Can Two Steelers Wide Receivers Each Top 1,300 Yards In 2015?

While the 2014 version of the Pittsburgh Steelers offense was certainly productive at moving the football, the 2015 version is expected to be even better. In fact, if things go as planned and the key pieces stay healthy, the team could have two wide receivers exceed 1,300 or more receiving yards in 2015.

The last time that a Steelers offense had two players both top 1,300 yards receiving in a single season was in 2002 when Hines Ward registered 1,329 yards and Plaxico Burress had 1,325. That season, quarterbacks Tommy Maddox and Kordell Stewart combined to complete 63.2% of their passes while also yielding a whopping 22 interceptions.

What’s interesting about that 2002 season is that Ward and Burress both combined to be on the receiving end of 40 explosive plays of 20 yards or more.

If the Steelers are going to have two receivers both crack the 1,300 yard receiving mark in 2015, logic dictates that it will be Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant.

The reasoning for Brown is pretty straight forward being as he has easily exceeded that mark in each of his last two seasons. As far as Bryant goes, his big-play ability combined with the fact that he’ll be seeing increased playing time at the “Z” position in his second season, gives him a solid shot at hitting the 1,300 yard mark in 2015.

If Bryant can average 17 yards a catch in 2015, he’ll need 77 grabs to hit the 1,300 yard mark. Burress, if you remember, had 78 catches in 2002.

If, however, the Steelers aren’t able to have two players each hit the 1,300 yard mark in 2015, their offense could quite possibly have three receivers each record more than 1,000 yards receiving and that’s a pretty rare feat unto itself.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, only five teams have had three players each finish with 1,000 yards or more receiving in a single season. The most recent of which was the Arizona Cardinals in 2008 with Larry Fitzgerald (1,431 yards), Anquan Boldin (1,038) and Steve Breaston (1,006). In case you forgot, Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley held that same title with the Cardinals that season.

None of those three wide receivers reached the 100 catch mark that season, however, so in order for Brown, Bryant and Markus Wheaton to all hit 1,000 yards receiving in 2015, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will certainly need to spread the ball around to three even more than he already does currently.

  • William Weaver

    If Bell were available all 16 games, he too could go over 1000 receiving. Big Ben throws for 5,000 yards and the receivers all stay healthy, 4 could get 1000. Would leave 4-500 left for Miller and Coates.

  • VIPSteel

    I don’t know about all that. I know Bryant is a beast and his hype train is going full steam, but there are too many weapons on this team for just those two to eat like that. Now two receivers with 10+ TDs is a different story.

  • pittfan

    a lot will depend on the defense. if the D can keep the other team off the field, the sky’s the limit.

  • srdan

    Four with 1000? That is hard to fathom. Even probably the best offense I have seen when Manning was shooting fish in a barrel with James, harrison, Clark and wayne on turf they didn’t come close to that.

    I don’t think our offense is as good as that one was.

  • Ted Webb

    77 catches is a lot for Bryant and he has to avg 17 yds a catch, if he catches 77 balls I believe he’ll catch a few more intermediate balls also like 7-10 yds and jump balls, this will reduce his avg. plus if Wheaton improves his catch total not enough balls to go around plus Bell. I think Brown still gets his 88-95 catches 1300 yds. Bryant more like 60 catches 900-1100 and close to 10Td’s

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    I can see 3 1k yd receivers this year more than 2 1300yd receivers! 1300 yds is a lot plus I see teams trying to double team Bryant more .

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Now you’re talking Dave! This is what I envision for a greatly successful Steelers O: 3 WRs with 1000+ yards plus Bell as the modern day version of Roger Craig. Yup. Nearly impossible to stop if the Oline stays healthy and Ben spreads the ball around.

  • William Weaver

    I know it is a stretch but 3 has been done 5 times. Eventually a team will have 4. Why not the Steelers? AB is given. 16 games from Bell will be given. Bryant very capable. Wheaton possible. Coates maybe next season? If we are going to imagine the possibilities, less us look to stretch the boundaries, not just achieve other’s plateau. IMO.. I also think Bell has a shot next year with a full 16 games to amass 3,000 yards from scrimmage. Lofty yes but 187 a game from him is reachable. Search for lines not crossed before!! What is Faulks record? 2500? Bell went over 250 from scrimmage in what, 3 straight?

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Very possible! I think this offense has a shot to be something very special!

