WR As A Need Being Viewed Much Differently In Hindsight

I wouldn’t quite put myself in the early spring camp that was vigorously against the idea of drafting a wide receiver early, even though I was pretty strong in my belief that outside linebacker and cornerback needed to come early. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ later acquisition of Joe Haden attests that they agreed.

But looking a couple of months into the regular season, I think almost everybody is reviewing the selection of JuJu Smith-Schuster—and the wide receiver position generally speaking—in a different light. I think it is fair to say that this was not as stable a group as many anticipated, including myself.

I was in the camp who thought that Sammie Coates was going to come back this year and look like the guy who was playing in the first five games of last season, or at least be close to it. I thought that Demarcus Ayers was doing to push Eli Rogers for playing time in the slot.

Once they drafted Smith-Schuster, I thought there was almost no chance that a free agent addition like Justin Hunter was going to even make the roster, at least provided that Martavis Bryant would be reinstated—of which he was already in the process by that point.

Antonio Brown on one side. Bryant on the other. Unstoppable duo, right? And that is before we even stick anybody in the slot, projecting major growth from both Rogers and Ayers in their second years of actual playing time.

And, wow, the team was so deep that rosterable players like Cobi Hamilton and Darrius Heyward-Bey would probably have to be on the outside looking in, because there is just too much talent ahead of them with guys like Coates and Ayers—and hey, Coates plays special teams, ya know.

Now, who do they have that they can rely upon, aside from Brown?

JuJu. And only JuJu.

Rely on Bryant right now? I hardly think so. Rogers? They’ve already benched him and he is still not seeing much playing time or targets. And his catch percentage did not keep up with where it was last season, as he and Ben Roethlisberger have missed on plays.

Hunter is a training camp phenom, not an NFL stadium one. Although he may have a chance to laugh in my face tomorrow. And bless your heart, Darrius, but there will be serious problems before you’re going to be considered for an integral role in the offense.

It’s AB and JuJu. Those are the guys. Back in May, many were wondering how the 20-year-old bicyclist would even be gotten onto the field. Now they really can’t afford to take him off.

In hindsight, or at the least, in retrospect, it was a very wise decision to pull the trigger on Smith-Schuster in the second round, and I’m finding it hard to entertain any arguments to the contrary. He’s already contributing significantly, and he is only getting started.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

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

  • francesco

    What an over reaction!!!…JuJu is a rookie. Which means that he is getting a free pass from most teams this year. Teams are not game planning against his talents or his tendancies. Not enough game tape for teams to assess. Let’s wait and see how he does in year 2 before we name him to pro- bowl status. Now with DHB getting a year older…yes I can see Steelers getting another WR whether MB is or will not be on the team next year. In regards to Hunter…let’s see how he does against the Lions.

  • Big Joe

    Even though secondary, ILB, LG, RB, etc. may be viewed as needs, I can actually see not 1 but 2 WRs drafted next year. This keeps AB, JJSS, and Rogers then adds reinforcement behind anything that happens with MB, DHB, Hunter, etc. while maintaining a strong, young WR corps

  • Michael James

    U sure you got the gist of the article? It’s not about Juju already being a Pro-Bowler. It’s about the fact that he is the only reliable (!) WR option after Brown right now. Which is perfectly true to be honest.

  • steeltown

    I still want to see more Rogers, things started off a little rocky this year but he’s a very capable slot receiver.

    AB and JuJu on the outside with Rogers in the slot this Sunday would be nice, and mix in AB and Hunter on the outside with JuJu in the slot.

  • Doug Andrews

    Question for you Matt and I know it’s hindsight but do you think the trade of Coates was the right move now? Hunter has done absolutely nothing until now and the drama of MB is well documented.

  • francesco

    Yes and no.

  • SfSteeler

    this offense has been somewhat offensive this year…so many question of inconsistency except smash mouth run game right now…Haleys play calling, Mcdonald learning the system, Jesses a catch and get tackled guy and the theres Ben…

    how much of this WR issue can be attributed to Bens inconsistency or dealing with new recievers/not on the same page…cumon man, run the route, hit the man!?

