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    Default rookie wide receivers catching on quickly

    Steelers' rookie wide receivers catching on quickly
    By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Saturday, August 14, 2010

    [IMGR]http://i35.tinypic.com/14ig2ut.jpg[/IMGR]The Steelers have selected multiple receivers in the NFL Draft many times since the team hit the mother lode of Lynn Swann and John Stallworth in 1974. Nineteen times, in fact.

    Drafting more than one receiver hasn't proved fruitful. Other than Jeff Graham and Ernie Mills, selected in 1991, Swann and Stallworth members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame are far and away the team's most successful draft pairing at the position.

    Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown are the Steelers' latest tandem. Sanders, a third-round selection in April, and Brown, a sixth-round pick, have impressed in training camp and are expected to receive plenty of action in tonight's preseason opener against the Detroit Lions at Heinz Field.

    "Pittsburgh had receivers like Lynn Swann and John Stallworth who were really great. That's who we strive to be like," said Brown, a Central Michigan product who ranks second in receptions in Mid-American Conference history. "This was the ultimate dream when I was a kid. I'm going to embrace the moment."

    Said Sanders, who set multiple receiving records at SMU: "I'm super excited. I'm looking forward to running out of that tunnel."

    Suitemates in the dormitory at Rooney Hall, Brown and Sanders are nearly identical in size and ability. Sanders, who wears No. 88, is 5-foot-11, 180 pounds. Brown, who wears No. 84, is 5-10, 186.

    [IMGL]http://i35.tinypic.com/n187jl.jpg[/IMGL]They are quicker than they are fast, with sure hands and elusive moves after the catch. Both are expected to display their versatility as returners.

    "We see how good the other one is, and we just feed off each other," said Brown, who will return punts. "It's a competition, and we're pushing each other."

    "That's like my best friend. I'm not competing with anyone," said Sanders, who will return kickoffs. "I'm competing with myself on a daily basis."

    With the starters expected to appear in no more than 12 plays, coach Mike Tomlin predicted Brown and Sanders could receive at least three dozen plays apiece maybe more. Sanders said he was told he will play in the second half.

    "Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders are going to play a bunch of snaps," Tomlin said. "They're going to get more than they bargained for. Their pedigree stands out. They've shown maturity in terms of catching the football and creating separation. But, they're still new to the nuances of what we're doing. No question, they have miles to go they're rookies. But I like (what) they're doing."

    Brown said the offense fits his skill set.

    "We've got an offensive coordinator (Bruce Arians) who calls deep routes to get guys downfield," he said. "There's a lot of great plays to get us open. I'm one of those guys that can get it deep or get it short and make something happen."

    Sanders had his worst day of practice Thursday. He, Brown, Brandon London and Isaiah Williams heard about it from first-year wide receivers coach Scottie Montgomery.

    "You've got to battle through it," said Sanders, who is fighting a neck injury. "I've been having a pretty good camp. I've got to continue to make plays and limit my mistakes."

    Brown seemed to accept the criticism better than Sanders, who sat on his helmet, deep in thought, before being approached by reporters.

    "It's just not a game it's our job. We're continuously being evaluated," Brown said. "I want to go out and have fun and do my job do all the things I've been coached to do."

    The evaluation process intensifies tonight.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_694872.html
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    Default Re: rookie wide receivers catching on quickly

    I may be in the minority on this one,but I don't think the loss of Smokey is going to hurt us all that much.I have complete faith in our WR corps.................especially since Sweed is out for the season(and thats a huge addition by subtraction!!)

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    Default Re: rookie wide receivers catching on quickly

    I agree too that the receiver corps is gonna be fine without Smokey. Reaquiring ARE was huge, maybe more for his leadership than his skill. Sanders and Battle are my sleeper picks for surprising contributions.
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    Default Re: rookie wide receivers catching on quickly

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    I agree too that the receiver corps is gonna be fine without Smokey. Reaquiring ARE was huge, maybe more for his leadership than his skill. Sanders and Battle are my sleeper picks for surprising contributions.
    I think Sanders will turn heads the same way Wallace did last year.

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    Default Re: rookie wide receivers catching on quickly

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    I agree too that the receiver corps is gonna be fine without Smokey. Reaquiring ARE was huge, maybe more for his leadership than his skill. Sanders and Battle are my sleeper picks for surprising contributions.
    Last Sunday at Latrobe, Sanders pulled in a tch that was very similar to the rather famous one Lynn Swann pulled in during SB13 (the one along the touchline). Sanders has Swann's old number, so I took that as a bit of a sign. Could be big, but practice is a different beast to 16 - 20 weeks of live play.

    I'm hoping for good things.
    'I want rustlers, cut throats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswogglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ***-kickers, ****-kickers and Methodists.'

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    Default Re: rookie wide receivers catching on quickly

    Quote Originally Posted by Les View Post
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    I may be in the minority on this one,but I don't think the loss of Smokey is going to hurt us all that much.I have complete faith in our WR corps.................especially since Sweed is out for the season(and thats a huge addition by subtraction!!)
    I agree with you... I guess, for me, it's just the "unknown" aspect... Will Wallace hit a sophmore slump? Will the FAs we picked-up do their job? Will the rookies produce and contribute?... As said, I'm not necessarily "worried" per say, just ready to see some proof.
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    Default Re: rookie wide receivers catching on quickly

    Strictly from a numbers point of view, there could be some very tough decisions at the wr position, assuming no one gets hurt .

    One of the two rookies might have to be snuck onto the practice squad.

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    Default Re: rookie wide receivers catching on quickly

    Quote Originally Posted by Crosby Clan View Post
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    Strictly from a numbers point of view, there could be some very tough decisions at the wr position, assuming no one gets hurt .

    One of the two rookies might have to be snuck onto the practice squad.
    "Snuck" is right... At this point, I think they all have serious upside potential, and think they'd end-up elsewhere before our PS... But who knows how the next few weeks will go... It very well could become blatantly obvious.
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    Default Re: rookie wide receivers catching on quickly

    For some reason I am thinking that all things being equal, youth wins out this season as far as the war's go. If Brown and Sanders continue to impress, the Steelers just might keep 6.
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    Default Re: rookie wide receivers catching on quickly

    Quote Originally Posted by War Machine View Post
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    Sanders has Swann's old number, so I took that as a bit of a sign.
    I'll be happy if he's as good as another #88.........

    Andre Hastings

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