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 Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position

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PostSubject: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:34 pm

On the Steelers: Little-known Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position

August 5, 2016
By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, right, talks with receiver Eli Rogers during drills at Saint Vincent College.

One year ago today, the Steelers waived an injured, little-known, undrafted rookie wide receiver, and few paid attention.

One year later, all kinds of people take notice of Eli Rogers, including his offensive coordinator and starting quarterback.

“We’ll see when we get to the games,” Todd Haley said, “but everything we’ve seen to this point, we haven’t had a slot guy like him since I’ve been here. It hasn’t been close.”

Ben Roethlisberger expressed similar sentiments.

Haley even compared Rogers to Wayne Chrebet, who caught 580 passes and 41 touchdowns over 11 seasons playing in the slot for the New York Jets. Chrebet also went undrafted from Hofstra and was the same size as Rogers, 5 feet 10, 187 pounds.

“Wayne Chrebet was probably more like this guy — quick, he’ll separate, catch the ball, make you miss,” Haley said.

Rogers not only has made a fast impression, but he had the advantage of developing as a slot receiver in college at Louisville. Haley was looking at another Cardinals player in 2015 when he noticed Rogers and how perfect he was for the slot, a “prototype,” he called him.

Most top receivers who enter the NFL played on the outside in college. They must worry about just beating the man covering them, even if it’s a double-team. The slot or inside receivers have to be aware of everything because they get it from the right, the left, down the middle and must adjust to it all.

“He’s unique,” Haley said. “Most of the college guys we get are outside receivers in college, and then you’re trying to convert them. Well, he played inside a bunch, so he’s got a very good feel already. He’s ahead of the game and he’s lightning quick.”

Haley has used Rogers in the slot often in practices with the first team when they use three wide receivers. If he continues to develop as they believe he can, it would allow Markus Wheaton, the Steelers’ slot man last season, to play more on the outside where he is better suited.

“I told Markus in the offseason I didn’t want to pigeon-hole him because he might be our second-best outside guy,” Haley said. “We know what he does inside, it’s very good and we can win with him but we may need him outside.”

They also have Sammie Coates on the outside to go with Wheaton and Antonio Brown, and veteran Darrius Heyward-Bey caught 21 passes and started four games last season. Even without the suspended Martavis Bryant, the Steelers have a deep and talented group.

All along, the Steelers had Rogers in mind. Although healthy for only the first few weeks of his first pro training camp last summer, he made an impression. When no one claimed him off waivers, the Steelers brought him back and put him on injured reserve for the entire season. Dr. James Bradley performed surgery on his foot, inserting a screw.

to read rest of article:

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/steelers/2016/08/05/On-the-Steelers-Lilttle-known-Eli-Rogers-gives-Steelers-different-look-at-the-slot-receiver-position/stories/201608050096
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:04 pm

Yeah, I thought when Ayers was drafted that he was going to be behind Rogers in line for the slot receiver job. The fact that Eli Rogers can return kicks and just seems to find seams in zones to get open means he likely has a spot on the 53.

Again, WR is one of the positions on the field that is most dependant on having a good O line, good QB, good run game. Eli Rogers can be productive in this offense, yet be a guy that struggles on a team like the Rams or Browns because of their QB situation.
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:10 am

Haley compared him to Wayne Chrebet. I'll take it if he turns out to be that productive.
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:39 pm

Alex Kozora
‏@Alex_Kozora

Eli Rogers continues to impress. Gave Quandre Diggs a tough time in one-on-ones today. Made it look easy. #Steelers

https://twitter.com/Alex_Kozora/status/763145531245727744?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:27 pm

yes,,, a small lighting quick guy been wanting for one of these guys since the Steelers got fast at the outside wr.

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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:05 am

@effyou515 wrote:
yes,,, a small lighting quick guy been wanting for one of these guys since the Steelers got fast at the outside wr.

Hope he works out. Not sure I was sold on Wheaton being the slot guy ... not that he was bad, Rogers seems like a better fit in the slot.
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:59 pm

Rogers gaining rave reviews for work as slot receiver

By Mark Kaboly

Eli Rogers has exactly zero catches in the NFL.