  • John

    These are the hidden points the fans miss unless things get to desperation like this year. We were playing Hamilton and Ayers last year neither of whom have made any real plays this year and then had Coates etc. People like to denigrate the Pats receivers but in their system, and other than AB, they have multiple WRs that are more reliable and have the talent they need than we do. Hogan, Edelman (who is hurt), Amendola, etc. From a trust standpoint, all of those guys would be our number 2 assuming the systems were comparable. And they have Gronk, three good pass catching RBs, and a young WR they like. Their OLine has been one of the best in football for a decade generally. This is why Ben sometimes looks or acts the way he does. Let’s hope all comes around for us this year.

  • John

    I will answer. At this point, Coates could not have done worse than Hunter and DHB. Neither could Ayers. We apparently should have kept one of them but maybe Hunter will come around. DHB not so much.

  • dany

    Same here, just move them all around, even AB in the slot at times. Mix it up, it can’t get worse can it

  • francesco

    Patriots like their WR’s small and shifty. Hogan is a surprise addition in that he is outside their typical norm.

  • francesco

    When you’re mind is in retirement mode why take the necessary time to practice with the new guys?

  • Jaybird

    What has Coates done this year with Cleveland? He sucks also.

  • Jaybird

    Great article Matt. I will try to never question the Steelers Brass again( can’t make any promises though). They really knew what they weee doing when they selected Juju. Great move by the Steelers

  • capehouse

    Yeah Coates and Bryant. All body, no brain. Definitely went from a poor pick to one that was a need and great value.

  • capehouse

    Coates would be inactive too, so what’s the difference. He’d get a chance to play this week like Hunter will in Bryant’s absence, but that will be short lived and most likely uneventful. Got a pick for Coates, so that makes the trade a success.

  • spicyitln

    Doug it never appeared Coates fully rehabbed from his hand injury mentally or physically… As far as Hunter he had very few game snaps so far … If we really want to talk about unreliable receivers with exception of AB… I encourage you to re view AFC championship game last year…. .

  • Cullen James Riley

    Sammie Coates has 1 catch for 11 yards on the season, so far…

  • Lambert58

    Wow.

  • Lambert58

    Who’s the other one?

  • WreckIess

    I don’t think I was ecstatic about the pick early one, but I understood it. DB pool had dried up and after the comments Ben had made, it was pretty clear that he didn’t believe in guys like Hamilton, Ayers, and to a lesser extent Rogers, the team needed to add more talent there.

  • francesco

    Does it matter if AB gets 80% of the ball on 95% of the snaps?

  • FATCAT716

    The article is about the selection of JuJu & how in hindsight it was a great pick. No one crowned him yet just looking back at how so many fans were against the pick to now outside of AB he is our 3rd option & #2 WR

  • francesco

    Was taking a WR in the second round a move that was warranted. No.
    In hindsight? No. Ayers or Hamilton would have been fine. As well ERogers would be getting more action as well as MB. I really don’t get this argument unless one feels that JuJu is God sent?! Including the bike!

  • FATCAT716

    You are so lost

  • francesco

    Have you seen Ben practicing more with the new guys?

  • francesco

    See my answer above.

  • FATCAT716

    Just because we haven’t seen articles out saying Ben is working with new guys doesn’t mean it’s not happening. To honest it seems like he is in sync with JuJu our “new” receiver

  • Matthew Marczi

    I was fine with them being able to get anything in exchange for either Coates or Hunter. If they were going to get nothing from both of them combined, all things being equal, I would have stuck with Coates then, and I would have still stuck with Coates now.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Coates would have been playing over Rogers, at least after he was benched, because he can be gunner and jammer on special teams, and also cover kicks.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Remind me again what Bryant has done this season. I’ll wait.

  • Applebite

    Said it then, and saying now, considering what occurred in the 2nd rd, prior to being up, JuJu was a very good pick for the Steelers. And they could have done far worse than to choose him there. That run on DBs in the 2nd rd was insane. But going with JuJu, and considering that the league DRUG their feet with the reinstatement of Bryant, the Steelers did what they could to salvage the season and the position.

