The Pittsburgh Steelers signed wide receiver Lance Moore to a two-year, $3 million contract during the offseason and based on the $855,000 base salary that he’s scheduled to earn this season, he’s earned $57,000 for each of the 15 snaps he’s been on the field for through the first four games.
Moore, who missed the Steelers first two games of the season with a groin injury, still seems to be stuck behind second-year wide receiver Justin Brown on the depth chart even though he’s now completely healthy.
During his talk with the media Thursday, Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley was asked if Brown’s blocking ability is what’s getting him more playing time over the veteran Moore.
“Yeah,” said Haley. “Not that Lance can’t block, but again, as I’ve said, Lance had a setback. He missed a considerable amount of time, which included no-huddle reps and things like that. And Justin is making progress and doing a good job in the run game. But as Lance gets up to speed that competition is improving and I think that will make them all better.”
According to our charting stats, the Steelers have rushed for 4.09 yards per carry in the 67 run play snaps that Brown has been on the field for so far this season. Conversely, the team has rushed for only 2.60 yards per carry in the five run snaps that Moore has been on the field for. All five of those snaps, however, happened just last Sunday in the loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
While Brown might be an asset to the Steelers offense when it comes to his run blocking, he’s contributed very little in the passing game thus far. Through the first four games the former sixth-round draft pick has caught seven of the 14 passes thrown his way and that includes two drops.
Brown’s latest drop happened in the end zone early in the game Sunday against the Buccaneers and on third down. The offense had to settle for a field goal as a result of it. Brown also fumbled inside the red zone during the opening drive against the Baltimore Ravens back in Week 2.
By the sound of things, it looks like Moore will still struggle to see much playing time with most of it likely to come on obvious passing downs.
“I don’t know. We will have to see how it plays out,” Haley said Thursday when asked if Moore will eventually reclaim that spot. “Competition is good.”