Pete Prisco Believes Steelers Lacked Great Receivers Last Season

On Wednesday, Pete Prisco if CBS Sports released his Top 100 players of 2014 list and just like the version put out by the NFL Network this year, it includes only three Pittsburgh Steelers players on it.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is the highest rated Steelers player on Prisco’s list and here is what he wrote about him.

He didn’t have great receivers last season and his line is perpetually a mess. But all he does is make plays.

AFC personnel man on Roethlisberger: “He is still capable of being one of the best in spurts, but not what he was. A top-10 quarterback, but he’s taken a lot of hits and would benefit from a better offensive line and running game.”

What? Didn’t have great receivers? Who caught 64.2% of the passes that Roethlisberger threw in 2013? Roethlisberger’s 4,261 passing yards in 2013 were also the second most of his career. That doesn’t happen with crappy receivers. The Steelers offense had its issues last season and the receiving core was way down on the bottom of that list.

AFC personnel man? Really?

Prisco’s second highest rated Steelers player is wide receiver Antonio Brown. I guess the Steelers did have a great receiver after all. Prisco, however, has Brown ranked as his tenth-best wide receiver and 63rd overall. That’s absurd.

He also writes:

With Mike Wallace gone to Miami, he emerged as a true No. 1 receiver last season, catching 105 passes with eight touchdowns.

AFC personnel man on Brown: “A good player who is a really nice No. 2. Alone, he doesn’t scare you that much, but he fits the scheme in Pittsburgh very well.”

Actually, Pete, Brown caught 110 passes in 2013, but don’t let facts get in the way.

Alone, he doesn’t scare you that much? I thought the Steelers didn’t have any great receivers? Maybe the AFC personnel man should ask Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden about that. Haden is ranked 33rd on Prisco’s list and Brown has always played well against him.

Finally, Prisco has safety Troy Polamalu just making the Top 100.

He bounced back from a down season to play well in 2013. How much more does he have left?

Polamalu stat: He has just five total interceptions the past three seasons, showing how he’s become much more of a linebacker-like player.

If Prisco watched most of the Steelers games last season, he would know that Polamalu was forced to play quite a few snaps as a linebacker in sub package situations after the defense lost Larry Foote for the season in the opener. That’s not going to happen in 2014 and thus Polamalu will be able to go back to doing what he does best.

Prisco also conveniently forgot to mention that Polamalu forced a career-high five fumbles in 2014. That’s not bad for a “linebacker-like” player. Am I right, Pete?

These Top 100 ranking are always easy to pick apart, but Prisco has effectively put together one giant train wreck of one this year.

  • James Kling

    Prisco is a complete tool.

  • steeltown

    Why is he quoting an “AFC personnel man”? A.Brown is “a good player who is a really nice #2”, huh???

  • Pitfan0513

    Dude’s a jagoff!

  • johnhoien

    Write Car Reviews Pete, wow.

  • Aric Brown

    Dude is indefensible, but hes not likely to eat you alive for 200 yards and 3 tds… which is what I think he is eluding to when he says doesnt scare you that much

  • Aric Brown

    In my personal opinion, and I am a huge AB fan, he is scarier returning kicks than receiving the ball

  • Jacque Strappe

    Just goes to show that Prisco either covers his own poorly formed opinion by quoting an unnamed “personnel man”, or he has one sorry source. Likely a guy in Cleveland who wears a dog mask on Sunday afternoons.

  • dgh57

    Antonio Brown is just entering his prime and his best is yet to come!

  • dgh57

    Just the usual hot air from another so called NFL pundit!

  • Bradys_Dad

    The best thing you can do is to STOP re-printing any and all commentary by this guy. He obviously has an axe to grind with the Steelers and Steeler Nation as a whole, so let’s ignore this mouthpiece and maintain our integrity by not stooping to his levels.

  • Burgh Ball

    Is Prisco related to Warren Sapp? Another tool missing from the shed…

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I have mixed feelings about the interview.

    First, I think the general statement that he lacked great receivers last season is true. Sanders and Cotchery are average receivers. Miller is very good, but he isn’t an elite RECEIVER like Jimmy Graham in NO. Our 4th and 5th receivers caught like 10 catches between them. Denver had 2 guys with single digit catches last year….we had 11. With Denver throwing the ball so much they still only had 84 more receptions than we had. As a general statement, I think is right, Ben did not have great receivers last season.

    Second, I think he severely underrates Brown. Brown was 2nd in receiving yards. Brown was 2nd in receptions. Brown was 4th in YPG. The largest knocks on him could be TDs as he only had 8, good enough for 21st in the league and AVG yards per catch where he ranks in the 40s. Do I think he scares people? I don’t know. I doubt it is fear like it is playing against Calvin Johnson, but he is a #1 WR. We lack proven depth behind him.

    In all honesty, I think this year’s group is better than last year’s group, but it lacks proof still at the moment. Moore can easily match Cotchery’s catches while Wheaton has to prove he can match Sanders still. I see no reason why Bryant, J. Brown, and DHB can’t match the 8 catches we got from WRs not named A. Brown, Sanders, and Cotchery.

