Saturday, May 2, 2015

Steelers Get A Little Secondary Help And Big (Play) Receiver Help Friday

"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog." - Mark Twain 

Fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers have been clamoring for a cornerback since the season's end, and for good reason considering how porous the secondary was at times. Well, the Steelers provided them a little good news in the second round.

With the 56th pick of the NFL Draft, the Steelers selected 5'8" 178-pound CB Senquez Golson out of Ole Miss.

Yes, Golson is diminutive, but don't tell him that. He's smaller, but plays much bigger and isn't afraid of challenging bigger adversaries.

Still, 5'8" is 5'8" and many will look down (no pun intended) on him because of it. Even Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake said of Golson's facing tall WRs: "He's going to be challenged. He's going to have to prove he can play in this league."

My immediate response to that is, ask 6'4" former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Harold Carmichael about what it was like to battle 5'7" former Washington Redskins CB Pat Fischer. Or, more specifically, just ask Alabama's 6'6" O.J. Howard about Golson out jumping him for the game-winning interception that sealed Ole Miss' 23-17 victory in 2014.

Lake did go on to say, though, that Golson has unusual ball skills and that, "If he were taller, teams would've jumped on him right away."

Golson's speed, a 4.47/40, was a factor also: "I like speed. You can't cover if you don't have speed." -

The explosive Golson is very athletic, very fluid, very confident and very, very competitive - he plays with such a chip on his shoulder that it seems surgically implanted.

He's an artisan honing his craft when on the field, yet even the greatest artists still need to be able to reach the easel. And even with his leaping ability, he is going to be mismatched at times. That will necessitate his refining his techniques and not simply relying on his God-given talent. That's where coaching will come into play. -

For a franchise, however, that for so long endured a CB who couldn't catch at all, Golson and his ball-hawking abilities will be a welcome change.


Sammie Coates came with the Steelers third-round selection, no. 87 overall. The Auburn product is a physical specimen (6'2" 212LBs) with a very athletic skill set and big-play ability (21.8 yards per catch in 2014). -

He isn't lacking in the speed department, either, as he ran an official 4.43/40 at the NFL Combine, but has supposedly run in the 4.3/40 range.

The NFL Network's Mike Mayock even commented on said speed when the Steelers made the selection saying, "This guy is pure speed. He's big bodied and takes the top off of zones. He is a height-weight-speed specimen. The only question is how natural are his hands."

In fact, he did have a high drop rate - a problem stemming mainly from needing to maintain his concentration through the process of the catch. If he comes in ready to work, though, these are things that can addressed via coaching. Things that also include how to better use leverage and improving his route running.

He doesn't have too much wear and tear on his body, though, has very good quickness plays in a physical way and can move himself through holes in the defensive backfield.

He can be the No. 4 WR that the Steelers needed and provide a competitive push to Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant, but he's also a big play waiting to happen, an extra threat to an offense that still may need to outscore it's opponents until the defense gets to a point where it can once again hold its own.