The Pittsburgh Steelers seemingly have a great group of young wide receivers in training camp this year and with the team’s annual trip to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe starting to wind down, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was asked to assess what he’s seen out of that particular position group so far this summer.
“I think it’s been really good even with A.B. [Antonio Brown] not out there,” Roethlisberger said. “We know what we’re going to get from him. I think the other guys have really stepped up and taken the opportunity to get better.”
With this year’s group of young receivers, that includes the likes of rookies James Washington and Damoun Patterson and first year players Trey Griffey and Tevin Jones, seemingly being some of the best the Steelers have had in training camp for the last several years, Roethlisberger was asked Sunday afternoon if perhaps this group might be the best hie’s ever had in his 15 years coming to Latrobe.
“Gosh, I don’t know,” Roethlisberger said. “I mean, I don’t know all the years we’ve had at receiver, but I like who we have.”
With there being such a big age gap between Roethlisberger and nearly all of his wide receivers, the quarterback was asked how he goes about trying to relate to them.
“I was talking to JuJu [Smith-Schuster] about Fortnite and I knew nothing about it,” Roethlisberger replied. “So he was explaining it to me. That’s how we try and relate.”
While Roethlisberger might have recently learned a little something about the video game that is currently very popular with the younger generation, he’s still not going to play it with JuJu Smith-Schuster just the same.
“No, absolutely,” he said. “He’s playing, I’m not playing.”
One of the young wide receivers the Steelers were hoping would develop quickly this summer is of course Washington, the team’s second-round draft pick this year. Washington, who won the Fred Biletnikoff award last season at Oklahoma State, certainly seems to be living up to his hype so far this summer as well as during the team’s first preseason game this past Thursday night. Sunday, Roethlisberger was asked specifically about Washington and what he’s seen out of the young wide receiver development-wise thus far in camp.
“Same sort of stuff, you know, you see them getting better every day,” Roethlisberger said. “I know early in camp we were talking about he couldn’t even get on the field with me and now we’re asking for him to be on the field so we can get some reps and so we can see what he can do.”
That’s mighty high praise for a rookie wide receiver from Roethlisberger. Because of that, it will now be interesting to see if Washington winds up getting some first-team reps in the Steelers second preseason game Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers.
Will Roethlisberger play Thursday night? Odds are probably good that he won’t, but we won’t know for sure until Tuesday. Regardless, Roethlisberger will obviously play in the team’s third preseason game and it will be interesting to see come that contest if Washington starts it with him as part of the first-team offense.