Steelers invest in flashy receivers
One hasn't suited up for any of the Steelers' preseason games. Another has played in all of them but has barely registered a blip -- at least in the box scores.
The third member of the Steelers' "Money" receiving trio, meanwhile, has snagged the spotlight as easily as he has touchdown passes over the past month.
Not to worry, Emmanuel Sanders and Mike Wallace said Monday. They plan on joining Antonio Brown soon enough.
Sanders practiced yesterday, and he is on track to play in the Steelers' final preseason game Thursday night at Carolina.
Sanders, also known as "Young Money," has been sidelined or limited since the early part of training camp with a stress fracture in his left foot -- one that has been slow to heal.
Brown, Sanders' draft classmate and close friend, has emerged as the frontrunner for the No. 3 wide receiver spot behind Hines Ward and Wallace.
"I'm happy for my guy," Sanders said. "I'm in competition with myself and that's not showing up on the mental error sheet, catching every ball and making plays."
When asked if the gaggle of plays Brown has made has raised the bar for him, Sanders smiled.
"The bar has already been set by Mike Wallace," Sanders said. "He had a Pro Bowl year and that is the bar, Pro Bowls and Super Bowls around here."
Wallace, aka "Fast Money," indeed had a Pro Bowl-caliber season in 2010, ranking second in the NFL in yards per catch (21.0) while hauling in 1,257 yards worth of passes -- seventh most on the Steelers' all-time single-season list.
He has said numerous times that his goal is to eclipse 2,000 receiving yards in 2011, which would represent a first in NFL history.
|Part of the Steelers' self-proclaimed "Money" group, Mike Wallace had a breakout season in 2010 while Emmanuel Sanders had a solid one as a rookie.|
But that has been the most noise Wallace has made since late July.
He has caught just two passes for 9 yards during the preseason, and his most memorable play has been a near-miss on a Ben Roethlisberger deep ball in an Aug. 12 game at Washington.
The lack of production can be attributed to a number of things, from decreased playing time for starters to the reality that the games don't count.
"I haven't made too many plays this preseason but I've been assignment-sound and I've been everywhere I need to be, so those things count, too," Wallace said. "I feel like when the regular season comes I'll get my plays, too, and I'm going to make the most of them when I get the ball."
Brown has made the most of the opportunities Sanders' injury and his relatively low profile have afforded him. The play of Brown -- his nickname is "All About Money" -- and the signing of Jerricho Cotchery have raised questions as to whether there will be enough balls to go around once the regular season starts.
That is especially true because the Steelers have a workhorse running back (Rashard Mendenhall), an underrated tight end (Heath Miller) and a desire to run the ball as much as they throw it.
"There's plenty of food out there on the table," Sanders said. "We've just all got to stay humble play within ourselves. It's going to be a track meet, how things are looking."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers offensive line targeting injury-free performance as key
- Steelers claim QB-turned-WR Gardner
- Former Steelers kicker Reed doesn’t like new NFL PAT rule
- Steelers guard Foster likes offense’s direction heading into season
- Steelers interested in playing internationally again
- Steelers’ Heyward looking to stay for long haul
- NFL moves PAT back to 15-yard line
- Steelers sign 2nd-round pick Golson