Haley Excited To See WR Competition

As we’ve talked about since the draft, no position on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster is as crowded like the wide receivers. But that’s perfect for Todd Haley.

He sat down with Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews to discuss the wide receiver battle and the addition of the newest face to that group, second round selection JuJu Smith-Schuster.

“Wide receiver is an area we know we can be better at,” Haley said. “The more competent guys we have in that room and out on the field, competing against each other, you usually have a chance to get everyone to play at the best of their ability.”

On paper, the only two locks at receiver are Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown. Eli Rogers and Martavis Bryant have inside tracks for spots. The 5th spot is open, though Darris Heyward-Bey’s elite special teams’ ability is going to be difficult to challenge for. A strong camp from Sammie Coates should earn him a spot on the roster though that type of performance can’t be guaranteed.

Cobi Hamilton, Justin Hunter, and Demarcus Ayers are on the outside looking in, needing strong camps and probably some help along the way to latch onto the 53. But the depth the team has is a good problem to have, something Haley recognizes.

“We don’t want anyone getting too comfortable. We obviously didn’t accomplish all our goals last year.”

The only battle that won’t exist, of course, is anyone challenging for AB’s spot as the X wide receiver. Everything else is wide open. Smith-Schuster and Rogers’ potential showdown in the slot, who becomes the #2 WR on the outside – it’s Bryant if he stays clean – and the rest to make the roster.

Given cornerback has a similar “problem,” though even they don’t enjoy the same kind of depth, training camp matchups with those two should make for some awesome daily reports.

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • Michael James

    I already see a fist fight Bryant vs. Coates on day one of training camp…

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    Should have brought in some OC competition too. Wonder if he would’ve liked that.

  • SoCal Steeler

    Yeah, I’m really looking forward to the competition at WR, CB, OLB, backup RB and don’t forget LS at camp. I’m also interested in seeing what Dobbs can do. Can’t wait!
    Keep these articles coming, Alex and crew it’s going to be a long haul for Pittsburgh sports once the Pens finish up and until camp opens up (it’s getting pretty agonizing to watch the Bucs)

  • John M.

    Coates would probably break a finger or two.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Calling it now: AB, Baby Moss, Juju on that Beat, Coates, Book of Eli, and HeyBey.


    Agreed! Awesome day update fodder…

    Steelers going to the Super Bowl!

  • cencalsteeler

    “The more competent guys we have”
    Plus, the way the draft trended, id say there’s s silver lining to all of these suspensions we’ve endured.

  • Chris92021

    I agree. If Haley in year 6 can’t get this group to average 27 plus a game, he needs to go.

  • StolenUpVotes

    Team averages over that when he has his horses. Amazing how that works, huh?

  • StolenUpVotes

    Going to be a fun group to watch this summer

  • Kevin Artis

    I see Hamilton and Ayers on the practice squad. That leaves Bryant, DHB, Rogers, Hunter, Coates for three spots. Bryant and Rogers rounds out 4 (AB, Smith-Shuster). I’m thinking the battle is between DHB, Coates and Hunter for that final spot.

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Sami was a boss on coverage so is DHB

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Absolutely ludicrous people think the OC should go. Please tell me I missed the joke.

  • James Lee

    Good one.

  • taztroy43

    Bryant will “stone” coates with a right hook

  • Chris92021

    Agreed no one can make chicken salad out of chicken droppings. Having said that, if Green, JuJu, Bryant, and Bell are set to go with 7 and 84, we better not be in the middle of the road on 3rd downs and red zones this season. We better be top 3 with that offensive line and skill position talent.

  • Craig M

    In 2014 we had 3 outstanding games where we almost set records for offense accomplishments/ stats. Since then our Off. has failed to duplicate those performances and the only change was going from a well balanced attack to a lopsided passing attack- reflected in TOP and points scored. Third and one, deep pass, hoping for an interference call is not a very logical strategy IMO. I’m not saying he should be replaced I’m just saying he has become complacent and it sure would be nice if he had some competition at his position as OC too- “we don’t want anybody getting to comfortable”, Off. strategy “is an area we can be better at”.

  • Steelsmoke

    Let’s take the training wheels off. We are the best between the 20′ s. Score in the red by not being predictable , haven’t seen a cross along the back forever

  • Steelsmoke

    Don’t be afraid to take what they give you nothing wrong with dinking and Dunkin them to death either. Mix it up

  • Michael Mosgrove

    You didn’t just compare Bryant to moss. Come on dude. Come on.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Hamilton isn’t ps eligible anymore, at least I don’t think so. Could be wrong.

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    He’s alot like Moss tho besides the marijuana suspensions. *shrugs*

  • SilverSteel

    Man if he stays clean, he will be better than Moss

  • SilverSteel

    Too funny 😎

  • KingDale300

    I just can’t get behind the idea of having Haley walk.. 5 years of continuity, trust building, and player development has been refreshing. Perhaps he hasn’t helped this version of the Steelers reach their ultimate ceiling, and I agree, he should be able to get it done this season. Seems like he has everything he could possibly need.

  • Big White

    Haley has some type of sickness with his WR obsession. Getting old.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Someone call Goodell silversteel needs one of Harrison’s drug tests