When you look at what the Steelers will roll out at wide receiver this season, one has to be excited about the potential that the players bring to the table. Right now there is a bit of a logjam at the position, and that is a good thing. Many felt that the team needed more at the receiver spot, but if you look at who is out there, the players the Steelers bring to the table beats anything that is available. Of course the leader of the group is all-world Hines Ward, who at 6-foot, 215 pounds will likely go down as one of the top 2-3 Steelers wide outs of all-time.
Ward is going to be on a mission in 2006, trying to put last seasons 8-8 record behind him and the rest of the team. Last year Ward had 74 catches for 975 yards and six touchdowns. He needs just 719 yards to become the Steelers all-time leading receiver. Ward will look to break that mark this season, and should be able to do so with another solid Pro-Bowl type year. He and Ben Roethlisberger should be even more on the same page in 2007.
Santonio Holmes is another solid wide out that could be on the verge of a monster 2007. Last season the Ohio State rookie had a case of the fumbles on punt returns, but by the end of the season really became a go-to target for Ben. His catch and run for a score in overtime vs the Bengals in the seasons last game was a highlight and ended the season both for Holmes and the team on an up note. Holmes caught 49 passes, second on the team for 824 yards and two scores. l see Holmes as a starter from day one having a big season.
Another vet wide out that can still make some plays is Cedrick Wilson. The 6th year receivers career has been very up and down for the team, as the first year he was all but invisible, but then showed up and made some huge plays in the playoffs to help the team capture their 5th Super Bowl. Last season he did have a decent season as the teams 3rd go-to guy, as he caught 37 passes for 504 yards and a score. He is a good guy to have for backup purposes and injuries. Plus he could thrive with the team going to more 4 and 5 wide out sets this year.
Willie Reid and Nate Washington are two more receivers that can make plays and help the wide out core. Washington had a solid 2006 as a 4th receiver, catching 35 passes for 624 yards and four touchdowns. He was a big play guy, averaging 17.8 yards per catch. Reid was hurt for most of last season, and if he can bounce back, he could be a solid addition to the unit for the 07 season. Overall, this unit is going to be called upon a lot in 2007, and if each guy plays up to his potential, then this group should have a big season.
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