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A Look At The Darrius Heyward-Bey Drops From 2013


Indianapolis Colts unrestricted free agent wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey will be dropping in to visit with the Pittsburgh Steelers and I thought we would have a quick look at the drops that he had last season.

Before we get to the animated gifs, you should know that Heyward-Bey was targeted 58 times last year and caught 29 passes for 309 yards and a touchdown, according to Pro Football Focus. That’s a 50% completion ratio if you are scoring at home. In addition, the former first-round pick of the Oakland Raiders was also charged with nine drops last season. That’s a drop every 6.44 times targeted.

The drops didn’t just start for Heyward-Bey last season, however, as he has 33 for his career in 339 times targeted, according to PFF.

Now, on to the gifs.

Heyward-Bey’s first drop of the 2013 season came in the season opener against the Raiders. While it would have been a tough catch with two defenders on him, you can clearly see that he gets two hands on the high pass.

Not much commentary is needed on this drop during a wide receiver screen attempt against the Seattle Seahawks. He fails to look the ball all the way in.

This is a tough drop to charge Heyward-Bey with against the Denver Broncos as not only is the throw outside, but it looks like there’s some early contact from the defensive back. Still, that’s a catch great receivers will make.

This throw is outside but Heyward-Bey still manages to corral it initially. The gif doesn’t show it, but he drops it as he is going to the ground. These last two drops are tough ones, but you can see why PFF charged him for them.

Heyward-Bey looks like he eases up a little here against the Houston Texans as he feels the contact is coming. The ball, however, hits him in the chest and dislodged by the hit.

Did he really need to leap here? Doink, right of the chest. No explanation needed.

This ball was barely tipped by a Tennessee Titans defensive lineman at the line of scrimmage and causes the flight to change. Still, this is a ball that Heyward-Bey has to catch.

Wide open across the middle and once again it goes right off Heyward-Bey’s chest. Ugly drop.

The final charge drop of the season for Heyward-Bey is a ball that goes right through his hands in the game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

At this point in his career, Heyward-Bey is looking for one last team to give him a chance. He still has speed and can get open, but the drops just can’t be ignored. Should the Steelers sign him, it will be for the minimum and with no guarantees that he makes the roster. Speed kills, but drops kill more.

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About Dave Bryan

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

    ok, ok, please stop I’ve seen ENOUGH. This guy is awful…he’s wide open and can’t catch. Reminds me of Dwight hands of Stone.
    He makes Ike Taylor look like Lester Hayes.

  • grw1960

    True definition of a body catcher. Who also seems to worry about contact ,not only from DBs but also with the ground.
    Scary down side to say the least

  • JAMESH

    Limas Heyward-Bey. He appears to have a severe eye-hand coordination problem………. meaning a lack of athleticism. (Troy is the complete antithesis) He also seems to be thinking of how he is going to land before he makes the catch. Can a vision specialist cure lack of athleticism and can a coach cure fear of contact? Hard to assign a roster spot to a decoy.

  • Ron

    Let’s see. 6’2, 4.3 speed, hands of stone. Sounds like a cornerback to me! He could run around back there knocking the ball to the ground, and if he still only caught 50% of the passes thrown at him he would be the greatest corner of all time!

  • steeltown

    The last two are pretty bad

  • Steelers12328882

    Wow, I thought it was only 6 drops, but those are clearly 9 ugly drops, although the 2 against the Broncos are tough catches and the hit by the Texans players is square on the ball. He sure is fast tho lol.

  • steeltown

    Who knows maybe Mann can get the best out of him..

  • chris ward

    Ehh some real ugly drops by Heyward-Bey on some of the GIF’s.

  • grw1960

    Maybe Ike and DHB could have a training camp contest to see who can drop the most balls.

  • Paddy

    That was passes from a pretty good QB too. Ouch

  • treeher

    Oh my. This man has stolen money from the NFL because he can run fast.

  • Nolrog

    The drop against the Texans, you said was dislodged by the hit. But you can clearlly see from the video that the ball was on the ground before contact was made.He has terrible hand/eye coordination. I wonder if he needs glasses.This is a really great job to get this information up so quickly. Thanks.

  • http://www.nyob.com/ Dr. Doom

    God awful, you would think Luck was throwing bricks.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I think DHB is a depth signing I can live with, especially if it is vet qualifying and no guarantee to make the roster. This past season we had Brown #1, Sanders #2, and Cotchery #3. If we go into the year with Brown #2, Wheaton stepping up and able to perform as the #2, DHB as the #3, and Moore as the #4, we might actually be deeper than we were last year.

    Career catches DHM…169. Career catches Sanders…..161. Granted there are flaws in his game with the drops and he took more targets than Sanders to get there, but as a guy who isn’t the #2, that could be okay. Sanders best season was this past season with 16 GP, 67 REC, 112 TRGTS, 740 Yards, 11.0 AVG, and 6 TDs. DHB best season 15 GP, 64 REC, 115 TRGTS, 975 Yards, 15.2 AVG, and 4 TDs. It may not be as large a step back as it seems to everyone, if you look at the bigger picture of the player and not just last year.

