Monday, March 02, 2009

Steelers lose Washington to Titans

As expected, Steelers wide receiver Nate Washington has left, signing a free agent contract with the Tennessee Titans.

Washington, the Steelers' No. 3 receiver, has outstanding speed and leaping ability, but his hands are average.

The Steelers signed Washington as an unrestricted rookie free agent in 2004 out of Tiffin University, a Division II school.

Pittsburgh is counting on 2008 second-round draft pick Limas Sweed to step into a more prominent role in 2009. But they will also likely bring in a veteran to compete with Sweed for the No. 3 spot behind starters Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes.

Who might fit in that role?

Detroit's Mike Furrey is 32, but might be able to push Sweed.

Carolina's D.J. Hackett or Detroit's Shaun McDonald, a pair of 28-year-old receivers, or Oakland's Ronald Curry might also be good fits.

23 comments:

Patrick said...

Hopefully Sweed is ready to go, but I think a vet is a good idea. Luckily a 3rd WR is a lot easier to find than a lot of positions.

In a vet I'd like a guy with hands and solid routes before speed. That is about all the Steelers need until Sweed is ready to turn it on.

In terms of draft prospects, I don't know how high Robiskie might go, but watching him at the combine, he looks like a player. He has a determined look in his eyes that should lead to him becoming a solid WR but also could lit a fire under Sweed and/or Baker in fighting for a job. That said, I don't think a WR should be taken until the second 3rd rounder, if we even have one (I kind of think we will be getting a 4th in comp picks, not a 3rd)

Ben said...

Good for Nate. Best of luck to him. He's taking his chance and running with it and no one can blame him for that.

I think Sweed will step up. I don't see how he can't. The guy has too much potential to be a total bust. At the very least, I expect him to be a capable #3 guy this year.

A veteran FA signing could push him to reach his potential. That kind of competition always brings out the best in good players.

I don't expect him to develop great hands over night, but I expect him to improve this year. The problem seems like its in his head, not hands, anyhow. Nerves seem like they're getting the best of him. A year of experience can do nothing but help that. Hope to see Hines take him under his wing this pre-season.

Anonymous said...

- I liked Ronald Curry back in the day, but he's suffered through several tough injuries. I don't know how much that has taken a toll on him. I suspect that he's only a shadow of his former self, but that's conjecture on my part.

- The Steelers would have to select Robiskie with their 2nd rounf pick if they want him, and I really don't see them doing that, at least I hope not.

- I liked Nate. Anytime an UDFA makes his mark on the league, you have to feel good for the guy, especially when that guy played college ball at Tiffin. That said, he was a solid #3 wr, but no more. Whenever he had a chance to start, he made minimal impact. That's not the type of guy you want to spend signifacant dollars on, especially when you have as little room under the cap as the Steelers do.

Anonymous said...

ugh all those players you mentioned suck.

I'd rather see them try to sign Devery Henderson

Anonymous said...

I would rather see us use Sweed/Miller/Nance to fill our #3 wr role.

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

Demetrious Williams (UFA WR out of Baltimore)?

As for the draft: Hakeem Nicks, if he's there, but O-Line would STILL be my top priority. It's tough to project at this point.

schnifin said...

"It'll be Limas, Martin Nance and whoever we draft, one of those cats," Arians said. "Limas has the ability to do it. He just has to continue to grow and be consistent."

from Prisuta's article in the Trib\

I didn't realize Nance was still in the fold but Arians seems to think he will compete for the 3rd WR spot. If he's healthy, I think Nance could have an impact. Although I'm sure they'll give Sweed every opportunity first.

schnifin said...

Sorry forgot the link...

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_614171.html

kelly said...

Any word on what happened with B-mac in Arizona? I heard they offered him 3-4 mil a season to be their 3rd corner... Don't know how true it is.

Brian said...

Furrey or McDonald would continue the trend of Detroit castoffs being signed by the Steelers on the cheap.

adamg said...

