The Westerville South Wildcats rocked the Groveport-Madison Cruisers 48-20 in Columbus, Ohio, area non-conference football last August.
Those schools mean little on the Steelers' landscape, except to represent something of a recent influx of players to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. After spending consecutive second round picks on players from the greater Columbus area, offensive tackle Mike Adams (Dublin) and running back Le'Veon Bell (Groveport), the Steelers signed the Westerville product Lance Moore to a two-year deal.
While Adams is the one of the three with the blue-chip reputation - he got the scholarship to The Ohio State University while Bell was reportedly not offered a scholarship there - Moore signed on with Toledo, a school that, with Steelers quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, won the Mid-Atlantic Conference championship in 2004.
Gradkowski from Moore probably isn't a hook-up we'll hear often after the preseason, but Moore is another product of the MAC on the Steelers' roster. Gradkowski and Ben Roethlisberger Miami University), Moore and Antonio Brown (Central Michigan) and Shaun Suisham (Bowling Green) all prepped in the MAC, not to mention former Steelers linebacker James Harrison (Kent State).
There's something about outstanding football in the Ohio Valley area the Steelers like. Or at least just the MAC. The Steelers' two recently acquired free agents, Moore and safety Mike Mitchell (Ohio) both played in the MAC, and the passing combination of Roethlisberger and Brown will go down as one of the most prolific in team history.
All of this stands to reason the Steelers will select MAC product Khalil Mack (Buffalo) in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft - however unlikely that is.
Moore's addition doesn't exactly fulfill the alleged promise the team made to Ben Roethlisberger to get him a "tall" receiver. In fact, if anything, Moore's lack of height suggests the team just brought in a more injury-prone version of the receiver they let go in free agency, Jerricho Cotchery. However, Moore is coming much cheaper than Cotchery, and Moore can be considered just as effective in the role the Steelers will ask him to play - an intermediate-to-short field receiver who runs good routes and possesses excellent hands.
He doesn't need to be 6-foot-4 to do those things well. But the Steelers offense will need him to do them well in order to draw attention off their workhorses, Brown and tight end Heath Miller. Between those two and Bell, it's likely half of the targets thrown by Roethlisberger this season will be distributed to them.
Moore's stat line of 37 catches, 54 targets and 457 yards is probably around where the Steelers would want him to be. Cotchery had 48 catches on 76 targets and 602 yards. So the Steelers traded 11 catches, 145 yards and eight touchdowns for around $1.5 million a season. And with all due respect to Cotchery, his numbers are abnormally high for his career. Moore's numbers are abnormally low.
It's safe to say the Steelers can conservatively expect to break even statistically while saving a nice chunk of change in the process. Just as long as the ever-increasing amount of Columbus products in the locker room don't try to re-live old rivalries from their high school days.