Better make some more room for the Pittsburgh Steelers bandwagon. Former NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson is yet another member of the media to talk up at least some aspect of the team, this time weighing in on the Steelers’ talent at his former position, concluding that they have the talent to be a great unit. This is the full transcription of his comments yesterday on Good Morning Football:
It’s about the pass game. It’s the wide receivers. Just think about the talent that they already have on the roster. James Washington, dude put up 735, respectable, kind of a quiet breakout season, but he’s headed into his third year, he needs to make that leap.
You have a guy like Diontae Johnson, who put up 59 catches his rookie season; he was a third-rounder last season. They draft Chase Claypool. Big, strong Canadian, 6’4” wide receiver out of Notre Dame. He can go up there and do his thing.
And here’s the thing: we’ve seen JuJu put up a ridiculous 1400 yards, over 100 catches. So if you have a group of wide receivers that could make plays, could this be a year where Big Ben shaves his beard, shows everybody his arm is working, and then climbs into the top five in production when it comes pass games?
I know we’re looking at people who can go out there and light it up with the likes of Pat Mahomes, but maybe Big Ben is saying, ‘you guys have seen me throw the rock around. You’ve seen me have the best receiver in the league. You’ve seen me have the best offense in the league. We can take out Pat Mahomes. We can take out Lamar Jackson and that offense down in Baltimore. We can do it—if my receivers step up and make plays for me’.
I feel like they’re built to prove that they could be a good receiving corps—excuse me, they’re built to prove that they could be a great receiving corps without Antonio Brown, because they haven’t done that yet, but they have the pieces on the roster to do that right now.
Now, in all fairness, they absolutely should have all the pieces they need to have a great receiving corps. They have used three second-round picks and a very high third-round pick on the position over the course of the past four drafts, so they have about as good a pedigree at the position as you could ask for, short of a first-round pick.
Roethlisberger and Brown did some amazing things over an exceptional six-year stretch before that ended last year. He’s done some great things with Smith-Schuster already. He hasn’t gotten to work much with the rest of this group. That’s the exciting part about this.