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Thread: Steelers' Sweed struggling with confidence

      
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    Default Steelers' Sweed struggling with confidence

    A week earlier, he had dropped a much easier pass, in the University of Texas' season opener against lowly North Texas.

    But against powerhouse Ohio State in the second game of the 2005 season, Limas Sweed made an acrobatic catch in the corner of the end zone that helped determine the national championship.

    Sweed's twisting grab of a Vince Young pass while tumbling backward late in the fourth quarter gave Texas a 25-22 win over the Buckeyes. It also gave Sweed incalculable confidence.

    Four years later, Sweed has reached another crossroads similar to what he faced after the North Texas game.

    Sometime between that spectacular reception against Ohio State and becoming the Steelers' second-round draft pick in 2008, Sweed's confidence left him just as he once left defensive backs in his wake.

    But those close to Sweed sense brighter days could be forthcoming.

    "What Limas is experiencing, I am very familiar with,'' said Glen West, who coached Sweed at Brenham High, a Class 4A school in central Texas. "What I've seen more than anything is what I've always known about him. He wants to do so well, he puts pressure on himself. He just needs to relax and let it happen."

    Football became easier for Sweed after his clutch touchdown reception kept Texas undefeated in the midst of the Longhorns' championship season.

    Whether Sweed will get another chance Sunday afternoon against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field is open for debate.

    After dropping a wide-open touchdown pass in last year's AFC Championship Game, after dropping another wide-open touchdown pass this season in the third game against Cincinnati, and after dropping a third-down pass thrown to him last week against Detroit, coach Mike Tomlin is noncommittal about giving Sweed another chance to justify his selection as the 53rd pick in last year's draft.

    "Last week, Limas provided us a little more assistance in special teams," Tomlin said about whether Sweed or Shaun McDonald will get the nod at No. 4 receiver. "That adds value when you determine who plays for you."

    Sweed said he understands his predicament and what he must do to rebuild the team's confidence in him.

    "It's my job to make the catch, and I didn't plain and simple," Sweed said of his big drop against Cincinnati that could have been the difference in a 23-20 loss. "The bottom line is when you get in there, you have to make something happen in order to stay in there."

    There was a time in the not-too-distant past when Sweed's raw potential earned raves from the Steelers' coaching staff. In fact, Sweed's 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame, uncommonly large for a receiver, still makes him an intriguing player.

    "He's a talented player," said Steelers tackle Tony Hills, who was Sweed's teammate all four years at Texas. "There's not too many 6-4 guys that can outrun smaller defensive backs."

    Another former Texas teammate, Tampa Bay Bucs defensive lineman Tim Crowder, suggests that most of Sweed's problems are self-inflicted.

    "He has unbelievable talent, but it's always been mental for him," Crowder said. "There's nothing really he can't do, but when you go out there thinking about dropping the ball, that's when you don't have success."

    Chicago Bears wide receivers coach Darryl Drake, who recruited Sweed to Texas out of high school, said Sweed has to "find a way to get his confidence back."

    "I saw a guy coming out of high school with a lot of size, who had the speed to be a really good player," said Drake, who was also Steelers receiver Hines Ward's position coach at Georgia. "They didn't throw the ball a lot, and he was a tight end in high school. He didn't play wide receiver there, so the position was new to him."

    Still, Sweed, who was confident enough to ask former Texas receiver Roy Williams if he could wear his No. 4 with the Longhorns, finished second in school history in touchdown catches (behind Williams) and sixth in career receptions despite playing in only six games as a senior because of a wrist injury.

    In hindsight, Sweed's football career is right back where it started at Texas.

    "I think a lot of the things he experienced with the Steelers he experienced at Texas," West said. "He dropped a pass against North Texas in his first home game in his sophomore year, and there was some question about him and is he ever going to get over the hump. The next week, he made the big catch against Ohio State. When he did that, everything changed.

    "There comes a point in everyone's career where there's that moment they define themselves as a player or don't. I foresee he's at that crossroads right now. I think that because of his character and work ethic he will overcome that."

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    Default Re: Steelers' Sweed struggling with confidence

    Personally I am disgusted with Sweed. I am too concerned that he can/will cost us a game that I don't want to see him on the field unless it's garbage time.

