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Author Topic: Has Nate Washington finally turned the corner?  (Read 2446 times)
steelerfaninCO
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« on: Oct 19, 2008 at 19:28 »

So that makes a 48 yard TD and a 50 yard TD in the last 2 games for Nate. While he had 5 TD's last year, he often showed lapses in concentration by repeatedly dropping passes he should have caught. This year he seems to be holding on to the ball and making the catches he should. He has the size and speed to be a bonafide downfield threat, and as a #3 receiver, he gets matched up on the nickel back, safety, or even LB's sometime. If Nate can maintain his level of performance for the rest of the year, I would consider resinging him. Thats certainly an if, but are we seeing the Tiffin product finally turning the corner on his mental lapses and elevating his game? The #2 pick may have got him a little more motivated to prove his worth this year. Plus its a contract year.
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 19, 2008 at 21:06 »

I think he has.  He seems to be making more of the opportunities that come his way.  And he's not that far off the pace of Holmes.  Nice average per catch at 15 even.
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PghSteel-43
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 19, 2008 at 21:09 »

He has become more consistent, that's for sure.  It looks like he's breaking out of the 'catch, catch, easy drop' routine.  Hopefully he can keep it up for the rest of the season. 
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 19, 2008 at 21:37 »

So, if you had to choose between Nate and McFadden in the offseason, which would it be?
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PghSteel-43
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 19, 2008 at 21:45 »

So, if you had to choose between Nate and McFadden in the offseason, which would it be?

McFadden. 

Townsend up there in age being reason #1.  McFadden stepping up big time this season and playing great ball being reason #2 and I think we could survive with Sweed, Holmes, Ward and Baker being reason #3. 
« Last Edit: Oct 19, 2008 at 21:54 by PghSteel-43 » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 19, 2008 at 22:30 »

Yeah, I'm with PghSteel-43 for those very good reasons.
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 20, 2008 at 08:21 »

It's cool 'n' all he's turned some corner, but odds are he's playing elsewhere next year.

How much would other teams pay for him as opposed to the Steelers, with Sweed?

I agree that McFadden's been playing very, very solid ball and DT's age makes McFadden a priority.  In fact, I'd re-up him right effin now, if I were running the shit.  And I'd at least make an overture to Nate's people now, to see if he'd stay.  We'd have an awesome four-deep WR group, assuming Sweed progresses.
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 20, 2008 at 08:50 »

Pardon me if I'm still taking a "wait and see" approach to Washington.  He's looked great, but there's a lot of football left.

He'll bring a high price if he continues to play well, and he'll be easier to replace than McFadden.  If we can't keep him at a reasonable rate, let him go and pay for a proven DB.
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aj_law
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 20, 2008 at 12:06 »

He'll bring a high price if he continues to play well, and he'll be easier to replace than McFadden.

That's kinda how I look at this sitch.  As someone else mentioned, I'd be very surprised if he's wearing a Steeler uni in '09.  After all, #3 WRs (like him) are a dime a dozen.  And, that's not really meant as a knock on Nate.  I think he's a decent player.  It's just that he's, you know, OK. 

*shrug*

Plus, with Sweed and Baker getting a little more seasoning, they should easily be able to replace his production if Pittsburgh wants to keep it in house.  If they want to dabble in the open market, for a mil or two a year, there are as good or better options available.
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DCSteelers
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« Reply #9 on: Oct 20, 2008 at 12:59 »

I think we'll try and offer him a mil or two.  We might be close to the cap, but I thought that we were going to be descently under in 09'  with Starks, Marvel, and a few others off the books.

That might give us an option to resing Mcfadden and Washington.  I suppose it's possible that we put the franchise on Marvel (maybe McFadden), but IMO, unlikely.

I think the FO will restructure/extend Hines by a couple years.  He's has an 11M cap hit with his final year.

Big question is how much free cash the Rooney's have with their ownership issues?

Biggest focus from the FO in the offseason is to extend players prudently.  I think we are 50M under the 2010 cap due to many contracts being up.  Of course it may not matter due to the CBA.

Those include (I think Smiley ):  Ward, Snacks, Foote, Deshea?, Heath, Hartwig, Colon, Spaeth, Parker, Clark, probably other non-starters.
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steelerfaninCO
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 20, 2008 at 13:27 »

First, let me say if it comes down to resinging Nate or McFadden, I definately think they should sign the CB. A quality starting CB is much more important than a #3 receiver and Nate would indeed be easier to replace than McFadden both in availability and monetarily.

