This is the Limas Sweed vs Mike Wallace vs Shaun McDonald story.
And one that’s hard to predict without really seeing any of them play in camp, but it’s off-season, I have no more White House adventure stories so I’m going to make a prediction anyway.
First, le’s just say Nate Washington will be missed. Â He was a great WR for the Steelers and made plays when we needed them. I wish him the best in his career. Â He deserves to have a shot as a starter.
But now, back to filling that spot…I’m saying it goes to Limas, for now. Â I think he hurt his own ego more than anything by dropping that would be touchdown pass last year and will want to show that he’s more than that. Â He’s familiar with the playbook – though isn’t everyone, not like Arians is the most creative Offensive Coordinator – and he’s had a year watching Hines and Santonio, hopefully learning along the way. Clearly, he attended the Hines school of blocking based on his hit against the Ravens in the AFC Championship last year Â (knowing also that he had to redeem himself for dropping the pass). Â While he only had 6 catches for 64 yards last year, I think Limas is a “work in progress.” It’s not like Santonio was he receiver he is today a couple years ago. Â (Still shaking my head at those dropped returns a few years back). Let’s give the kid the benefit of the doubt and say he’s been working on the off-season and will earn the job of #3 man.
**I reserve the right to change my mind, like any woman, based on what I see at training camp.
I am heartily impressed with what I see and hear about Mike Wallace. Â Clearly he’s fast – with a 4.31 40 at the combine. Â I think he will have a starting job on kick returns and will move into a WR job in the next couple years…much as I hate to say it, Hines isn’t getting any younger. Â He’ll mentor these young guys and teach them the Steeler way – and yes, keep on teaching them how to block too, forget that Hines Ward rule stuff, receivers need to block when they aren’t carrying the ball. I think Wallace will definitely be the “one to watch” moving forward. Â And, if Limas doesn’t pan out, the one I think who will be second in line.
**Again, all this subject to change once I see what happens in training camp.
Clearly, getting some veteran depth at WR with Shaun McDonald is smart. Â Pending any injuries *knock on wood* he could easily jump in to a role. He was a 4th round draft pick by Saint Louis Rams where he played until the 2007 season when he went to Detroit. Â Over his career he’s had 185 receptions for 2167 yards and 10 TD’s. Â He’s our insurance policy. Â Not that I don’t think he could be the #3, I just think Limas has that job for now. Â Although, depending on what needs to happen on the field, the job *could* be shared based on strengths. Â
I don’t know about anyone else, but I am definitely looking forward to training camp so I can really see how these spots work themselves out. Â
Who is your pick for the job based on what we know right now? Sweed, Wallace or McDonald?