    They also had prior dealings with Golson, whom couldn’t stay healthy
    after being out of the game for a year or more. So they likely felt that
    with Bryant, he wasn’t going to be in playing shape upon his return.

    And it wasn’t a guarantee that Coates hand would be alright. It was hoped that he could bounce back after the season. But we didn’t even know if he had surgery or not, with the conflicting reports. So no pun intended here, the Steelers hand was forced to do what was necessary.

  • francesco

    It’s the little things that many chose not to admit. Acts as a decoy so that he attracts a DB and a Safety on his routes thus leaving AB or the slot receiver to roam free in zone coverage.
    But really it comes to what Ben and Haley have not done. They haven’t found ways to distribute the ball around. It has been either AB or Bell 90% of the time. Put JuJu in MB’s spot and see if he fares any better? JuJu is having fun out there right now because he is a rookie and has no pressure especially at 20 years old. I hope he gets better and performs beyond our expectation in year 2. But JuJu is not better than MB.
    I would love to see how MB would fare if he had a QB like Alex Smith, Brees or Rogers.

  • Lambert58

    Yes it does matter, because it makes the offense too predictable.

  • francesco

    I agree. What i meant is that whoever is the #2 WR is of no importance as they won’t receive the ball in this offense. See Wheaton or Sanders and now MB.
    Ben has no desire to have chemistry with any other receiver except AB.

  • Lambert58

    Well, I think that’s oversimplifying it. Ben has had chemistry with multiple receiving threats in the past. Right now he’s locking in on AB because he’s the only one who has been reliably consistent in getting open and making plays.

  • Steve Johnson

    That ole saying about Justin Hunter is true. Looks good in Camp and Practice, but on Sunday’s, no where to be found. Yes, I think they need to draft a WR and TE next April

  • Guest12

    It does matter who your #2 receiver is. 2 teams have already admitted to game planning on taking MB out of the game, that shows they respect what he can do if you don’t. Also, MB has lost snaps to JuJu and on plays where they both were on the field at the same time JuJu has seen targets come his way instead of MB. It shows Ben likes JuJu and is willing to get him the ball

  • Alan Tman

    It was still a wasted pick and here’s why. When you overstock a position you can make anyone you want to look good. Juju shuttle pass and the wide open TD against the Bengals. Any WR on the roster could have made those plays. Martavis is 6’4″ and he’s hardly used in the red zone. The last time he was he ran a hook three yards short of the end zone. Everyone knows a big athletic receiver should be used in the red zone and be sent to the back line to use his height and athletic abilities. So just because Tomlin likes physical slot receivers and is trying to make himself look right doesn’t mean that he was.

  • Alan Tman

    Yes Matthew I think everyone else’s games are suffering because they are trying to hype Juju. His only plays that he makes that no one else can are blocks. Alex even said that the TD against the Bengals was ran for Martavis’ position in prior years, so that tells me it’s a Juju hype train. I have no quarrel with you or your reasoning Matthew I just see this from a different point of view. And I believe if we would have went a different direction at 62 we wouldn’t have had to spend 15 million at the end of preseason and some of that money could have rolled over to next year’s cap. We would have been just fine with Rogers and Ayers in the slot. The thing we haven’t taken advantage of is AB in the slot with MB10 and Hunter outside in 3 or 4 receiver sets. I just don’t understand why we haven’t.

  • Alan Tman

    Juju plays are well designed, so it’s not like he has beating anyone. Shuttle pass and the wide open TD against the Bengals. Name a receiver on the team that couldn’t make those plays? Nothing special but the blocking so far.

  • Alan Tman

    Well we do know that Ben said that the young receivers weren’t ready in the playoffs last year. The only person who can get them ready takes every Wednesday off. Hmmm

  • francesco

    You’re missing my point. MB is doing his job very well. That’s why AB is getting the ball more and that’s also why if AB is covered Ben’s other option is JuJu. The problem is that MB does not want to just be a decoy. He wants to get the rock as well. Do you blame him if it were you? But notwithstanding all this…Ben has never really had chemistry outside of AB and HWard. You know why? Because they were always his first read.