There's a pretty good reason for that, too. He's played in exactly zero NFL games in his career.

No catches, no games and coming off a broken foot that cost him his entire rookie season sure hasn't curtailed the high praise being piled on the Steelers' slot wide receiver through the first two weeks of training camp.

Safety Mike Mitchell: “Monster.”

Wide receivers coach Richard Mann: “Savvy.”

Head coach Mike Tomlin: “Perfect might be a stretch,” he said when asked about Rogers being a “perfect” example of using a year off to prepare himself for the following year.

Well, would you expect anything less out of Tomlin, especially about an undrafted free agent who has zero catches and zero games in his career?

Still, that doesn't mask that Rogers spent the past two weeks putting himself into the conversation of being one of the pieces that can ease the loss of suspended wide receiver Martavis Bryant.

“He has just figured it out,” Mitchell said. “I was calling it before the foot injury last year that he was going to have a breakout year for a rookie. He was doing it last year before the foot injury. Ask anybody, and they will tell you how disappointed they were when he got hurt because we knew he was a guy who could've helped us significantly.”

READ MORE: http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/10934237-74/rogers-steelers-receiver
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If only they could evaluate cornerbacks as well as they evaluate receivers.

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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:02 pm

James C Wexell ‏@jimwexell

Hey, Eli Rogers doesn't look bad returning punts. Confident catcher, shifty in traffic, good acceleration.

https://twitter.com/jimwexell?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:40 am

Quote :
Dr. James Bradley performed surgery on his foot, inserting a screw.

his foot is screwed ....
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:48 am

@Hawaii 5-0 wrote:
James C Wexell ‏@jimwexell  

Hey, Eli Rogers doesn't look bad returning punts. Confident catcher, shifty in traffic, good acceleration.

https://twitter.com/jimwexell?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Yup, watch his college tape and you see the kid can return kicks. Gonna make a juke or 2 and make a guy miss, but not going to run away from the field as he has something like 4.55 speed.

That is how he makes the team. Returns kicks so AB doesn't have to and gonna find 30 catches in the slot this season. Ayers goes to the practice squad.
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:27 pm

@El-Gonzo Jackson wrote:
@Hawaii 5-0 wrote:
James C Wexell ‏@jimwexell  

Hey, Eli Rogers doesn't look bad returning punts. Confident catcher, shifty in traffic, good acceleration.

https://twitter.com/jimwexell?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Yup, watch his college tape and you see the kid can return kicks.  Gonna make a juke or 2 and make a guy miss, but not going to run away from the field as he has something like 4.55 speed.  

That is how he makes the team.  Returns kicks so AB doesn't have to and gonna find 30 catches in the slot this season.  Ayers goes to the practice squad.

I'm very excited for this kid. I like small, shifty slot WRs.

Another name comes to mind outside of Wayne Cherbet: Wes Welker.
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:58 am

Rogers is my definite dark horse for a breakout season this year. I think he steps up and puts up numbers this season. Honestly this receiving corps is so deep, I don't think we're going to miss Martavis Bryant and his shenanigans in the least. Brown, Wheaton, Coates, DHB, Rogers... All of these guys can play. Brown, Wheaton, and Rogers in particular are great route runners, and there's plenty of speed between Brown, Wheaton, Coates, and DHB... Any of those guys can stretch the field and take the top off of a defense at any given time. These guys will only serve to make the job easier for guys like Jesse James as well, and Ledarius Green if he actually plays this year.


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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Sat Aug 20, 2016 5:42 pm

Steady Rogers darts into Steelers' wide receiver picture

BY RALPH N. PAULK  | Friday, Aug. 19, 2016



Eli Rogers is making a case to beat out Sammie Coates as the Steelers' No. 3 receiver.

The assumption is second-year wide receiver Sammie Coates or veteran Darrius Heyward-Bey will replace Martavis Bryant in the starting lineup in the season opener in Washington on Sept. 12.

But training camp and the preseason has given offensive coordinator Todd Haley reason to reassess his receiving corps. Eli Rogers, who spent all of last season on injured reserve with a foot ailment, has significantly narrowed the gap.

