Roethlisberger Praises Hamilton’s Lone Catch Against Colts


Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Cobi Hamilton only had one reception for 5 yards in the team’s Thursday night win over the Indianapolis Colts but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger views that lone catch as a significant one.

“Cobi, he had a third down catch, it was 3rd and 5, he was the third read, he was right over the ball, I threw it to him, he reached down with his big hands catch, got hit as soon as caught it and he hung onto it and got us a first down,” Roethlisberger said during his weekly Tuesday interview on 93.7 The Fan. “I mean, so minimal that most people don’t even remember that play, but that’s a huge play. It’s a third down conversion, we moved the chains, he gets hit as soon as he catches it.”

While Hamilton’s third down catch against the Colts did keep the Steelers opening offensive possession of the second half alive, unfortunately that drive ultimately stalled. It’s worth pointing out, however, that of Hamilton’s 9 total receptions so far this season that 5 of them have come on third downs and 4 have resulted in the chains being moved.

Since being signed off the Steelers practice squad several weeks ago, Hamilton has played a total of 221 offensive snaps in the six games that he’s dressed for. It will now be interesting to see if he his playing time remains the same with fellow wide receiver Sammie Coates slowly starting to see his playing time increase as he continues to attempt to overcome the two broken fingers that he suffered back in Week 5.


  • RickM

    I know Ben is trying to build up his confidence, but he’s had 74 snaps in the last two games and 16 yards on 3 receptions. The team can’t afford that lack of production against better teams. Hopefully, if he continues to get significant snaps there can be some better totals.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    And he just had one catch vs the Colts weak secondary… We need better production out of everyone especially if we have advantages to exploit.

  • steelburg

    I like Hamilton, he had a good showing in the preseason. I just felt like he was a year away from being a soild 4th or 5th WR and now he is basically our number 2 guy. When you sit back and wonder why this group isn’t that productive think about how our 6/7 WR in Hamilton is currently our number 2/3. And our 4th/5th guy in Rogers is now our 2/3.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Sad really.

    Bryant #2 – you lose to suspension
    Wheaton #3/4 – you lose to injury
    Coates #3/4 – can’t perform due to injury
    DHB #5 – you lose to injury
    Rogers and Hamilton are your #6 and #7 on the depth chart.

    This shows why D. Williams coming back, Bell and Green all need to play huge roles for us in order to even just make the playoffs.

  • SilverSteel

    How fast is Hamilton? Can he stretch the field like Coates? I know he is tall and at this point can catch better than Coates due to his injury.

  • Rocksolid20

    Ya I’d hate to not have those guys healthy when N.E.
    kicks our asses .

  • ATL96STEELER

    True, especially on the production, but snaps and targets a two different things…he’s 9 for 16 I think season to date…better than 50%…for a guy off the PS…that’s not terrible…imo the Steelers are going to need the 3rd and 4th tier WRs to make plays because the better teams or those that scout them well (like BAL) are going to bracket AB, and force Ben to go elsewhere with the ball…any confidence gained in himself, and Ben in him is a good thing.

  • steelburg

    I didn’t include Bryant because he may never be back. If you look at the history of guys returning who have been in his position it doesn’t look good. I still hope I’m completely wrong about that. He is a beast on the field.

  • RickM

    But, if Coates, Rogers or Wheaton had 16 yards total on 74 snaps, we would be all over them. The ‘good story’ of Hamilton is nice, but he’s a professional football player and we need better results. It appears that he’s just not getting open much. Hopefully he can turn that around if he continues getting that many snaps.

  • Josh Gustad

    Its nothing Cobi has done wrong? Yeah the production isn’t there, but neither are the targets. Ben has been very aggressive in terms of getting AB and Le’Veon the ball. I think there was a stat from Thanksgiving that showed Bell and Brown made up 70 some percent of the offense. Can’t knock a guy like Hamilton who is number 5 on the pecking order behind Brown, Bell, Rogers, James, and soon to be Green and Coates.

  • RickM

    Sorry Josh but 74 snaps in the last two games is probably the second highest snap total for any wide receiver not named AB. Those are not a No. 5 receiver’s snap count. I don’t want to rag on the guy’s nice story of bouncing around a lot. But that can’t be used as an excuse when he’s been elevated to that snap count. My goodness Green had only 14 snaps the other night and got over 70 yards in receptions…and somehow 16 yards in 74 snaps in two games is O.K.? Ben will throw to any receiver if he gets open. He’s proven that over the years.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Normal for WRs to get hurt and last year they were truly blessed to go most of the year without any huge injuries. Need lots of these guys.

  • Steelers12

    we needs all WRs not named Brown to step up

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    He displayed nice burst in the preseason. I’d don’t really know him that well. I was real high on Shakim Phillips from our practice squad coming into this year, but he was released I think due to injury. Phillips could really fly. Think he ran a 4.4.

  • Josh Gustad

    You should be looking at targets and not snap count. Snap count holds some value, but for a team that runs the spread and focuses on getting two guys the ball, you have to look at the other variable (targets) and what he is doing with those targets. You mentioned the last two games, but what about before that? Dallas: 1 target , 1 catch for 39, NE: 6 targets, 3 catches for 36, Miami: 2 targets, 2 catches for 36 and a TD. If we were a team that spread the ball around, I might be upset with production. Since our offense merely revolves around Bell and Brown, I’m looking at what he is doing with the targets he is getting.

  • ATL96STEELER

    You’re focusing on snaps, and I’m focusing on targets…he could play 74 more snaps and if he only gets 16 targets his production is not going to improve much.

