Cobi Hamilton wasn’t even on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster when they opened training camp this year, but on Sunday, he was the only player in a Steelers uniform to get into the end zone. Admittedly, it came late in a two-score game, and he only played about a dozen snaps overall, but as a collective body of work, I think that he represented himself well.
While Hamilton has been on a 53-man roster before, he had never recorded a catch, and he cycled through many teams. He is still technically a first-year player despite having been originally drafted in the sixth round in 2013. Due to injuries the Steelers are dealing with, however, he is now being given his first real shot, and he made the most of it Sunday.
Even though he played less than a quarter of the team’s offensive snaps during the game, he did technically start, as he was on the field on the first play of the game. And he active on the play, being motioned inside prior to the snap and releasing upfield in order to block the safety. He also showed his willingness to mix it up on this play.
He stayed on the field for the second play as well, this time lining up as the fourth player lined up as a wide receiver on the left side of the formation prior to the snap. The Steelers ran a screen for Le’Veon Bell, who was also tucked inside to the left, and Hamilton’s block upfield helped the running back pick up six yards to move the sticks early on in the game.
Hamilton did not see a lot of snaps again until late in the game, on the Steelers’ penultimate possession, when they ended up scoring their only receiving touchdown. If I recall correctly, he didn’t even have any more back-to-back snaps in between those two spans. But he did find a way to make his impact on that drive.
He was on the field to open that drive, which the offense had to begin from their own two-yard line. With three receivers on the field, plus the tight end in the slot, Hamilton lined up as the outside receiver on the far side of the field outside the numbers. He attacked the cornerback hard and charged him off his mark before stopping and turning at the first-down marker, showing the quarterback his numbers and making the catch to give the offense some breathing room.
His playing time was spotty over the course of the rest of the drive, but he was on the field again for the final play from the 23-yard line. The offense was again in roughly the same formation, but this time, Hamilton was able to take advantage of his size and speed, and the good throw, to make the catch at the left sideline in the end zone.
It was a small body of work, but if the Steelers continue to deal with injuries at the position, he may have an opportunity for a bit more playing time, and perhaps a few more receptions. So far, he is doing a good job of making the most of the chance he’s gotten.