  • francesco

    +1000

  • francesco

    +100

  • Doug Andrews

    I wasn’t a big fan of Coates (run the 9 route) but he was able to shine in the first four games last year. He was injured after the fourth game and his season changed dramatically. It seems obvious that Hunter’s not going to push MB but my question is if the Steelers kept Coates would he present more of a challenge to MB? Does he still go off the rails like he’s been doing lately? It’s a hindsight question for sure but I have to think things might be different. Also I believe Coates might add more to the room since he’s special teams capable.

  • Doug Andrews

    I’m sure the compensation played into shipping Coates instead of Hunter which i’m still ok with. Coates isn’t exactly lighting it up over there with the Browns this season. This is pure speculation but I have to think we wouldn’t have all this Martavis Bryant drama if Coates remained a Steeler.

  • Doug Andrews

    Agreed my reason for asking about Coates is because I wonder if that changes Martavis’s mindset? He obviously isn’t challenged by Hunter but when the Steelers drafted JuJu he pointed the finger at Coates saying that JuJu was his replacement. Maybe at that point he felt challenged by Sammie. If I were in the Steelers shoes i’d pull the trigger on that trade also. Nice to get something for Sammie who may have never panned out with the Steelers but maybe he was that player to keep MB in line.

  • Rocksolid20

    Yet we are still winning ?!

  • Rocksolid20

    Can we just finish this season first
    then make our decisions on the draft ?
    This can turn out to be a DAMN good season .

  • Rocksolid20

    Few Steeler fans see DHB’s real value to this team .

  • Doug Andrews

    Successful trade yes my question was in regards to Bryant’s behavior. Sammie made plays last year early in the season when MB was suspended and they added Hunter who’s a practice phenom but hasn’t translated to games this year. Do we see Bryant going off like he’s done if Sammie is looking over his shoulder on the depth chart?

  • Rocksolid20

    Seems the word IF IF IF always comes up when talking about MB .

  • Matt Manzo

    You just made me really depressed.

  • Matthew Marczi

    You do understand that Bryant has done very little even with the opportunities that he has had, right? And to paint Smith-Schuster’s contributions as pedestrian is completely disingenuous. He has forced a number of broken tackles and made tough catches in traffic on third down. Bryant has dropped passes and gone down on first contact. Smith-Schuster’s done a lot more than catch touchdowns, while Bryant has provided no reliability as a deep target, the struggles in that department *at least* as much on him as on Roethlisberger.

  • spicyitln

    it appeared to be a learned Behavior, AB threw the water cooler he got more catches next game, Bell complained after Jags game about abandoning running game he got 30+ touches next game…More of a case of too many mouths to feed.. in the end is a good problem to have…Hopefully all these guys can co exist long enough to get the Lombardi trophy…

  • jsteeler

    Ben hasn’t given MB or Hunter a Decent ball to catch. All those passes were high or overthrown. Ben has been Erratic throwing to anyone besides AB. AB fights, has to jump up or into the ground to catch that BS of a pass. Or make Ben look good with his Circus Catches. Ben is Overrated.

  • jsteeler

    Ben’s Bad Azz passes to everyone should be the story. Ben doesn’t possess accuracy consistently.

  • jsteeler

    Ben hasn’t thrown a decent ball to anyone except AB. Ben has overthrown MB and Hunter erratically. Ben makes the decisions who and where to throw to. Even Eli Rogers got overthrown wide open. Ben is declining right in front of our eyes.

  • jsteeler

    Yes, Coach Haley’s play calling is too predictable.

  • sixnine

    He is God sent, because if you are watching Steelers games you will see we only can win now with physicality. That hype train of 30 ppg and Ben slinging it around to finesse wr is not gonna get it done for us.JuJu is far more valuable to Leveon Bell and this run scheme than you think.He along with Nix and McDonald are guys that are key to us winning late in January. That’s our blueprint to win now and we should start to embrace it and thank God the coaches figured it out also.

  • Steve

    We can finish this season, but also discus who to draft. This IS a discussion board.

  • Steve

    Very true and will probably hang it up after this year.

  • Steve

    We need 1. QB and 2 TE. these should be our top priorities in the draft.

