Lost in all of the Frank Summers and Isaac Redman training camp buzz, was the buzz about undrafted wide receiver Tyler Grisham. Many Steelers beat writers and bloggers joked that they never actually saw Grisham drop a ball during training camp and nearly every catch he made was a thing of beauty. While Grisham had no chance of making the Steelers 53 man roster over the Summer, he accepted it and continued to work as if he did. Grisham impressed the coaching staff enough to earn a practice squad spot. Practice squad spots are not glorious; players receive a weekly pay check based on a $88400.00 salary as long as they are on the squad. They get very few reps during the week and are mostly used to spell injured players at practice and imitate the opposition on the scout team. They do not get to travel with the team on the road nor stand on the sidelines during home games. Due to roster needs because of injuries, practice squad players are often released and brought back several times a year. That was not the case with Grisham as he managed to stay firmly entrenched on the squad.
The Steelers signed Grisham to the active roster on December 9th after Hines Ward injured his hamstring against the Ravens. He has been active every week since then. Even this past week after the Steelers signed veteran Joey Galloway to the roster to replace the ill Limas Sweed. After Ward tweaked his hamstring yet again on Sunday, Grisham found himself on the field in a meaningful situation at a key point in a game. Grisham delivered. On a 3rd and 3 from the Steelers own 43, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger found Grisham open across the middle for a 14 yard gain and a first down at the Ravens 43 yard line. The drive culminated with a 38 yard field goal by Jeff Reed that ended up being the game winner. The catch was the first of Grisham\’s NFL career and even tied him with second year wide receiver Limas Sweed\’s 2009 output. Grisham did drop his next attempt later in that drive ala Sweed, but he was open. The catch would not have been good enough for a first down anyways.
Grisham\’s best contribution as the current #4 receiver is that he has had plenty of work at all of wide receiver positions in the Steelers offense. He seems to have the ability to get open and can make a catch in a key situation. Regardless of what happens in the Steelers season finally and faint playoff possibilities, the undrafted rookie out of Clemson has earned the chance to go back to Latrobe in 2010 with a legitimate shot at making the 53 man roster. He is also great insurance in case the illness to Sweed is one that is incurable, whatever that illness may be. Congratulations to Tyler once again, keep up the hard work.