Steelers Bubble Watch: WR David Gilreath Comes Up Big in Steelers' Battle for Fifth Wide Receiver

May 4, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers free agent wide receiver David Gilreath (18) participates in drills during rookie minicamp and orientation. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

He's a journeyman.

Going from the western suburbs of Minneapolis to Madison, Wis., Steelers WR David Gilreath became a multi-faceted weapon for Wisconsin. Rushing, receiving and returning, Gilreath racked up 4,544 all purpose yards in four seasons in Madison.

But he wasn't seen as more than just a return man. His 3,025 kick return yards are still a Big 10 record, but he went through three teams after not being drafted in 2011 before landing in Pittsburgh.

Incidentally, he was released from Indianapolis' practice squad - the team he burned Sunday for two huge fourth-quarter catches that sparked the Steelers' comeback victory - in 2011.

From the Colts, he went to St. Louis and was cut. In Buffalo, same story. He landed in Pittsburgh this offseason, and is considered a longshot to make the roster. Even with his performance in Pittsburgh's 26-24 win, he's still going to have to prove his size (5-foot-10, 169 pounds) isn't a detriment.

However, making plays the way he did, catching passes from both Jerrod Johnson and Charlie Batch, will help position him to do just that.

Gilreath announced his presence on a free play, as Colts CB Cassius Vaughn lost positioning on his outside release. Gilreath sped down the sideline and hauled in Batch's pass before getting knocked out of bounds.

His other big gainer, a 24-yard bullet from QB Jerrod Johnson, was also on a third-and-long situation.

Meanwhile, his competitors for the Steelers' open 5WR spot, as well as his offensive teammates, were melting down. Two holding calls on OL Kelvin Beachum and a false start by WR Marquis Maze along with an incomplete pass to WR Toney Clemons made Gilreath shine even brighter. He picked up another first down on a 3rd-and-6 situation on the Steelers' game-winning drive, giving him four catches and 78 yards on the night - the leading receiver for the game.

Gilreath's four catches were four times as many as those of Clemons, Maze and Tyler Beiler combined. And twice as many as those three receivers have had through the preseason to this point.

Will it be enough for the Steelers to look at Gilreath as its 5WR this season? That's up in the air, but his clutch performance Sunday in Pittsburgh certainly won't hurt him.

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