Year two is the time for Limas Sweed to step forward and take the mantle of Pittsburgh Steelers #3 WR. With Nate Washington gone, the spot is his for the taking. Could a little veteran competition be in order? Don’t put it past the front office, they don’t need Randy Moss in the slot but they might sign a player to push for the position.
It wasn’t surprising to see Sweed’s struggles last season. It’s a rare WR who steps into the league and produces from the start. Most often, their heads spin for the first season or two and then they “get it.” But Sweed doesn’t have that luxury. Let’s say the Steelers bring in a vet. Any doubt who Big Ben will throw to if Sweed has another gut-wrenching drop ala the Ravens playoff game last season? Not in my mind, no doubt at all.
Thanks to a tough, franchise QB and a defense for the ages, the Steelers were able to overcome his rookie gaffs last year, but now they need him to be a consistent producer in the offense. Sure, Ben will still be Ben, maybe even improved with another year of experience under his belt and (fingers crossed) an improved OL. But it’s asking a bit much to expect another record-setting season from the defense. Sure, they’ll be top-10 or better again. But they had something special last season which kept them in games they might should have lost.
As the #3 guy Sweed will be a de facto starter and he must make the catch when his number is called. Does Arians’ offense produce so many opportunities that they can be tossed to the ground? Not so much.
Limas, take the next step because the Steelers have a need for Sweed.