  • LucasY59

    I think that big individual #s are going to be hard to get in this offense, AB will have to give up a lot of targets for Bryant to get 1300+ yds (or for 3 to crack 1000) and I don’t see that happening after last season Brown will want a chance to lead the league again (it isn’t realistic that he will tho) Bell is going to take away some targets (and is the most likely to be the 3rd player with 1000 yds, but missing 3 games will make it tough) they also have to share with Bryant, Wheaton, Heath DeWill, James, Archer and Coates (DHB, Spaeth and W.Johnson also) so there are 5000 yds at most (realistically) to divide between all of them

    AB gets at least 1200 (or he’s not gonna be very happy) Bryant should get close to 1000 (yds in bigger chunks makes up for fewer targets) Wheaton (unless totally unused) gets 6-700, Coates should get enough of a chance to get at least 200 yds. DHB could add a few also (up to 3200 from the WR postion, at least 3000)

    Heath gets at least 500 (hopefully closer to 700) James gets at least 200 (if Miller has a low total then James should make up the difference either way close to 1000 between the two) plus a few from Spaeth to make it 1000 (so 1000 from the TE position, at least 700)

    8-900 for Bell (even with the suspension Ben targets him a lot. Williams (while filling in for Bell should have at least 100 so) 2-300 for a season total, and Archer should have close to the same (but hopefully more since he is a 2nd yr player and they should give him more chances to make plays to warrant the 3rd rd pick) Harris (or anyone else?) (while Bell is suspended or there is an injury to the top 2 RBs) and W.Johnson* combine for at least another 100
    (1500 for the RB position, at least 1200) *Johnson is the one who could really have a lot more yds, but won’t get the opportunity with so many others taking up the passes from Ben.

    my absolute maximum is 5700 record breaking year for Ben, with those estimates, and 4900 with the minimums so there isn’t much room for give and take. I would be very surprised if there is less than 4500 total receiving yds and like I said I think it is very realistic to expect close to 5000, there are so many weapons its just a question of how they divvy out the targets

  • VIPSteel

    They still have to get the ball to Bell and Wheaton among others. 1300 each would probably mean underutilized talent elsewhere.

  • charles

    Phil Simms SB numbers were 20 of 24 for 220 yds. Not too many throws, mostly completions and good average. Point is balance. And Ben actively strives to keep recievers in the game by occassionaly throwing to them. Therefore 6 recievers, 750+yds will be impossible to stop.

  • Zarbor

    Yeah, it possible but so is teleporting. Not gonna happen in our lifetime. Give it up kid. Not the way we roll. With Bell, we will control the clock in several games. Tomlin is not known for running up the score.

    Plus if we are putting up stats like that you can bet our defense will be even worse than last year. No thanks

  • mokhkw

    I predict:

    Brown 1400

    Bryant 900

    Wheaton 700

    Bell 700

    Miller 600

    Other WRs 300

    Other TEs/RBs/FBs 200

    That equals 4800 yards for Ben for anyone counting.

  • William Weaver

    I bet the Steelers have a back get 3,000 yards from scrimmage before someone teleports. Lol

  • NW86

    Wow, I know everyone is in love with Bryant right now, but suddenly we are predicting him as a 1300 yard receiver?? That’s more than the top WR on most teams got last year. Let’s not set him up to be considered a failure if he only has a “good” season next year.

    Three 1000 yard receivers could be possible, but probably still doubtful. Neither Wheaton or Bryant topped 650 last year and while I think they’ll both top that, I don’t see them both topping 1000. I’d be happy with a balanced 1200/800/800, plus 600 each from Bell and Heath. (Plus, you know, some defense and a division title)

  • LucasY59

    that seems more realistic (but still looks good) I like to dream big

  • Jay Jackson

    If/when we improve our red zone offense, we will be unstoppable. We should average at least 35 points a game. We could have four receivers over 1,000 (Brown, Bryant, Bell, and Miller) with Bell rushing for 1,300.

  • Jay Jackson

    Our offense is better! Brown has the same skill set as Harrison, Miller has better hands than Clark, Bryant is way more explosive than Wayne, and Bell is ten times the RB as James was. Big Ben is easily the toughest QB in the game and has a better arm than Manning ever had.

  • Jay Jackson

    That will be Archer. We need to somehow use his talent.

  • Jay Jackson

    Bryant missed the first four games last year.