    So imo the focus should be on why is he not getting more targets per snaps?…is he not open? Ben/Haley doesn’t trust him? He was noted to be the 3rd option on the one catch he made last week.

    If you’re the 3rd or 4th option on every pass play, you’re not going to get many targets whether you’re open or not…the ball is gone most of the time by the 2nd read unless Ben is buying time.

  • Josh Gustad

    Having said all of that, my one complaint about Cobi’s play right now is adjusting and attacking the ball more when getting targets down the field. Rather than letting the ball come down to him, I’d like to see him attack the ball more.

  • RickM

    The total targets equate with beating your coverage and getting open. You can’t excuse any receiver, even AB, by saying ‘well he didn’t have the targets. It had nothing to do with the fact he couldn’t get open’. Ben targets receivers who get open. Cobi just isn’t doing that much. Thanks for the chat.

  • RickM

    I feel like the world has started spinning backwards. Targets = beating your man in coverage. Hamilton had 6 targets in one game earlier this season. He has had 3 in the last two games for 16 yards total and it’s perfectly fine. I give up. Thanks for the chat.

  • falconsaftey43

    This argument is really hard to make one way or the other without film study specifically on Hamilton. There is no doubt AB is a focus of the offense. Hamilton is likely the 3rd-4th read on a lot of plays meaning he may not get the ball even if open because it’s already gone. It’s also fair to say Ben will throw to anyone (just have to look at this year where I believe every elidgeable receive on the roster has a target). No way to say for sure how he is doing without filmstudy, but it’s safe to say we need more production out of guys not named Bell or Brown. Whether that means Ben throws them the ball more or they need to get open more, the tape will tell the tale.

  • RickM

    My only comment is that Wheaton, or even Eli Rogers, would never in a million years get this kind of benefit of the doubt. 3 catches for 16 yards over two games would never be deemed acceptable for them. If the receiver involved wasn’t Cobi Hamilton, the discussion wouldn’t be occuring.

  • VaDave

    I wouldn’t bet the ranch on Coates return to health either.

  • steelburg

    I agree with you there. If they don’t let him sit and heel it’s going to be a nagging issue that won’t heel until the offseason.

  • Josh Gustad

    Ben is very open about calling out guys that aren’t performing. Ben praising him doesn’t appear to be a confidence booster of any sort. When targeted, he’s making plays. If Ben or anyone else wasn’t happy with his play, it would be known.

  • ATL96STEELER

    FWIW…imo targets = having the ball thrown to you. Steelers aside, I know you’ve seen guys open and the ball goes to another player…most of the time that other player was the primary read.

    If you think that I think the results were perfectly fine…we’re farther apart on this than I thought, but nonetheless, likewise on the chat.

  • RickM

    Agree, thanks. I think they are seeing the lack of production and moving back to Coates. Of course, he needs to start to catch some footballs. Ben has always relied on the three wide-outs, whether it was Wallace-Brown-Sanders, or Brown-Bryant-Wheaton. As you say, all WR’s not named Brown need to step it up as every game is really important right now.

  • VaDave

    I’m afraid this is more than about fractures. Typically fractures take about 6-8 weeks to heal. In addition, I’m thinking this may have been a compound fracture with the bones sticking out through the skin, which required the stitches. I’m no doctor, but I would venture to guess there was some ligament and bursa sack damage as well. Having been through this myself more than once, It’s going to be at least another month before he is back to functionality, and as much as a year for complete healing. Just me speculating. Maybe our resident Doc could stop by and offer a more profession opinion.

  • Rotten Sircus

    You have the love our WR’s depth and getting Bryant back next season is going to be awesome.

  • RickM

    He has been our #2 receiver with 142 snaps in the last 3 games and he has 4 completions in those 3 games for 55 yards. And 3 of those receptions were very short passes. I think eventually people have to start forgetting what his back story is and judge him the same way we judge every receiver, by production. I saw Wheaton hatcheted, despite the fact he had a legitimate excuse – a really bad shoulder. And I didn’t see the word “targets” come up once to defend him. Meanwhile Hamilton gets a pass.

    I know you are not happy with the results either, but you know lots about football. When guys get open they are usually targeted. When they don’t get open they aren’t. The first or second reads are not always open. Four receptions in the last 3 games in 142 snaps – with only one of them being longer than 7 yards – says he isn’t getting open downfield. But I should better respect that you disagree and feel it is not on him.

  • ATL96STEELER

    Well stated…At the crux of this is production…we know that Ben/Haley has to get more production from other WRs to balance out Brown…on that we agree 100%…The last 3 games Hamilton has been on the field getting starter level snaps and not much production…again we agree.

    Who is at fault?

    Every OFC in the NFL, the objective is to get the ball to your best players. The WR1 is going to be the #1 read in the progressions on most of the plays…they typically run the best routes, most reliable, QB has the most confidence in him, so they get open more and therefore get more targets.

    In this OFC, Ben’s next best option right now is Rogers so I would imagine he’s next in the progression if Brown is not open….but lets say both are open…if the 1st read is Brown, the ball is most likely going to go to Brown.. even if the 2nd read is open. I’m not saying he has been open, but my point is you can be open and not get targeted…especially if you’re the 3rd read.

    I think to move up in the progressions they need to see it in practice…if we think back to Bryant LY…he quickly became a key target…still would not get as many targets per game as Brown, but if Brown was doubled, Bryant was the next read…he had to earn that spot in practice over Wheaton in the progressions.

    So…to answer the question…absolutely Hamilton has to own most of it, but I can’t hold a PS player that became active week 6 to the same standard as a player that was slated to start or be a big contributor back in Sept…the only reason Hamilton is on the active roster is multiple injuries at the position.