Cobi Hamilton Catching On To Relevance Again

There will always be certain players over the course of the preseason who are in greater need of turning in a strong performance than others. It is the basic dynamic of competition, and of subjective evaluation. Rarely is anybody dead-even with another, and even in those improbable circumstances, other factors come into play.

But if there was one player who came into last night’s game with a desperate need for a quality showing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, it would have to be second-year wide receiver Cobi Hamilton, who looked as though he was set to very quickly fade into obscurity amidst a deep crop of wide receivers.

He was, however, afforded a very lucrative opportunity to perform last night due to the number of wide receivers who happened to be not participating in the affair for a variety of reasons. There was Antonio Brown at the top of the list, who was simply too valuable.

For Martavis Bryant, he had only just been cleared to practice two days earlier and was unable to prepare to play. Sammie Coates remains on the Physically Unable to Perform List recovering from minor knee surgery.

Meanwhile, Justin Hunter and Demarcus Ayers were shelved for the game for presumably minor but undisclosed ailments. The two had been missing practice lately. And over the course of the game—early on, in fact—rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster suffered a concussion that ended his evening far too early.

With all of those players not participating, the Steelers were short-staffed at wide receiver, which gave Hamilton a lot more opportunities than he would have otherwise. The only other wide receivers who were getting playing time were Eli Rogers, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Marcus Tucker, and Caanan Severin, so there was plenty of work to go around.

And while he may have only caught two passes, both of them were big, and both of them came on passes targeted down the field. About midway through the second quarter, he got behind the secondary on second and 16 to haul in a 44-yard pass for Joshua Dobbs.

Later in the quarter, after the Steelers managed to recover a fumble on a punt return attempt, the offense showed well in the quick turnover work with Dobbs hooking up over the head of the defensive back into the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown, the only touchdown pass for either side of the night.

Now, this performance is not going to suddenly put Hamilton inside the bubble for a spot on the 53-man roster, but it will save him for the time being from falling completely out of favor, and could learn to more opportunities in practice…perhaps even improved confidence, that will lead to better results.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Kevin Artis

    AB, Bryant, smith-schuster, Rogers are locks.
    Hamilton, Hunter, Hey-bay, Coates are vying for two spots.
    Ayers and Severin are practice squad bound.
    But we have three preseason games to see what checks out.

  • Big White

    I love Hamilton. In limited reps, he makes plays and has made plays.

  • WeWantDaTruth

    The practice squad WRs are sure to be plucked by other WR needy teams. Best to trade and get something for them.

  • Rob H

    While he certainly deserves credit for making a couple of plays (and holding on to the ball), while all of the receivers ahead of him watched from the sidelines, people need to just stop with the other silliness.
    He’d make a nice fifth or sixth receiver for any teams that are hurting at the position heading into the season, that’s it, and that’s what those two catches will help him with moving forward.

  • nutty32

    Cobi is the anti-Coates; mediocre tools but just makes plays.

  • Biggie

    Hamilton definitely is going to make cut down at WR even tougher. I really like him, he should develop into a good overall receiver and helps on STs too, which might help him steal a spot. Everyone mentions putting guys on practice squad but there are alot of teams out there in serious need of WRs and it will be hard to get guys like Hamilton, Ayers, Severin on the PS. Teams are going to grab our cut WRs this year. Would be nice if we could trade someone away at WR for a pick or two. even if just a 6th or 7th. As of right now Coates better get healthy and show something quick as Hunter and Hamilton are becoming productive popular guys in camp. DHB also needs to show reason to continue keeping him.

  • Bradshaw

    although hamilton had a TD and more yards receiving… i felt tucker had a better game (including ST). if houston had hit tucker on either of the two overthrows… we’d be talking about tucker instead of hamilton.

  • 2winz

    Tucker did stand out, he beat his man several times. It was 1 game, but if he keeps that up, I hope we can sneak him onto the PS