Wide receiver Derek Moye surprised a lot of people last year when he made the Pittsburgh Steelers 53 man roster out of training camp, but just because he was able to stick last season, doesn’t mean anything when it comes to 2014.
“I think Derek has to play his way onto the team again,” said Steelers wide receivers coach Richard Mann in an interview published Thursday on steelers.com. “That’s the way it is. He knows that. He’s a guy who has made steady improvement from the time I came here to the present. I think he has gotten better each practice. Each time he’s on the field I think he gets better. He is a guy who has to play his way on, but he has a chance.”
Why Moye might indeed have a chance, he’ll also have plenty of competition this year. Second-year wide receiver Justin Brown has received quite a few accolades thus far during the offseason, so his development along with the addition of veteran Darrius Heyward-Bey during the offseason will make it even tougher for Moye to crack the final 53 man roster for a second year in a row.
With Moye, Brown and Heyward-Bey all seemingly battling for one roster spot, it could come down to which player performs the best during the preseason on special teams. That’s an area that Moye has never been great in, but at least the same goes for his competition. Heyward-Bey, however, has speed on his side and showed late last season that he might have some upside as either a gunner or kick coverage player.
If Moye fails to make the 53 man roster this year, he should still have some practice squad eligibility remaining being as he only dressed for seven games in 2013.
Moye caught two passes for 20 yards and one touchdown last season.