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Report hints at the idea of Steelers throwing deep more in 2013

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A report indicated the Steelers were throwing the ball deep more often in minicamp. A "coy" Ben Roethlisberger would neither confirm nor deny if that's going to be a larger part of the offense this year.

USA TODAY Sports

Tribune Review reporter Mark Kaboly laid out a quiet nugget of intrigue in his notebook Wednesday. In it, he asked Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to confirm whether what he saw - much more deep passing in the first session of the Steelers' full team minicamp - was a glimpse of things to come.

Roethlisberger neither confirmed nor denied Kaboly's observation.

'"I don't know," said a coy Roethlisberger. "We are going to have to wait to see what happening in game one. I don't want to unveil any secrets yet."'

Rookie wide receiver Markus Wheaton is not in attendance, and won't be this week, because his class at Oregon State has not yet graduated. But when he arrives, it's enticing to think about designed deeper passing with the speed they have in Wheaton, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders in a three-wide receiver formation.

While none of them have the blazing speed of departed WR MIke Wallace, the ability all of them possess with inside route running can set up double-moves aimed to get the ball deep and exploit softer coverage on any of them.

Perhaps that's why Roethlisberger is smiling. Wheaton is a more polished receiver than Wallace, Brown or Sanders were upon entering the league, and if the Steelers did lose something when Wallace signed with the Dolphins in terms of deep passing, it may not be as much as some feel it is.