Schnifin correctly pointed out in the comments section of my last post that the Wide Receiver situation was going to be interesting this year. ALL Steelers fans love Hines Ward (how could we not), and I think we all felt the same about Randle-El by season's end.I mentioned in my Super Bowl preview that Cedric Wilson might play a significant role. Wilson was coming off several big games in the playoffs against the Bengals and the Broncos. Turns out that Wilson was not a huge factor, but then again, very few of our offensive players were. I still believe Wilson can be a playmaker for us this year. I took a look at his 2005 stats and was pretty impressed.Wilson in 2005:
DPAR= 3.3, DPAR Rank = 68th, PAR = 3.4, PAR Rank = 66th, DVOA = -5.2%, DVOA Rank = 62nd, VOA = -5.0%.These numbers don't seem overwhelmingly impressive on the surface, but there's several things to consider. First of all, there's 32 NFL teams, meaning the top 2 for each team should theoretically be ranked 1-64. Well, Wilson cracked that top 64 as a #3 option. Second of all, Wilson's value in 2005 as a receiver, as measured by these metrics, was greater than Randle-El's:Randle El in 2005:
DPAR= .2, DPAR Rank = 75th, PAR = 1.2, PAR Rank = 75th, DVOA = -14.8%, DVOA Rank = 77th, VOA = -12.4%.The point of the comparison is not to dimish the accomplishments of Randle-El last year. Despite these numbers, I still do not think he's at all overated. He makes up LOTS of value in other areas of the game. His greatest value may lie in the fact that defenses have to specifically game plan for him and always be aware of where he is on the field. Instead, this comparison is to prove that Wilson, when giving the opportunity, has proven his worth as a receiver. I'm expecting big things out of Holmes, but if the Wisenhunt is going to continue to expand the offense for Roeth like he did in the playoffs, it's imperative that Wilson (and Quicy Morgan, who'm we'll discuss later) has a big year.