Shortly before Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger found wide receiver Antonio Brown to seal the victory over the Indianapolis Colts, he also connected with his tight end Ladarius Green for a massive 35-yard completion. For the Steelers fan base and statisticians at home, this catch is significant for a few reasons.
Not only was Green’s 35-yard reception the longest of the night for the Steelers, it was also the longest reception for a Steelers tight end in over two years. Green’s catch was the longest by a tight end since Heath Miller caught a 49-yard pass during week 8 of the 2014 season. The odd coincidence about both Green’s and Miller’s catches is that they both came against the Colts.
The similarities end here as the pass depth and yards after the catch are really the telling stories. Miller’s catch was the result of a busted coverage and saw 34 of the 49 total yards come from yards after the catch, as he was able to turn and head downfield.
On the other hand, only 5 of Green’s 35-yard reception came from yards after the catch as Roethlisberger was able to find his tight end with pinpoint accuracy down the field. Green’s catch shows the kind-of downfield potential that the Steelers expect from their prized offseason free agent addition.
During Miller’s final season, the now retired tight end had five receptions that totaled 20 yards or more. In just three games this season, Green is nearly halfway to that total with two catches that exceed 20 yards. While the production from Green may have been delayed, the Steelers have to like what they see in the future surrounding the tight end’s ability to stretch the field.