If you watched the game Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, you clearly saw that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Markus Wheaton weren’t on the same page with each other on several throws. Heading into the Monday night game against the Houston Texans, the two are working hard this week to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
“Yeah there are some things that we ironed out. Markus came in early this morning and came in our quarterback room and we watched more film together,” Roethlisberger said Wednesday during his talk with the media. “I think that speaks volumes about him wanting to get in there, wanting to learn (and) to be corrected.
“I broke down every single pass play that he did and told him what I expected (and) what I thought he did right or wrong. He’s the type of guy that’s going to take that and make him better. I have all the confidence in the world that Markus will come out and be better than ever.”
One of the plays that the two broke down together was the third down and three incompletion from the Browns 17-yard-line that ended the drive. On that play, Roethlisberger drilled Wheaton with a pass just as he was coming out of his break, but the second-year receiver didn’t get his head around fast enough and it bounced off of his hands incomplete.
Roethlisberger talked about that timing route play Wednesday and how Wheaton has to have a better sense of urgency on such plays.
“That’s something that we’ve talked about with him that he’s got to understand (in the) red zone that the ball is going to be on him quick,” said Roethlisberger. “It’s different. When you come to the NFL the ball (and) everything happens faster. He’s getting used to turning around. In college you can kind of wait for a receiver to come out of a break before you throw it. Here you have to throw it before they come out of their break. He’s working hard at making sure he gets his proper depth, gets his head around, gets his hands around with his head and makes the play. And I know he will.”
Through the first six games of the season, Wheaton has caught 24 passes for 277 yards. He’s been targeted 39 times, however, and you’d like to see that 61.5% completion ratio start inching up a little higher.