  • Steve

    Two years ago the Pats line suck and they fired the OL coach right after the season. So we can throw that statement out.(Their OLine has been one of the best in football for a decade generally.).

  • Steve

    Actually Haley has called some good games. Throwing in Passes on 1st down to keep the D honest and have ran a lot to wear out the opponent D. Cincy might as well thrown up the white flag last week. Their D was tired and done.

  • Steve

    DHB is a good special team player. Made a nice catch from Golden’s pass.

  • Alan Tman

    So when Ben was 4 for 38 at one time on deep passes half of that was on Bryant? Wow!!

  • Alan Tman

    At one point Ben was 4 for 38 on long passes, so you’re telling me that half of that was on Martavis? Here’s what happens the Steelers are putting out an image or perception of MB10 game and everyone is buying it. How many slants or skinny post has he dropped? Why don’t they throw him those? Why doesn’t he play in red zone? Seems he was excellent in the red zone in 2014. His attitude is terrible and he has shown a lot of immaturity, but that doesn’t change his ability to do damage. I haven’t forgotten his crazy catch rate in training camp either. Juju is a likable enough fellow and to make him look good is their choice, but Jerome Bettis said last night he has a long way to go to be a number two receiver. As far as good teammates he’s a much better one, and better blocker. But anything else forget it, and Tomlin said all his friends want MB10, but he’s not available. So keep believing there’s no trade market for him. They may have the fans fooled that MB10 abilities have diminished, but not decision makers in the NFL.

  • francesco

    We get it. Thankyou.

  • francesco

    Thats funny because LBell was running really well in the second half of the Cincinnati game and guess what…MB was on the field 19 times on these run plays while JuJu was on the field 9 times only. So i guess JuJu’s blocking has nothing to do with it. Maybe its because of Nix and the OL?!!

  • francesco

    Do you know Bucky Brooks. If you have a chance to read yesterday’s article on MB. Maybe some stats will open your mind.

  • FATCAT716

    Are you serious? You mean because Ben takes one day off a week? Goes thru training camp, goes thru a 24 week season smh & young receivers aren’t ready in week 24 It’s Bens fault cuz he miss a Wednesday a week? Lol come on man I have to admit that’s comical

  • Alan Tman

    You missed what Emmanuel Sanders said once he went to Denver and started working with Peyton, so I am going to just skip this debate. Have a wonderful day.

  • capehouse

    Well realistically Coates wouldn’t have been on the team, because if he wasn’t traded he would’ve been cut. Justin Hunter was making the team over hime regardless.

  • capehouse

    Sammie isn’t looking over anyone’s shoulders. He would’ve been cut by the Steelers if we didn’t trade him.

  • Alan Tman

    Just read that article. TRUTH!!

  • Lambert58

    Not because of the passing game.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Our WR corp went from a position of strength to a need. We lost Bryant, Coates, Wheaton and Ayers all guys with potential upside and physical gifts but for me JuJu was insurance against a Bryant melt down and now we are cashing in. Personally I was all against the pick of JuJu but someone in the organization was living in their fears. THANKFULLY LOL!

  • Alan Tman

    Let’s flip that argument and ask what would Brady be doing with our receiving corps? I bet he’d rather have ours than his if he had to answer honestly, and I bet they would be breaking the 07 scoring record too!!

  • Guest12

    Nobody had more chemistry with Big Ben than Heath, he just wasn’t the top target (yes I know we’re talking WR though). I agree that MB doesn’t want to be just a decoy and I don’t think anyone would.

  • Jaybird

    I can’t see drafting two WRs next year. One- maybe , but not two. I think we’d be better off getting TE help in the draft and add another RB in in rounds 3 or 4 if we can’t sign Bell.
    ILB could be a need. Safety a BIG need ( I’m not a fan of Mitchell). I think Finney will be a really good guard , I might even keep him there to replace Ramon and draft another center to eventually replace Pouncey.
    Man the season isn’t even half way over and I’m jacked up for the draft already! Lol

  • Doug Andrews

    Agreed that’s why if MB had complained to the right person he’d got more targets also. It’s just so surprising for a dude that one step of away from being a Josh Gordon he continues to act out.