However, IMO if Nate can continue at this level( which I think he can), I don't think he is in the "dime a dozen" catergory. Even last year, his production(5 TD's) was more than a lot of #2 receivers. Having a quality #3 receiver really puts the pressure on the oppposing D to cover the whole field, and if you double Holmes or Ward, the #3 guy is pretty much matched up one on one on the D's 3rd or 4th best cover guy. I don't think Nate's stock is super high with other teams, and he probably could be resigned for a relatively low number. Banking on Sweed or Baker to step in and perform just as well as Nate, let alone better, is a big stretch for me. They have showed absolutely nada so far. Baker has just been able to hang on and Sweed couldn't even beat him out this year. I just don't see how they could easily replace his production AJ. Neither of them has caught jack shit yet.  And going out a getting a Ced type of quality guy would be a waste of money and thats about all there is out there in FA for the money . The Colts proved that a good QB with 3 legit WR's(plus a good TE) is trouble for defenses and to be able to do without breaking the bank on the 3rd guy is huge. You know Holmes is going to want to get paid soon.

I can't think of another #3 guy who has scored 7 TD's in the past 22 games. Can anyone?.. He is currently 2nd on the team with TD catches this year and a 15 yard average with 15 catches. He had 29 catches for 450 yards( a 15.5 yard average) with 5TD's last year. Again, no other #3 guy comes to mind with that average and TD production and he seems to be improving ( that tranny Henry doesn't count). Of course he is benefiting from the attention paid to the other 2 guys, but to lump him in with all the other #3 guys out there who aren't coming close to his production isn't fair. Yes, he dropped one too many passes in past, but he is getting the job done now. And doing it well. If Sweed or Baker pans out, that would make one hell of a WR corps, but remember, #86 doesn't have a lot of high production years left, so there will always be a need for a quality #3 guy.

I guess I think more highly of Nate than most, but his numbers speak for themselves and I don't buy the argument that he can easily be replaced, either by someone already on the roster, or through FA with a reasonable contract. Come on Nate! Prove your doubters wrong!  
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aj_law
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« Reply #11 on: Oct 20, 2008 at 14:39 »

However, IMO if Nate can continue at this level( which I think he can), I don't think he is in the "dime a dozen" catergory. Even last year, his production(5 TD's) was more than a lot of #2 receivers.

I think looking strictly at it from a numbers perspective can be a little misleading.  While I can't recall specific games, I'm willing to bet that a good chunk of Nate's '07 numbers came from games where he was asked to step in for an ailing Holmes and/or Ward.  IIRC, both of those guys missed 3 or 4 games each.  With a guy like #7 "behind the helmet" and the kind of numbers he put up, coupled with some starters missing games, it's not too surprising that Washington did what he did.

Banking on Sweed or Baker to step in and perform just as well as Nate, let alone better, is a big stretch for me. They have showed absolutely nada so far. Baker has just been able to hang on and Sweed couldn't even beat him out this year. I just don't see how they could easily replace his production AJ. Neither of them has caught jack shit yet.  And going out a getting a Ced type of quality guy would be a waste of money and thats about all there is out there in FA for the money . The Colts proved that a good QB with 3 legit WR's(plus a good TE) is trouble for defenses and to be able to do without breaking the bank on the 3rd guy is huge. You know Holmes is going to want to get paid soon.

I can't think of another #3 guy who has scored 7 TD's in the past 22 games. Can anyone?.. He is currently 2nd on the team with TD catches this year and a 15 yard average with 15 catches. He had 29 catches for 450 yards( a 15.5 yard average) with 5TD's last year. Again, no other #3 guy comes to mind with that average and TD production and he seems to be improving ( that tranny Henry doesn't count). Of course he is benefiting from the attention paid to the other 2 guys, but to lump him in with all the other #3 guys out there who aren't coming close to his production isn't fair. Yes, he dropped one too many passes in past, but he is getting the job done now. And doing it well. If Sweed or Baker pans out, that would make one hell of a WR corps, but remember, #86 doesn't have a lot of high production years left, so there will always be a need for a quality #3 guy.

I guess I think more highly of Nate than most, but his numbers speak for themselves and I don't buy the argument that he can easily be replaced, either by someone already on the roster, or through FA with a reasonable contract. Come on Nate! Prove your doubters wrong!  

Yeah, I guess in retrospect, maybe expecting Baker/Sweed to play like Washington has in the last few is a bit presumptuous and it's true that they haven't done anything yet.  Still, I like what I saw from Baker in preseason (moreso than what I saw from Washington) so it's quite possible that he just hasn't had the opportunity yet.  In fact, Baker reminds me of a bigger, stronger Washington.

I just think that when you look at Nate the player and his "football skills," that's where that "dime a dozen" comment comes from.  That's just my opinion of him.  I look at who some teams have at the #3 and I see a lot of guys that I think are as good or better "players."  Again, IMO. 

Here are some #3 guys.  Ask yourself who you would rather have, them or Washington?