  • jerry pellegrino

    Ok…bring sanders back…u did it…u scared the bejesus out of me…i don’t want him. Waaaaaaa…

  • Rosco

    Ryan Mundy scarred him for life

  • Farnsworth

    Lol, just what I love to hear about a free agent wr. “I wonder if he needs glasses?”

  • Bill Molinaro

    This guy looks like me! And that ain’t good.

  • steeltown

    Yea everyones freaking out about the recent McCain signing and now this talk about Heyward-Bey, but they’re building an offseason roster, these are two low risk cheap signings to provide experienced depth and competition in camp.

  • harding36

    Not to defend DHB too much, but the Colts did try to use him in some odd ways. I mean, lining him up in the slot and using him over the middle is not playing to his strengths. The guy clearly had an awful 2013 season, but it strikes me that his yards per catch went from around a career avarage of 15 to only 10. I think that speaks to my point above, in terms of how the Colts used him. I can actually understand the Steelers being interested in him as a 4th WR who only sees 1-2 throws per game. Mike Wallace dropped some throws his rookie year, but he was still useful as a 3rd/4th option who could take the top off of the coversage.

  • cencalsteeler

    I agree with you Kenneth. People need to realize Dave posted a lowlight reel. Post a highlight reel on him and people might not be so quick to judge. A few of those gifs shows him catching with his body, which is not correct. Possibly, Mann sees some things that may be easily corrected.

  • Toddy Bravo

    To compare, does anyone know off hand how many drops some of our receivers had last season–Brown, Sanders?

  • joed32

    Brown 7, Sanders 3.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    I think someone asked that yesterday…. “Can he play CB?” Funny, but true.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    That may have had more affect than anyone could imagine.

  • Nolrog

    LOL. Yeah, you’re right. But I was not trying to be facetious. The way he catches the ball (thru his hands and hits his chest) makes me think he has a depth perception issue.

  • Nolrog

    To put that into a little perspective, Brown was targetted 165 times (so dropped 4.2% of the passes targetted at him), Sanders 112 (2.7%) and Heyward-Bay 62 (14.5%).

  • Xclewsive

    Heyward Bey was taken a year before Sanders and was taken in the first round. So Sanders has had the better production thus far and while Sanders had his drops those drops by DHB are egregious.

    With all that said DHB will add some competition to the roster and hopefully be able to stretch the defense. There isn’t anything really not to like about the signing as it’s a one year deal.

  • Babybull

    Waste of money don’t know what Colbert is doing if he needs camp bodies just wait to draft in bring in undradted rookies because brown an moye are better then him he’s bad he should try boxing with those stone hands.

  • 20Stoney

    Hey now! :)

  • 20Stoney

    Some of you are acting like he’s being brought in here to be the 1 or 2. Let him compete with Moye or whoever else and see what happens…….

  • NW86

    Thanks for the post, I had commented on the previous post that just counting drops can be misleading because they could be really tough catches (like the first one here) that get counted as drops. That was before I saw this article – now I see that the majority of his drops were exactly that – drops.
    I still have no problem with the signing because I presume it is for the vet minimum, and it doesn’t hurt anything to bring him to camp. But I will be a little depressed if none of our young guys are able to beat him out for a roster spot.

  • Moneypenny76

    3 or 4 of those were really bad, but several were tough catches that a lot of receivers, including some very good ones, would not make. There were a couple of high passes and a tipped pass (So Luck has to take a big part of the blame on those) and a few where guys were all over him, and one where a PI penalty would have been called in many cases.

    Yes, the few that went right through his hands or bounced off his chest were bad…but to be fair I have seen bad drops like that happen with Wallace, Sanders and even Moye last year. Moye’s drop rate was worse than DHB’s and I keep seeing people say how great Moye is! They obviously see something I don’t.

    I really see no risk. He was cheap & it’s a one year deal. If he is atrocious, he won’t make it out of training camp. But I think he has a decent shot of turning things around. His first few years were with the Raiders, and let’s be honest – they are a crappy team with little ability to develop a young guy. Then he played one year with Indy…well, some of those passes were not very good so I think part of it could be blamed on the QB and maybe they just never developed the right rapport. I’m not sure how much playing time he got early on. Sometimes it takes a while, sometimes it happens quickly. Let’s hope it happens quickly with Ben.

    You have to admit Ben’s the best QB he will have ever played with, and there are a lot of new guys which means he will get his opportunity on a somewhat level playing field. I’m going to stay open minded and wish him luck. If it works out, that’s fantastic…he could be a huge weapon. If not, well we really haven’t lost anything.

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