Wide receivers still trying to carve out roles in Steelers offense | TribLIVE.com
Steelers/NFL

Wide receivers still trying to carve out roles in Steelers offense

Joe Rutter
1655332_web1_1649256-1a90ea2c9e314d079e7f439e2be2c10b
AP
New England Patriots strong safety Patrick Chung (23) celebrates with teammates after breaking up a pass intended for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Donte Moncrief, left, in the first half an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass.

Playing his first game for the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, Donte Moncrief was credited with an NFL-high four drops in the 33-3 loss at New England.

If the veteran wide receiver sees a dip in playing time this weekend against the Seattle Seahawks — Moncrief played 90% of the offensive snaps against the Patriots — it won’t be because of those mistakes, coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday.

“It’s a process that we go through in the early stages of the season every week,” Tomlin said when asked about playing time for his receivers in Week 2. “Not in reaction to what transpired in the stadium Sunday night. It’s just the nature of this thing as you harden up the division of labor and find your personalities at the early stage of this thing.”

While Moncrief and JuJu Smith-Schuster each logged the same amount of reps, slot receiver Ryan Switzer played 69% of the offensive plays, followed by James Washington at 52% and rookie Diontae Johnson at 36%.

After a lengthy absence in the opening half, Washington had a 45-yard catch in the third quarter that set up the Steelers’ only score. Washington caught two of six targets, but Johnson was the only receiver aside from Moncrief with a dropped pass.

“I didn’t view a lack of participation for James Washington in the game,” Tomlin said. “We played him a significant amount. He’s a young guy. He’ll continue to carve out a role for himself.”

Tomlin said the wide receivers need to perform better against the Seahawks than they did in their first game since Antonio Brown was traded in March.

“We better be scalded because of that, and we better work our tails off to prepare for our next opportunity,” Tomlin said. “There will be no division in this group. This is how we’re wired. This is what we put out there. We’re foaming at the mouth for our next opportunity, and we better be.”

Hey, Steelers Nation, get the latest news about the Pittsburgh Steelers here.

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Steelers
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.