Steve Breaston
Brian Finneran
James Hardy (small body of work, but he has all the tools)
Dwayne Jarrett
Marty Booker
Josh Cribbs 
Chris Henry
Patrick Crayton or Miles Austin
Brandon Stokley or Darrell Jackson (both on Denver)
Mike Furrey or Shaun McDonald
James Jones
Jacoby Jones
Anthony Gonzalez
Jabar Gaffney
David Patten
Steve Smith (NYG)
pretty much any of these 5 on the Eagles since it's really tough to determine who the #3 is (Kevin Curtis, Reggie Brown, Hank Baskett, DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant)
Eddie Kennison
Ike Hilliard
Michael Clayton

Now, if I have the chance later, I might come back and go through that list player by player, but with a quick glance, there are a lot of guys I'd rather have as my #3 over Washington, maybe as much as half that list.  Then, when I look to see that some of those guys are potential FAs in '09 (Baskett,  McDonald, Gaffney to name a few), I just don't get too concerned about replacing Nate on this team.  It's just my $0.02 worth, but I think a lot of those guys would outperform Nate if put in the same situation he's been in Pittsburgh. 
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steelerfaninCO
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 20, 2008 at 19:09 »

Good points AJ. With Ben as the QB, people should get stats, and stats can be misleading and don't always tell the whole story.

Looking at your list, I can honestly say only Stokely and Jarrett peak my interest there. And Stokely is a pretty proven guy and probably makes the most on that list. Nate isn't that old and IMHO, still has a ton of upside. I know I'm crazy, and I know its an unpopular opinion, but I like Nate and think he could still be a valuable asset.
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PghSteel-43
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« Reply #13 on: Oct 20, 2008 at 19:27 »

After all, #3 WRs (like him) are a dime a dozen.

That's another reason why I chose B-Mac over Nate.  Plus, I think Sweed getting a year under his belt and Baker getting another one under his will help next season.

Bottomline for me, I find it very hard to pass on a former second round  DB who appears to be stepping up to fill the role that he's suppose to be filling in order to try and sign a #3 WR.  I'm more concerned with trying to get Kemoeatu and B-Mac signed if possible. 
« Last Edit: Oct 20, 2008 at 19:31 by PghSteel-43 » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: Oct 20, 2008 at 22:01 »

The let Burress walk then they let El walk.  If Wash doesn't sign a cheap deal they'll let him walk too.
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« Reply #15 on: Oct 24, 2008 at 14:13 »

He'll be our starting SE this weekend- lets see if he has turned the corner.

Concerning Sweed, someone is going to have to replace Hines in the not-so-distant future.  I'd prefer to keep Washington around and not have to deal with another Andre Hastings or Terrance? Mathis expiriment.
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PghSteel-43
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« Reply #16 on: Nov 21, 2008 at 09:21 »

He has become more consistent, that's for sure.  It looks like he's breaking out of the 'catch, catch, easy drop' routine.  Hopefully he can keep it up for the rest of the season. 

So much for that.
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« Reply #17 on: Nov 21, 2008 at 09:29 »

I have defended Nate over the years, even breaking down his 2007 stats verses other 3rd WRs and arguing he was one of the better 3rd WRs in the NFL, but I can't see anyone (Steelers or anyone else) giving a guy like Nate any kind of serious cash. 

McFadden's injury will hopefully bring down his cost, but he will be in an entirely different paygrade.
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PghSteel-43
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« Reply #18 on: Nov 21, 2008 at 10:11 »

I have defended Nate over the years, even breaking down his 2007 stats verses other 3rd WRs and arguing he was one of the better 3rd WRs in the NFL, but I can't see anyone (Steelers or anyone else) giving a guy like Nate any kind of serious cash. 

McFadden's injury will hopefully bring down his cost, but he will be in an entirely different paygrade.

Back in October I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and it appeared as if he was finally turning the corner, but this is now two games in a row where he has dropped an important pass that was directly in his hands.  Anymore, it seems like he is good for one easy drop a game.  It may not hurt us against a horrible Bengals team and it may not be a big deal after a win, but he has to start catching those balls.

As for B-Mac, the injury could/should bring down his asking price, but with Drew Rosenhaus as his agent, you never know how those negotiations will pan out.

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« Reply #19 on: Nov 21, 2008 at 10:13 »

Yeah, they need to keep Wash around.  Sure, he had an easy drop but so did Ward.  Sweed seemed to do fine catching the ball.  Stupid play on STs but he is a rook.  He'll get better.

The WR corps seems to be looking fine for the future, Nate included.
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PghSteel-43
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« Reply #20 on: Nov 21, 2008 at 10:32 »

If the pass is over 40 yards, Nate's golden.  Anything shorter than 40 yards and directly in his hands, hold your breath.

I would propose replacing Nate with Ernster and Ernster with Nate, but catching the snaps could be a problem with Nate.  Wink
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« Reply #21 on: Nov 21, 2008 at 12:22 »

Re:  Nate and his inconsistent stone hands

Can he play corner?

:twobirdswithonestone:
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« Reply #22 on: Nov 21, 2008 at 12:37 »

One last thing regarding Nate/#3 WR...

If Pittsburgh shells out any cash for a #3 guy, I'm more interested in finding a Cribbs, ARE or Breaston type who's a returner.

They need somebody, be it a WR or a CB who's shifty, lose the left nut fast and can make these STs dangerous again.  With Reed being among the most consistent; RoboPunter (assumably) coming back; and the coverage units being pretty solid, a real return guy is pretty much the only thing missing.
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