Rogers was productive in both of the Steelers' preseason defeats, including four receptions on five targets during a 17-0 setback to Philadelphia on Thursday night at Heinz Field. Coates has managed to lose ground, partly because of a lack of focus that caused drop balls and fumbles.

If Rogers continues his stellar play during the preseason, slot receiver Markus Wheaton might get what he really wants. Wheaton has openly lobbied for playing outside, and Coates' inconsistency and Rogers' growth might precipitate such a move.

“Some guys survive and some fall a little bit,” Wheaton said. “When that first game comes around, we'll see how things shape up. For me, I'm opened to anything. If I have to move outside, I'm cool with that.

“Sammie has flashed some great skills. Obviously, he's had some ups and downs, but he's made some good plays. It's definitely some stuff to build on.”

Of course, the Steelers may need both to deliver while Bryant serves a season-long ban for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Yet, while Coates is looking over his shoulder at Rogers, he also is being pressed by Cobi Hamilton. The 6-foot-2 receiver, a sixth-round pick in 2013 by the Cincinnati Bengals, had four catches Thursday, including a sparkling one-handed grab near the Eagles' sideline.

Indeed, if Coates continues his yo-yo ways, Haley's hand might be forced.

Rogers, competing with rookie Demarcus Ayers for the punt return job, ran disciplined routes. So far, it's been a huge part of his progress.

“The most important thing is being consistent,” Rogers said. “I've been able to slow things down and make routine plays routinely as the coaches always say. I'm coming into the game taking what I do in practice into the game.

“I'm going to compete regardless of any situation. I have to earn respect from everyone. It's hard to assess everything, but I've transitioned the good things from practice into the game.”

Coates' inconsistency extends beyond his hands. Eagles cornerback Aaron Grymes ran a better post corner route than Coates to position himself to make one of four interceptions thrown by quarterback Landry Jones in the first half. Coates didn't give up on the route, but he didn't come out of his break quick enough to prevent the interception.

“I've still got a lot to work on. I left a lot of plays out there, and I've got to improve on my route running,” said Coates, who also returned kickoffs. “I had a bad week last week, but that's in the past. I have to think less about what I'm doing, and just do it.”

Hamilton managed to overcome his mistakes, including a dropped a pass midway through the second quarter. He ran a poor corner route in the red zone that enabled cornerback Leodis McKelvin to tip Jones' pass to safety Malcolm Jenkins.

Hamilton, though, redeemed himself by making a 17-yard catch along the sideline. The pass was ruled incomplete but changed after a Steelers' challenge.

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/11000198-74/coates-rogers-receiver
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:53 pm

I believe he'll become Ben's 2nd favorite target by midseason.

He could be a stud slot receiver for years to come.
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:12 pm

Eli Rogers is gonna be a problem! I watched him live, and was thinking, he's uncoverable.
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:29 pm

I don't know whether I should be happy that Rogers is doing great or upset that Coates is not.
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:29 pm

The Next Steelers Household Names: Eli Rogers

By Mike Frazer on Aug 27, 2016



So far in the 2016 NFL pre-season, a few young Steelers players have been impressive on the field. In a few years, they stand a good chance of being the Next Steelers’ Household Names.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ All-Universe wide receiver, Antonio Brown, hadn’t played a snap so far this pre-season until the Week 3 game in New Orleans. But the casual fan could be forgiven if, at times in the first two games, they found themselves wondering if he had changed his number to 17 this off-season.

That’s a whole lot of hyperbole to introduce a second-year player who failed to make the team out of training camp as a rookie in 2015. But if the team was looking for moderate improvement out of wide receiver Eli Rogers, they seem to have gotten more than they bargained for. A whole lot more.

It’s not that he struggled in the 2015 pre-season. It’s simply that he had few opportunities to impress, and the the team was pretty well set at wide receiver to begin with. Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, Markus Wheaton, Darrius Heyward-Bey and then-rookie Sammie Coates pretty much had the position wrapped up; everyone else was playing for a possible spot on special teams, if that.