How about finally getting some mileage out of Matt Spaeth and use him as the 3rd/4th WR. He obviously can catch and run with the ball as witness by his collegiate Mackey Award. He would be the "big WR" BR has pined for and could create the same kind of match up problems Jurevicius has done during his long career.

Now that Sean McHugh has been signed to a 3 year deal, he can play both blocking TE when in the 2 TE formation or be the lead blocker at FB for Parker.

Nance and BR should have instant chemistry from playing together in college.

Viz-Burgh said...

I like Robiskie a bunch but he'll go too high for the Steelers to consider. I'm actually hoping that Derrick Williams of Penn State slides because of his poor Combine 40 time. He's way faster on the field than what he ran in Indy. And he could be a returner as well as a #3/#4 WR for us.

Dale Lolley said...

Spaeth can't run. I don't know that he could beat me decidedly in a race.

As for Prisuta's quotes from Arians, I wouldn't expect Bruce to say anything other than that.

And Robiskie's workouts have vaulted him to a late-first, early second-round pick.

Anonymous said...

I am going to stick by my prediction of Joey Galloway coming here for a swan song. 1 year deal for cheap, close to home, try to go out with a bang and he's got a connection with Tomlin let's not forget! At 38, he would be better than any of the possession receivers stiffs mentioned in this blog. Mike Furrey, Dale puh-lease! You could beat him in a race, too! The last thing we need is a white receiver for "Alabama North" to fall in love with. He was a product of a pass happy offense in Detroit, nothing more. Sign Galloway!

-Sasquatch

Yinzer said...

Mike Furrey, please! That would correct the mistake of not drafting Jordy Nelson last year.

Anonymous said...

what about Bobby Engram?

Patrick said...

I'd be ok with Mike Furrey. He caught 98 passes in 2006. On the Lions. Sure they had weapons, but they've never had a QB.

He seems like a sure handed guy which is exactly what I think the Steelers need until Sweed develops better. Which I think he will, but a sure handed vet to compete is needed.

Anonymous said...

Furrey is a sure-handed white "possession" receiver who falls down after catching the ball ala Matt Spaeth. Patrick, I don't mean to bust balls, but come on! What does it matter if they had a QB or not? The Lions played catch-up most games plus Mikey Martz was the OC. Their run/pass ratio was 25/75! This guy would be a step backwards for The Steelers. It would be the Steeler equivalent of the Pirates signing Doug Mientkiewicz. Remember, we are attempting to replace NATE WASHINGTON....A fast, deep-threat, stretch the defense receiver...not Wayne Chrebet. Geesh!

-Sasquatch

Patrick said...

Furrey could be purple for all I care first of all, but I'm not advocating replacing what Nate Washington did on the field. You want Joey Galloway,and I wouldn't mind him, but I just don't see him fitting the stop gap needs of the Steelers right now as a #3. I also don't know if Galloway has the speed anymore to replace Nate's either.

I say Furrey simply because he would be a good bridge until Sweed is ready to go and seems to be reliable with his hands. As a stop gap WR I argue for a heady vet with hands, rather than someone who needs some polishing (like a draft pick).Galloway might be that player too, but who knows, I'm just saying I'd be ok with Furrey.

Yinzer said...

Furrey's a good kid with a gritty, blue-collar work ethic. Lots of intangibles.

adamg said...

Dale, Spaeth maybe can't run like Holmes, but he could certainly be an effective 3rd/4th WR. Jurevicius can't run either, but he's been catching passes for a long time and as a #2 WR, not a #3. Same for the big WR in Denver, whose name escapes me at the moment, who used to kill the Steelers.

As for draftees, Penn State had 3 quality WRs. Derrick Williams might be gone, but there's still Deion Butler and Jordan Norwood. Norwood's size might scare off teams, but he is tough as nails.

Dale Lolley said...

Williams was slower than expected at the combine, running in the 4.6 range. Butler I like.
If they're going to put a tight end on the field in receiver packages, it will be Miller.
But I doubt they go into the season without at least one proven receiver behind Holmes and Ward. Their injury history the past few seasons suggests that one or both will miss a game or two.

Anonymous said...

TO
T
O
T
O
T
O