Ever since Plaxico Burress left the first time, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been looking for a big receiver. Now, they may have two of them with only one roster spot up for grabs.
Derek Moye and Justin Brown are teammates for the second time. The duo were teammates at Penn State University from 2009 through 2011. Brown transferred to Oklahoma for his senior season in 2012. Moye graduated and signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent. Moye then bounced from the New Orleans Saints to the Steelers later in the year. Pittsburgh drafted Brown in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL draft.
Many questioned the team's motives for re-signing Plaxico Burress this off-season, although his size was agreed to be of possible benefit to an offense which may have to enter the season without top tight end Heath Miller. David Johnson remaining on the PUP list as well only added to the big receiver's value. Then Burress tore his rotator cuff, and the project was over.
Because Burress was an early addition to the roster, the team has been looking at ways to use a big body in their offense. Brown and Moye give the team the opportunity to continue, while assisting the lack of tight ends in short yardage circumstances.
Unfortunately for Moye and Brown, there may not be room for both of them on the active roster. If Brown exhibits his soft hands, and Moye makes use of his long legs, the decision will be tough. If it were not for David Gilreath and Reggie Dunn, Brown and Moye may both slide in; but the Steelers will be looking for special teams specialists. Gilreath has experience and consistent hands, not only receiving passes, but punts and kicks as well. Dunn has electrifying speed making him a strong contender for NFL's fastest man.
The best way for Moye or Brown to make the club is to prove they can be a go-to guy. With Haley's quick hit passing game, the quicker the receiver the better. A big man will play big-time part in a part-time role; no need for two with roster spots needed elsewhere. The best man wins the job, the other most likely signs to the practice squad, although they will be fair game for the rest of the league. The Steelers lost Gilreath and Toney Clemons last year from the squad.
They need to make themselves indispensable. The perfect time to start is at 7:30 pm ET, when the Steelers welcome the New York Giants to Heinz Field to kick off the preseason.