Richard Mann Says WR Depth Is Best He’s Ever Had

It’s easy to get caught up in the hyperbole of the offseason. The stuff people say because it’s the offseason; a time where not much is happening and every team is full of hope. When Richard Mann says something, you know it’s sincere. He’s been around football longer than nearly anyone on this coaching staff. And he thinks the Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receivers are the deepest group of guys he’s ever had.

“I don’t know if I’ve had this much depth,” Mann told the PPG’s Ray Fittipaldo. “The depth is there.”

Wide receiver is certainly the deepest position on the roster. There are 11 on the roster. Eight have played on Sunday and a ninth is second round pick JuJu Smith-Schuster, who will get on the field soon enough. The remaining two even offer some level of intrigue; Caanan Severin and Marcus Tucker.

The presumed return of Martavis Bryant not only helped the starters but increased the depth. Sammie Coates isn’t relied upon to be the #2. He’ll battle for a backup and situational spot. Eli Rogers will fight Smith-Schuster for the starting role, one of the most intense competitions we should see in Latrobe. Demarcus Ayers will make a push in the slot and look to usurp Antonio Brown as a punt returner, giving him legitimate 53 man roster consideration. Cobi Hamilton will be solid and could still end up on the practice squad. And Darrius Heyward-Bey is the steady, leader, not to mention a special teams standout.

Whew. That’s a mouthful. But a great problem to have for Pittsburgh.

“I love competition,” Mann said. It makes me a better coach. In the end, we have to make some tough decisions. That’s a good thing.”

Mann certainly has been around long enough to be a credible judge on quality depth. He’s been coaching wide receivers since 1970. In the college game since 1974 and the NFL since 1982. The Steelers are the 8th professional coaching staff he’s been part of.

It’s why the team seems likely to keep six receivers on its opening day roster. And if you ask me, still a chance to go all the way and hold onto seven.

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.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Does best WR depth ever = Most WR’s on roster ever?

    Alex’s campaign for 7 WR’s is alive. Ha.

  • Ed Smith

    Alex, no mention of Hunter??
    Beginnng to think he needs to change his name to Rodney Dangerfield -no respect…

  • Matt Correll

    Even Marcus Tucker got a mention… Ouch! 🙂

  • nutty32

    They do compare favorably to Yancy, CJ, Hastings, Ernie, & Slash. Today’s set is flashier and more explosive, while the mid-90’s crew had more grit.

  • Alex Kozora


  • Alex Kozora

    Ah, I always forget! I had him written, deleted it, forgot to add it in.

  • Charles Mullins

    …I dont think so. AB is his own man and hopefully MB is the second coming of RM. The other guys need to prove themselves, but those two might be the best receivers this team has ever had.

  • Trey

    The way our WRs get hurt throughout the year you kind of have to keep 7 so I would agree with Alex on keeping 7. Plus I don’t want to see any more old Steeler players playing for the ratbirds because they are certainly waiting for us to cut some WRs. The ones who are locks are obvious A. Brown, M. Bryant, J. Smith-Schuster, E. Roger. The last 3 I personally would give it J. Hunter, S. Coates, D. Heyward-Bey. The others would def make the practice squad. The only one who could get poached is C. Hamilton but the others are safe at the practice squad.

  • WreckIess

    I saw that he caught a long TD from big Ben and Artie did mention him by name yesterday when he talked about the receivers that have been making plays in OTAs and Minicamp. So he must be doing pretty decent at least.

  • H.K. northern cali

    MB will take this group to another level!!

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    I wonder who will take over when Mann retires. Is Hines Ward an option?

  • Ed Smith

    Understand. So what did you delete?? Where do you see him?

  • Michael Mosgrove

    id disagree but this is mann’s opinion.

  • Alex Kozora

    Outside looking in. But a guy who should look good in camp given his triangle numbers.

  • StolenUpVotes

    Didn’t Dan Rooney say that group was collectively the best WR group in franchise history at some point?

  • John Pennington

    If Mann retires hire Randy Moss as receiver coach.

  • nutty32

    Its a close call, but AB is like the best receiver in the game & MB stacks up fairly well with the 90’s best WR, Yancy.