As the Steelers get set for camp later this week, there’s a pair of wide outs that despite being veterans, feel they have a lot to prove to try and get reps on this roster.
Those two players are Plaxico Burress and Jericho Cotchery, and both those players will open Friday looking to win the No. 3 wide receiver position.
Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders for now have the one and two spots locked up, and barring any unforeseen issues in camp, the two will take the field opening day as the starters.
Some say there’s only one room for another experienced vet, and that could mean that when camp breaks and the final opening day roster is announced, Burress or Cotchery could find themselves on the outside looking in.
Last season the team brought Burress in and the 11th year pro at the time didn’t make as much impact on the roster as some felt he would.
He played in just four games, catching just three passes for 42 yards and a touchdown vs the Browns in the season finale. Burress in that last game of the year had two grabs for 24 yards.
He’s 35 years old, and came back to the Steelers ironically enough the day the Steelers lost Mike Wallace to the Miami Dolphins.
The question for Burress is does he have enough gas left in the tank to be the player that at times with the Steelers and then with the Giants dominated games?
It’s doubtful that Burress will ever have a season like those early in his career, but the Steelers want him to be more like the player that played with Rex Ryan and the Jets in 2011 (45 catches, 612 yards, 8 TD’s) than the one that sat out games late last season.
Cotchery has done nothing but his job since coming to the Steelers two seasons ago.
Last season he caught just 17 passes for 205 yards with no scores, and had issues getting on the field in many of the 14 games that he was active for.
In two seasons for the Steelers, he’s caught 33 passes for 442 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
He’s never been anything spectacular, but when he’s been called upon to catch a couple of passes, he’s been there, and been professional doing it.
It will be an interesting battle in camp – here’s an early bet that Burress wins it based on time overall with the team and the fact the team brought him back this offseason.
Whoever wins it, both men will have to step up and prove the coaches this offseason they have what it takes to be an impact player on the Steelers roster when the season starts.