Jerricho Cotchery had 47 snaps to Markus Wheaton's five

Kirk Irwin

That differential is a bit wider than expected, even if Wheaton's preseason wasn't quite as outstanding as many believe it was. Still, it didn't seem like Cotchery and QB Ben Roethlisberger were on the same page.

Steelers rookie wide receiver Markus Wheaton provided some electricity to an otherwise dark-aged offense this preseason. He also dropped a few passes and missed a few assignments.

The latter reasons are likely why he was on the lower end of a 47-5 snap count split with veteran WR Jerricho Cotchery. The veteran had a drop, was the victim of a seemingly unwise end-around playcall and only hauled in three of the nine passes he was given from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

In fact, Roethlisberger only completed half his throws (14-of-28) to his top three targets - Cotchery, Emmanuel Sanders (5-for-10) and Antonio Brown (6-for-9).

Wheaton failed to log a catch or a target for the second consecutive game. Fellow rookie Derek Moye got his first catch and touchdown - the Steelers' second touchdown of the season - against Cincinnati, but Wheaton's contributions still appear to only be special teams-related. He had two kick returns in Week 1, but didn't have any against the Bengals.

This is the natural progression for any rookie receiver. However, it does sting a bit, seeing the plays Houston rookie WR DeAndre Hopkins is making. Granted, Hopkins is a bona fide first round pick and Wheaton was taken in the third - for more reasons than just an alleged less-than-expected 40-yard dash time.

Wheaton is still a work-in-progress, but even considering that, it's a bit odd to see nine targets going Cotchery's way, particularly after a clear miscommunication between him and Roethlisberger on one of several incompletions on the night.

Whether Wheaton gets on the field against Chicago in Week 3 remains to be seen, but it's more indicative of a Steelers' receiving group that isn't on the same page with its quarterback, and production is not consistent.

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