People just love to find something to complain about.

  • hp b

    If there’s one thing the Steelers like in their WR’s, it’s blocking.
    Ward is a HOFer.

  • hp b

    Agree. There have been at least two wonderful FA signings.
    Unusual yes, but the history from Gary Anderson to Ryan Clark is nothing less than outstanding Steelers FA signings.
    Thanks Ryan! You were a great Steeler!

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