Fast-forward to 2016, though, and the opportunities have been plentiful. With Bryant suspended for the year, and Brown and Wheaton not dressing for the first two games, that left Heyward-Bey and Coates as the top two on the depth chart so far. That meant ample opportunity for guys like Rogers, Cobi Hamilton and Demarcus Ayers to showcase their wares. Ayers, surprisingly, has seen little action despite being drafted last May. Hamilton has seen opportunities, and has been so-so. A nice catch here, an ugly drop there.

Rogers, though? Oh, my.

The first thing you think when you see him in his uniform and pads is that he bears a striking resemblance, stature-wise, to Brown. That’s no surpirse, as their measurables are nearly identical. The way he stands ready at the line of scrimmage is reminiscent of Brown, too. The way he runs effortless routes is all Brown. The way he catches everything he’s supposed to catch? Yup, that’s very Brown-esque, too.

That’s not to say he’s the second coming of the best receiver in the NFL for the last three years. He shows enough negative traits for you to know after a few minutes of watching that they are, indeed, not the same person.

He doesn’t get separation nearly as well as Brown does. To be fair, Brown has exactly zero close competitors in that skill. But what Brown excels at is using a combination of quick feet and subtle handwork to create a bubble of separation around him at all times. He also can accelerate from cruising speed to full-afterburner in a heartbeat, and does an impeccable job of timing that move exactly right. Rogers has yet to learn that skill.

Rogers also still shows hesitation on some routes. Brown has total command of the route tree and the Steelers’ playbook. Rogers is still learning both. But he’s shown enough of a grasp of each of them to make the coaches and quarterbacks call his number regularly when he’s on the field.

As far as negatives go, that’s just about it. Nothing else really stands out as a detriment in Rogers’ game. While he may have a long way to go to be outstandingly good at any given skill, he’s also a long way from outstandingly bad at anything, too. High praise for a former undrafted free agent, indeed.

And those positives? Oh, the positives. Quick feet, effortless cuts, uses his body well to box out defenders when needed, makes guys miss in the open field, can get small when he has to do so. Antonio Brown, Eli Rogers. Take your pick, it describes them both. I hate to gush so much about a guy who has yet to make a professional roster, but it’s hard not to when you watch the kid on film.

On one play, he managed good yards after the catch on a bubble screen by being patient behind his blockers. On another, he picked up eight yards after the catch while making three defenders completely whiff in their attempts to take him down, squeaking through the tightest of gaps to pick up the final three yards or so.

And it’s not just as a receiver where he excels, either. He has a long way to go to enter the realm of Hines Ward or Brown when it comes to blocking on runs, but he’s willing and capable. One Philadelphia defender found that out the hard way when, as he was lining up running back Fitzgerald Toussaint to stop him at or just behind the line of scrimmage, he got shoved out of the way by a determined Rogers. Surprisingly, Toussaint managed positive yardage on the play. It wasn’t a game-breaking block, but it showed Rogers understands what it takes to play the position for a physical team like the Steelers.

Perhaps no one stands to gain as much from Bryant’s suspension as Rogers...

to read rest of article:

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2016/8/27/12654436/preseason-players-profiles-steelers-household-names-eli-rogers
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:46 am

Tyler Matakevich and Eli Rogers making themselves indispensable

Aug 26, 2016
By: Curt Popejoy

On August 30, the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to have to tell 15 players that their NFL dream is over. That’s the date the NFL mandates all teams go from 90 down to 75 on their rosters. In just watching three preseason games, you can see Pittsburgh is going to have some really hard choices to make. Two guys who have come up from nowhere and are emphatically making their cases to make the team are wide receiver Eli Rogers and linebacker Tyler Matakevich.

We sort of knew who Rogers was last season. He was undrafted out of Louisville in 2015 by the Steelers. Unfortunately, during a strong rookie camp suffered an injury and found himself on injured reserve. However, we all got to see that during this offseason, Antonio Brown took him under his wing and was helping prepare him for the season. And that has shown in his play in the first three games.

On Friday night, Pittsburgh wasn’t shy about putting Rogers out with the starters, and he definitely looked like he fit in. He runs crisp routes with very little wasted energy in and out of breaks and snatches the football out of the air. Sound like any other Steelers wide receiver we know? As of now, the Steelers wide receivers are Brown, Markus Wheaton, Sammie Coates, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Rogers. This group is as locked in as any unit on the team.

