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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Keep or Curb Morey

The new coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers has a busy schedule, studying the team’s current roster, readying for the draft and settling itself in Pittsburgh.

With that in mind, we’ve decided to help them out a little by breaking down the team’s free agents and whether they fit into the team’s future plans or should be allowed to look for work elsewhere.

Next up on our list is wide receiver Sean Morey, an unrestricted free agent.

Mention Morey’s name and you are very likely to elicit some kind of response, negative or positive. It’s certainly a strange situation considering Morey isn’t really anything more than a glorified special teams player.

Morey certainly doesn’t contribute much – if at anything – in the passing game. In fact, his two receptions for 29 yards last season doubled his career total, which is amazing for a five-year NFL veteran.

There’s no arguing that if Morey is playing a role in your passing offense, your team’s in trouble.

But though he is listed as a receiver – and that’s the position he played in college – Morey’s value is measured as a special teams star.

Morey had another solid season as a special teamer in 2006, recording 22 tackles and stepping in as a kickoff returner, where he averaged a healthy 26.1 yards on his seven returns. That was bolstered by a 76-yard return at Cleveland, but considering Morey wasn’t the deep man on the kickoff team – the 200-pounder was asked to be a blocker for 250-pound Najeh Davenport – his average wasn’t bad.

When the Steelers were successful in 2004 and 2005, they did so, at least in part, because their special teams play was vastly improved from previous years. And that was because the team was carrying special teams specialists like Morey, Chidi Iwuoma and Clint Kriewaldt on the roster.

But will new head coach Mike Tomlin take a similar stance and keep guys around who are nothing more than special teams players?

Tomlin said Monday that he will have a big emphasis on special teams and is not shy about using starters on special teams. But he also qualified that statement by saying that he would do that only in certain situations.

It’s likely that Morey would jump at that opportunity to re-sign with the Steelers for the veteran minimum. And you can’t have enough lunch pail-type guys around.

Verdict: Keep him.


Nathan said...

The Vikings first round draft pick was injured playing special teams. What's bad I think it was in preseason. Starters on special teams is a bad idea... those guys throw their bodies around like missles, at least the good ones.

Say yes to Chidi and Morey. =]

Dale Lolley said...

I agree. I think a lot of people undervalue what these guys do until the special teams break down.