  • JohnB

    eh offseason fodder. I did like his Sherman vs. Peterson write-up though.

  • steeltown

    I agree, especially that last statement.

  • joed32

    Only one player in the league had more yards and one other player had 3 more receptions.

  • dave

    Prisco is half-right. The receivers were pretty good but not clutch. Cotchery was dependable and made some big catches but at crunch time there were too many drops and mental errors made by all the receivers.

  • This guy is one of the true A-list idiots of the national NFL commentariat. I don’t even know where to begin to pick apart this nonsense, beyond what Dave says.

    I would just add that the receiving corps was pretty good last year when you factor in Cotchery and Miller, as well as Sanders for the most part. And the running game really got going with Bell. Finally, this ongoing stupidity about how supposedly awful the Steelers’ O-line is continues to boggle the mind. Pouncey was out, of course, but the guys they did have in there really gelled as the year went on.

    Oh, and how crazy is it to penalize Ben for playing with not great receivers? If the receiving corps was that bad, shouldn’t Ben be credited for playing so well with lesser talent? Isn’t he Top 5? And further to that thought, why not penalize, say, Peyton, Brees, and Rodgers for benefitting from having great receivers?

    And relying on some anonymous “personnel man”? Like I said, a true idiot.

  • I thought we had long since established that Prisco is an utter moron…


    Let’s not pretend here…he’s right…Whether you think he’s a #1 or very good #2 matters little…A. Brown put up #1 WR nos last year, and that’s a helluva credit to him because Ben didn’t have anyone else that was reliable outside of Cotchery…Sanders gave his best, but he’s really a #3…Heath is excellent but limited as to where he can get on the field…not the RZ threat you want, but solid.

  • Zack

    “didn’t have great receivers” and “didn’t have a great receiver” aren’t the same thing

  • moonunit1

    Prisco’s draft coverage was laughable. Also, he rated Antonio Brown 63rd, and the NFL rated him All-pro. He quotes a guy putting the NFL’s 2nd best receiver as a #2.

  • What a numbskull. Antonio Brown set a record as the only receiver in NFL history to record at least 5 rec. and 50 yds. in every game of the Season. He made HUGE plays in ’13. Cotchery’s 10 TDs last year we’re a almost a boon for the offense throughout the season. Sanders underachieved and he is gone. He have young wideouts that are all hungry now.

  • mark arbitrio

    I enjoy the work on Steelers Depot. I also understand that knuckleheads like Prisco and Adam Schein say controversial things, especially about the Steelers because the reaction they get from a big fan base is good for their “hits.”
    Still, I have to seriously question why the good folks here at Steelers Depot somewhat routinely post what the aforementioned knuckleheads say. They know it’s tripe — other than bumping up discussion here, why do it? IMO, “depot” shouldn’t mean that anything that some imbecile talking head posts as their opinion gets re-posted here. All it does is give the original fools like Schein more publicity.

  • Alan Felicia

    Well said. BTW, its the dogged days of summer, nothing going on in NFL, training camp doesn’t start until the end of the month, and the site need traffic.

  • Jacob Dixon


  • walter mason

    I guess hes refering to Saunders, Moye and Wheaton in his first year. I agree, outside of Brown, not great. Even Cotchery is not really considered a great receiver but he did well..

    Hopefully this year will be different.

  • cencalsteeler

    A side from Brown, I don’t think opposing defenses were shaking in their boots. AB’s numbers also are a reflection of how mediocre the rest of the wr corps was. It was a weakness and the FO adjusted well this offseason. As far as Pete goes, I welcome his bulletin board material with open arms!

  • Kevin Gobleck

    What is with Pete Prisco anymore?

  • He’s not just missing from the tool shed, He is the tool shed.

  • Aric Brown

    Ya but 15 players caught more touchdowns… Antonio Brown is going to consistently be at the top of the league in thoae categories but teams will not fear him… think Marvin Harrison, a great WR with amazingly consistent production, but really struck no fear in the opposing defenses… Harrison wasnt going to dismantle your defense, but he was going to get his

  • Steve

    What’s Prisco been drinking lately? LOL

  • Virdin Barzey

    Why do they bother quoting him? Is this some kind of gag because its not funny. Just stupid. There are better articles to post if you want traffic and comments.

  • Riverstko

    All i know is that emmanuel sanders sucks! He had no heart to catch a ball across the middle. Hes Scary and he dropped passes. He never came through in big games and even played scary in the SB against GB. Even wallace had more heart than him. LOL! Watch… Peyton Manning will see.

  • Milliken Steeler

    Harrison struck no fear in opposing defenses? The dude averaged 12.5 TD’s a year from 99 to 2006 and finished with a 121 td’s.

    If that guy didn’t start his career until the age of 24, he is easily gonna have a 150 plus TD’s

    I think Ed Mcafferty is a better example as far as being good but defenses don’t scheme to stop you.

  • Aric Brown