  • Ehrren Lee Phyzeque

    Right. AND in hindsight then you have to look at how Roethlisberger has regressed back to his familiar and usual problem which is an inability to see beyond his first read nor read his progressions fast enough which is why he relies on it first read often. And it has frustrated Bryant and rightly so. MB is the first player I’ve ever seen the Steelers have who returned after a layoff literally looking physically bigger and stronger wall retaining his explosiveness. A testament to the man’s hard work dedication and work ethic. Those three characters alone or what you see in common with Harrison and brown. Therefore Bryant is entitled to be frustrated let alone pissed. Athletes have a small window very small window to grab Fame and Fortune.

  • francesco

    Exactly. They are judged on receiving yards and Td’s and paid accordingly. Not on whether you were a good decoy.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I’ve watched and charted every snaps of his career, and his performance this season does not show him to be the same player, so far, that he was two years ago. I’m hoping that changes, but that is just the reality as my eyes see it. He’s made about five plays so far this year.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I didn’t say his talents have diminished. I said he’s not done much with the opportunities he’s had. And yes, he’s responsible for a lot of his own miscues, with a couple of drops, a few more passes he should have caught, or held onto, but did not, slowing on routes, not looking back in time to track a ball, etc.

  • Matthew Marczi

    “He’s not getting opportunites”, he says of the wide receiver with by far the second-most opportunities on the team.

  • Alan Tman

    You are really avoiding the question here Matthew. Answer the question please.

  • Matthew Marczi

    What is the question?

  • Alan Tman

    It’s hard to be the same player when you are the deep threat and your QB is 25% on deep passes. You also can chart and graph anything you want, but Bucky Brooks was an accomplished NFL scout and played professional football as a CB. An has no personal affection for Big Ben. What’s more disingenuous? Saying anyone of the WRs can make the plays JUJU is making or you blaming all of Ben’s woes on Martavis?

  • Alan Tman

    Big Ben’s deep passing percentage was 25%. You’re attributing half of that to Bryant?

  • Matthew Marczi

    Yeah I think I already answered in my previous response. A lot of the bad deep passing is on him. I’m not going to quantify it with a specific amount, but absolutely a large percentage is on him. He dropped one deep pass, slowed up on others, and failed to look back in order to track another.

  • Matthew Marczi

    I have no “personal affection” for any football player. I really don’t give a crap about them. This is my job. You think Roethlisberger holds some special place in my heart? He spent half of his young adult life being a scumbag.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Just because you don’t like the answer I have to give doesn’t mean you have to fabricate reasons to disregard it.

  • Matthew Marczi

    W1 3Q 14:12, 50Y pass INC: Bryant slows on route, runs into CB. On him.
    W1 4Q 12:18, 28Y pass INT: Ben underthrows, tipped and picked. On QB.
    W2 2Q 15:00, 49Y pass INC, DPI: good throw, good effort, DPI.
    W2 2Q 00:49, 41Y pass INC: Ben hit as he threw; threw go ball, Bryant ran post pattern. Shouldn’t have been throw, but receiver ran wrong route. Nearly picked.
    W2 3Q 7:01, 51Y pass C: good throw and good catch.
    W3 1Q 15:00, 42Y pass INC: Bryant drops the ball. On him.
    W3 2Q 00:27, 46Y pass INC: Ben under pressure, rolls out, throws desperation ball. Jump ball that Bryant loses, DB defends it. Not a drop but if you’re a star, you make some of these plays.
    W3 3Q 10:36, 45Y pass INC: DB in front the whole way, walls off Bryant, who falls, nearly picked off. Questionable to throw that one.
    W4 4Q 9:49, 41Y pass INC: Ben overthrown. On QB.
    W5 2Q 1:51, 38Y pass INC: Ben hit as he threw. Ball goes outside shoulder, Bryant looking for inside. Hard to assign blame based on location.
    W7 3Q 14:12, 50Y pass INC: Bryant doesn’t look for ball early enough, unable to track a well-placed ball. On him.