On the other side of the football, we have Matakevich. We have all become so enamored with athleticism and triangle numbers that we forget that on game day it is all about who can make the plays. And in three preseason games, Matakevich has proven he can be that guy. He was the team’s second seventh-round pick in 2016. However, before you assume he couldn’t play, think again. He won the Bronco Nagurski Trophy and the Chuck Bednarik Award for his outstanding play

Matakevich’s on-the-spot interception at end of the Saints game was great, but it was the week before when he showed tremendous instincts and sound tackling in the run game that will keep him on this team. Whether he’s an inside or outside linebacker remains to be seen, but the Steelers like blue-collar football guys and Matakevich is as blue collar as it gets.

http://steelerswire.usatoday.com/2016/08/27/tyler-matakevich-and-eli-rogers-making-themselves-indispensable/
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:53 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:45 pm

Meet Eli 'illusionist' Rogers, Ben Roethlisberger's new weapon in the slot

Jeremy Fowler
ESPN Staff Writer



Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he jokes with Eli Rogers (17) about how annoying he is because of "how much he's in my ear asking questions."

PITTSBURGH -- Every year, the NFL is littered with preseason success stories that don't translate to the regular season.

At least two instances indicate Eli Rogers will be different.

In the Pittsburgh Steelers' joint practice against the Detroit Lions, Ben Roethlisberger threw to Rogers on his first two attempts of the day in 11-man work.

In Friday's win at New Orleans, Roethlisberger threw to Rogers on four of his first 14 attempts, resulting in two catches for 17 yards.

The Steelers have been hungry for a true slot receiver to pair with Antonio Brown, and they might just have it in Rogers, Teddy Bridgewater's close friend from Miami Northwestern High who went undrafted out of Louisville and missed all of last season with a foot injury.

Talk about a fast study. Roethlisberger said he jokes with Rogers about how annoying he is because of "how much he's in my ear asking questions."

"The more he can work the middle, the more safeties will have to respect him and stop cheating on AB," Roethlisberger said.

Now that Rogers is poised to be a factor in the offense, it's a good time to learn more about him...

The art of deception: Rogers likes to use precise route-running and quickness to his advantage. More pointedly, he likes "losing people" with his counter-moves on routes, he said.

The Steelers offense offers him plenty of opportunities to do just that.

"I feel like I'm a great illusionist if you will. I'm deceptive in my route running and I love that," he said. "It's all about angles and what the defense is looking at. If I get past a guy and I stick him and go to the post and I tuck my chin like I'm going tot the post, he's going to take off because that's what he's seeing, he's seeing emotions, and he really believes I'm going that way. I just like that because it's fun to me."

Rogers played running back in high school, which he believes helps him see all angles of the field while making a play.

Long road to success: An evaluation of Rogers' game begs the question -- how does an NFL wide receiver fail to record more than 536 yards in a collegiate season?

to read rest of article:

http://www.espn.com/blog/pittsburgh-steelers/post/_/id/19981/meet-eli-the-illusionist-rogers-ben-roethlisbergers-new-weapon-in-the-slot
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:37 am

Even Patriots* lover Bill Simmons admits nobody can pick receivers like the Steelers




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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:18 am

@Atlanta Dan wrote:
Even Patriots** lover Bill Simmons admits nobody can pick receivers like the Steelers





Just goes to show how far cheating can get ya!
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:25 am

First play from scrimmage on Monday night...Ben to Rogers for a 73 yard TD.

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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:12 pm

Pittsburgh Steelers have options at WR opposite Antonio Brown, but who steps up?

By JIM WEXELL — @jimwexell
Published: Sept. 6, 2016



Eli Rogers is the sleeper of the Steelers' receiving group

The first receiver in NFL history with back-to-back 125-catch seasons apparently wants another.

Antonio Brown's relentless work ethic finds him on the practice field working tirelessly with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on even more nuanced and complicated pass routes each day.

Out of the fourth cut?

Boom, there's the ball right out the break.

