Waiting for Young WR to Emerge

With Mike Wallace holding out, the Steelers -- who were thin at the position anyway -- are still looking for a wide receiver or two to step up and stand out. Mike Prisuta has the story.

LATROBE – An opportunity beckons, and will continue even if or when Mike Wallace makes his much-anticipated arrival at St. Vincent College.

Wallace, presumably, would join Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery to comprise an impressive collection of down-the-field weaponry.

But the Steelers will carry at least five wide receivers. Which means there's another job or two to be won, assuming one or more of the lesser-known pass-catchers in camp prove employable.

That hasn't happened yet.

"It's kind of hard to distinguish yourself when you're working amongst a good group of guys above you," wide receivers coach Scottie Montgomery said. "However, we evaluate them the same way we evaluate the top three that are in camp right now."

Beyond the top three, rave reviews have yet to be compiled.

Wide Receiver U?

For the Steelers not named Brown, Sanders or Cotchery, it's more like wide receiver? You?

Montgomery mentioned Marquis Maze, Toney Clemons and Derrick Williams initially when assessing the best of the rest at the position.

"We're looking for guys that will distinguish themselves," Montgomery continued. "Tyler (Beiler) has been unbelievable at times. What we're looking for is for guys to be consistent.

"Juamorris (Stewart) and those guys have really come out and tried to compete. What we're trying to get them to do is compete on every single drill, win every drill. We want them to understand that competition is going to get them there."

Not mentioned by Montgomery was David Gilreath, who spent a little practice time settling under kickoffs on Tuesday.

The search continues.

The receivers were at least competitive bordering on combative during a drill on Tuesday that pitted them against the DBs one-on-on, a type of "Little Guy Oklahoma" drill that was conducted between cones separated only a couple of yards.

The collisions were violent and the confrontations continued at times after the whistle.

The most visible instance of that occurred when Williams scrapped with cornerback Andre Freeman after Freeman took exception to Williams driving his palm up under Freeman's chin.

"It's a stalk-blocking drill but it's more about mentality and us finding out the mentality of our football club on an individual basis," Montgomery said. "We do have a certain mentality of Steeler football and if they're not willing to do it they can't help us, and it's that simple.

"We need to find out who those guys are when things get tough, when they get sticky, they'll deliver instead of not deliver."

Montgomery said he "absolutely" liked what he got from his guys against the DBs.

But for the best of the rest at wide receiver it was just a start.

No one's been eliminated at this early juncture but nor has anyone separated from the pack.

Williams, a third-year pro who caught nine passes and returned 42 kickoffs in 18 career games the past two seasons with Detroit, apparently has an agenda in doing something about that.

He may not be able to run like Wallace. But failing that, there's nothing stopping a guy from trying to hit like Hines Ward.

"I was really impressed with him not only from a physical standpoint but just from a fundamental standpoint of what we talk about before we enter those drills, meeting time, just the detail that goes into it," Montgomery said. "He worked on it, worked on it and it really showed.

"It was really good to see a guy trying to distinguish himself as a physical presence. That has value in the National Football League."


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