  • Alan Tman

    I said Bens deep pass percentage to EVERYONE is 25% so how can you blame half on Bryant?

  • Alan Tman

    My point is he’s having problems connecting with everyone deep. Not just MB10. So Ben is having problems with the deep passes period. Not just with Martavis. But we’re blaming ALL the deep passing problems on MB10 since it can’t be 7.

  • Matthew Marczi

    …I mean, obviously I’m talking about Bryant’s targets. But his completion percentage is lowest when he’s targeting Bryant. For example, he’s 7/20 targeting Brown, not including 3 DPIs and a defensive offside. He also had a deep touchdown taken away because of a hold by DeCastro. 2/3 targeting JuJu.

    1/11 targeting Bryant on deep passes, plus one DPI. That’s less than 10%.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Please identify one person who has ever blamed Bryant for all the deep passing problems this season. I have literally not seen one single person ever suggest that.

  • Alan Tman

    35 percent to the best receiver in the league, so there is a QB problem. Thank you for proving my point. Hunter is 0 for as well.

  • Alan Tman

    I’d be more worried about the guy making 21 million losing his deep ball as opposed to piling on a guy making 650,000 and his part of the equation, especially since he is benched.Sorta like countless articles about kneeling, but not one on Bob McNair. Hmmm

  • Alan Tman

    That makes sense because his passes deep are 40 yards or more.

  • Matthew Marczi

    It doesn’t matter how deep a pass is if Bryant is dropping the ball or slowing down on the route or not looking back for it.

  • Matthew Marczi

    What am I supposed to write about Bob McNair? He has nothing to do with the Steelers or a division rival, nor at the Texans on deck; nor is there any shortage of anything else to write about. I only covered kneeling when it was directly relevant to the Steelers.

    Roethlisberger has not “lost his deep ball”, if you mean that he can’t throw deep anymore. He has plenty of arm strength. The bottom line is that about 40% of his incomplete deep passes have been targeted to Bryant, yet he has only 10% of his completed deep passes.

  • Alan Tman

    Lol ok

  • Matthew Marczi

    What does this even mean? First of all, I think you underestimate what a 35% completion percentage on deep passes really means. Do you think quarterbacks routinely average even a 50% completion percentage on deep throws? They’re low-percentage throws to begin with. You also dismiss the fact that he drew three pass interference calls, so you could easily call is 10 out of 23, which is over 43%.

  • Matthew Marczi

    If you drop a ball, slow on a route, or don’t look for the ball, it doesn’t matter if the pass is 100 yards or 1 yard. You’re not catching it.

  • Alan Tman

    And what exactly does pass interference calls have to do with catchable balls? They called PI for Brown and Ben threw the ball out of the end zone. So no. Nice try though.

  • Alan Tman

    I guess that deep pass to AB was accurate, but maybe that’s MB10S fault too? Lol

  • Alan Tman

    Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy is gone.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Because a lot of pass interference plays are on balls that would have been catches without pass interference.

  • Matthew Marczi

    What exactly is your agenda? You act like I hate Martavis Bryant. The simple fact is that he hasn’t done much with the opportunities he’s had so far this year.

  • Matthew Marczi

    It’s not gone. It’s worse than it had been in the past. But it’s not just the accuracy out of the hands of the quarterback. There are a lot of contributing factors to why the deep pass has been ineffective for the Steelers this year, and despite what you want to think, Bryant’s mistakes are a notable contributor to that.

  • Alan Tman

    I’m sorry I wrote that about McNair, so you could avoid Ben accuracy deficiency.

  • Alan Tman

    He just threw one out of bounds .

  • Matthew Marczi

    Are you seriously going to try to live-blog troll me? You don’t even seem to be reading what I’m saying anyway, since you keep claiming that I’m “avoiding” addressing things that I already addressed.

  • Steve Johnson

    Like Steve said below, although I agree we can finish the season, but my comment had absolutely nothing to do with it. It’s a chat site where Steeler Fans can come and vent, talk about the Franchise.
    And for the record, yes, they need to start looking for a replacement like last year. And I’m sure Colbert, Tomlin and Mr. Rooney is aware of that.