Now that training camp has begun, following yet another year of disappointment, a fourth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we are seeing over the course of the offseason as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future.A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: WR Rico Bussey
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: The rookie college free agent has been making plays during training camp, particularly over the past two days, while also being noted for his special teams contributions while trying to make the roster as a sixth wide receiver.
One of the great aspects about training camp is the sense of possibility. The possibility of unheralded players doing great things. The possibility of being on the ground floor of an excellent career that nobody could have predicted.
That’s why days like the past couple of sessions for rookie college free agent wide receiver Rico Bussey get people excited. A lot of us probably never even heard of him, a Hawaii transfer out of North Texas, before signing with the Steelers back in May. It makes us wonder what he’s going to do next, and how far he can take it.
Of course, the vast majority of stories that begin this way don’t conclude with the fairy tale ending one hopes for. It’s fun while it’s still being written, because that possibility is there, and what we’ve ready so far is tempting.
Bussey has been making plays on defensive backs for at least the past couple of days. And head coach Mike Tomlin also talked about him and other wide receivers low on the depth chart making themselves accountable through their special teams efforts.
There is a large group of wide receivers competing against one another for the possibility of being the sixth at the position on the 53-man roster. It’s a roster spot that isn’t even guaranteed, because the Steelers don’t always carry six.
But you know now that you’re going to be looking out for the number 84 jersey during the preseason and wondering what he’s going to be able to do. You never know when you might find the next Victor Cruz.