Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers coach Richard Mann doesn’t really beat around the bush when talking about his players and that was the certainly the case recently when he was asked to talk about newcomer Lance Moore, who the team signed during the offseason to help fill the void that was created when Jerricho Cotchery signed with the Carolina Panthers.
“What he can do, and from what I’ve seen so far, he can probably fill the void that we had after losing Jerricho Cotchery,” Mann said of Moore. “We have a couple of other guys we are looking at (in that role). We might have to jerry-rig a few things to get the blocking aspect of it, but as far as the passing game, I think we are going to be fine.”
It’s hard to know exactly what Mann means when he said they will have jerry-rig the blocking aspect of things when Moore is on the field, but you can certainly tell that he doesn’t have a lot of faith in blocking ability of the longtime member of the New Orleans Saints.
Last season with New Orleans, Moore played a total of 515 snaps and the Saints passed on 403 (78.3%) of those plays. In 2012, Moore played 623 total snaps and the offense passed on 503 (80.7%) of those plays. In other words, I wouldn’t look for the Steelers to run to Moore’s side very much whenever he is on the field for the Steelers in 2014.
The Steelers will likely want to use more 12 personnel groupings in 2014 now that tight ends Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth are fully healthy and when they do, I don’t expect we’ll see Moore on the field much in those situations. Hopefully second-year wide receiver Markus Wheaton can handle the role of the second wide receiver in that grouping and especially when it comes to the run blocking aspect of it.
As far as “other guys” Mann is looking at to help fill Cotchery’s void, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Justin Brown are the obvious candidates as both certainly can run block better than Moore can.