There's seemingly no question about Brown, other than the one Mike Tomlin was asked at the weekly press conference prior to the Steelers' NFL opener on Monday night in Washington D.C.

What, Tomlin was asked, aside from Brown's well-documented work ethic, is the secret to his 375 receptions the last three seasons?


"The secret is there's no secret," Tomlin said with a laugh. "He's extremely talented and he's got a work ethic to match. Together, it's lethal."

Brown, of course, is the Steelers' not-so-secret weapon. He and Roethlisberger in their last 16 regular-season games together have hooked up 152 times for 2,039 yards and 12 touchdowns.

That's quite a season.

But the real secret with the Steelers might be what's opposite Brown.

That's more like a puzzle, and an important one as Roethlisberger heads into this season without security blanket Heath Miller, who's retired; without free agent tight end Ladarius Green, who's injured on the PUP list; without deep threat Martavis Bryant, who's suspended for the year; and without checkdown back Le'Veon Bell, who's suspended for the first three games.

Roethlisberger can't throw to Brown every play, can he?

The candidates on the other side – Markus Wheaton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Sammie Coates and Eli Rogers – form a deep pool of talent. But whenever one of them seems to be given an opportunity to step forward, he falls back.

Except for the unknown receiver, Rogers.

Teddy Bridgewater's go-to man at both Miami Northwestern High School and the University of Louisville, Rogers is an undrafted free agent whose foot injury cut short his rookie 2015 season.

Back on the field in 2016, Rogers has become successful as a slot receiver. He led the Steelers this preseason with 10 receptions and was uncanny in his ability to get open on third downs.

"I have a knack for getting open, period," Rogers said.

But can the undrafted slot receiver be trusted once the bright lights come on? And, if so, will he be given enough playing time?

Because Wheaton was learning the slot position last year only to have injuries cost him a chance to develop this offseason.

And that's what makes Wheaton another mystery in this puzzle.

Projected to return as the starter opposite Brown, Wheaton, who lockers next to Roethlisberger, missed minicamp with a thigh injury and re-injured it early in training camp. He returned for the "dress rehearsal" preseason game and made a spectacular diving catch for a 36-yard gain. But he landed on his shoulder and has been sidelined since.

Tomlin calls Wheaton "day-to-day," Roethlisberger calls him "a big part of what I want to do" and Wheaton strolls in and out of the offensive huddles in order to stay in tune with what the offense is doing.

to read rest of article:

http://www.profootballweekly.com/2016/09/06/pittsburgh-steelers-have-options-at-wr-opposite-antonio-brown-but-who-steps-up/a6gzuun/
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PostSubject: Re: Eli Rogers gives Steelers different look at the slot-receiver position   Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:25 pm

Steelers' WR shuffle: Eli Rogers in; Sammie Coates, Markus Wheaton out



Sammie Coates will try to practice Friday despite his hand injury.

Jeremy Fowler
ESPN Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers' high-powered offense faces another test this week.

The receiving corps might be down to three healthy players from the 53-man roster, making practice squad receiver Cobi Hamilton an eligible call-up for Sunday's game at Miami.

Sammie Coates (hand laceration) and Markus Wheaton (shoulder) have missed back-to-back practices, and though they still have time to rebound, the chances aren't good for players who miss most of a practice week. When coach Mike Tomlin says "practice participation will be our guide," he means it. Don't practice, don't play.

Coates, who has five straight games with at least one catch of 40-plus yards, will push to participate in Friday's practice, so let's see what he does.

Hamilton acknowledged in the locker room after Thursday's practice that he took a few first-team reps.

Hamilton, a sixth-round pick in 2013, gives the Steelers another outside weapon alongside Antonio Brown and Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Expect the Steelers' passing game to get creative with running backs and tight ends. Le'Veon Bell will see his usual workload, and look for Jesse James and Xavier Grimble to move along the formation for open looks.

Rogers' return is important, because the Steelers believe he can help loosen up that safety that's been attached to Brown's hip the last few weeks.

to read rest of article:

http://www.espn.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/217749/steelers-wr-shuffle-eli-rogers-in-sammie-coates-markus-wheaton-out
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