When the Pittsburgh Steelers lose in a fashion such as this, it could be difficult, and for many even pointless, to find the few bright spots in the game, but at the very least, we can say that the Steelers debut for wide receiver Cobi Hamilton, just a day after he was called up from the practice squad, was a success, in spite of the circumstances around the game.
From my initial impressions, it did not appear as though he received a great deal of playing time, even though he was on the field for the first snap of the game, and was thus, technically, a starter. The snap count tally will follow and give a clearer indication of how much he played, so perhaps I’m wrong, but it didn’t seem he was used frequently.
Eli Rogers and Darrius Heyward-Bey seemed to get the majority of work in the Steelers’ three-receiver sets, and Sammie Coates got a rep here and there, but was limited after suffering a fractured finger and a lacerated that required stitches and has been swelling on him over the course of the week.
But he did come up with two receptions during the game, and was third on the team in receiving yardage. He also happened to be the only one on the team to catch a touchdown pass—actually, for either offense, as four of the five offensive touchdowns scored were on the ground, one by Pittsburgh and three by Miami.
Hamilton was only targeted twice during the game, so he did come up with both of his targets for receptions. The first one came late in the fourth quarter to start the Steelers’ penultimate drive from the three-yard line, when he hauled in a 13-yard completion along the left sideline to give the team some breathing room from the shadow of their own end zone.
Of course, he also finished off that same drive with a 23-yard touchdown reception in the left corner of the end zone, making an impressive catch with a defender providing good coverage. Of course, it was a nice throw as well that helped make the play happen, but for a player just called up from the practice squad, he stepped up.
He also was able to down a 41-yard Steelers punt on their previous possession at the nine-yard line to set the Dolphins up with poor field position, but they were obviously able to flip the field following an 11-play drive that reached Pittsburgh’s 36-yard line before they were forced to punt on fourth and eight yards to go.
Hamilton is a 6’2”, 197-pound receiver with speed, who has been in the league before. He’s been around, and he looked like he belonged when he number was called today. At the very least, that should give the Steelers some confidence in the fact that they have some depth at the wide receiver position, which they have already needed often this year.