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    Default Re: Steelers' Sweed struggling with confidence

    Of course the guy should be lacking confidence...he can't catch a ball.

    The bigger thing is that its not that he's dropping first down passes...he's getting separation and getting open and dropping TD passes. That's the biggest problem. He's costing us points.

    The good note, though, is that he IS getting separation which is different than many young receivers or receivers of his size.
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    Default Re: Steelers' Sweed struggling with confidence

    I hope we can rack up a quick, big lead against the stains and get Sweed some consistent playing time. Some real-time throws and catches might snap him out of it.

    Mendy finally kicked into gear recently, maybe it's Sweeds turn.

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    Default Re: Steelers' Sweed struggling with confidence

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetchuck View Post
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    I hope we can rack up a quick, big lead against the stains and get Sweed some consistent playing time. Some real-time throws and catches might snap him out of it.

    Mendy finally kicked into gear recently, maybe it's Sweeds turn.
    I think that Sweed needs that one big moment. Ya know where we need him to make a catch and he DOES? Then he can get the accolades and maybe start rolling...the problem is if we'll trust him to make that catch...and not only that but Mike Wallace has exploded onto the scene for us...he's on pace for 51 receptions and almost 800 yards (reminiscent of a one Santonio Holmes in his first season with us). If he actually pulls that off and Ward and Holmes each have 1000 yard seasons then this might prove to be statistically the best trio of wide receivers we've had in a long time...and that could also hurt Sweed's ability to even get back onto the field.
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    Default Re: Steelers' Sweed struggling with confidence

    I'm probably one of the very few,but I feel Sweed can get it turned around.

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    Default Re: Steelers' Sweed struggling with confidence

    Quote Originally Posted by buccoray61 View Post
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    I'm probably one of the very few,but I feel Sweed can get it turned around.
    Again, I would agree IF he can figure out mentally how to catch the ball. Its not that he physically doesn't know how.

    I mean, again, just look to the fact that he can get open and get good/great separation at this level of competition. That's a great sign if he can catch the ball.
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    Default Re: Steelers' Sweed struggling with confidence

    Quote Originally Posted by buccoray61 View Post
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    I'm probably one of the very few,but I feel Sweed can get it turned around.
    Your not alone. I know this is mental with Sweed and it can be corrected. What can't be taught is size, speed and ability to separate. He will make a tough grab somewhere along the line and snap the **** right out of this funk. I think he will eventually secure the #4 spot and challenge Wallace for #3 next year. I just hope the coaches don't give up on him too soon.

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    Default Re: Steelers' Sweed struggling with confidence

    Wallace is making a bid for the #2 and # 1 spot when either of the following happen, Hines retires and Smokey leaves in free agency.

    Sweed needs to come along.

    It's mental and he needs to get wet soon.

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    sjdrewk
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    Default Re: Steelers' Sweed struggling with confidence

    It's all psychological we all know; sometimes that's the hardest thing to overcome.

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    Default Re: Steelers' Sweed struggling with confidence

    Yeah, that is true because the mental anxiety builds upon each failure and becomes acute at the last second.

    Vanderjack ring any bells?

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    Default Re: Steelers' Sweed struggling with confidence

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackJackGold View Post
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    Yeah, that is true because the mental anxiety builds upon each failure and becomes acute at the last second.

    Vanderjack ring any bells?
    It's a shame really, we all know this kids has tremendous ability. Sometimes things just get to snowballing and there is nothing you can do about it when its all mental.

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    Default Re: Steelers' Sweed struggling with confidence

    In preseason he was looking great.

    Catching hard balls in traffic and everything....




    The worst part of this is that I can't taunt Les with the kids success.


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    Default Re: Steelers' Sweed struggling with confidence

    There are medications available for anxiety/panic attacks, which I bet Sweed gets as the ball approaches. I've known people with this problem. It's real and it's no fun.

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    Default Re: Steelers' Sweed struggling with confidence

    Too risky if he isn't a true anxiety case and only a situational anxiety case, which it seems to be.

    You don't play with hormone levels in the hypothalamus.

    That's why you hear about so many suicides and freaky behavior with those meds.

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