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New receivers are going to follow Antonio Brown

He's new to the Steelers, but veteran WR Darrius Heyward-Bey sees the alpha dog of the Steelers receiving group. He's going to follow Antonio Brown, and get the young receivers on the team to follow them.

Thearon W. Henderson

Recently acquired wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is joining teammates in Phase One workouts in Pittsburgh.

Based on his comments to Teresa Varley of, he's doing that because Steelers WR Antonio Brown is there. Heyward-Bey may be Brown's elder, but he can see the strength of the position group among the Steelers.

He is a great player, a Pro Bowler," Heyward-Bey told Varley. "We respect him. Me and Lance (Moore) have been in the league a long time, we are going to follow him and have the young guys follow us."

Moore, also a free agent pick-up, come into a unique situation with the Steelers. The team's thinnest group in terms of experience was bolstered with those transactions, but Brown is really the only one with Steelers game-day experience. That's an advantage Heyward-Bey has in what looks to be a pretty wide open competition for the team's fourth and fifth wide receiver positions.

Assuming they keep five wide receivers.

The Steelers elected to keep just four in 2012, going with six running backs instead. With fullback Will Johnson being the only running back of that group remaining, the team is transitioning back to a more realistic depth chart (or so it would seem) - five receivers, four running backs and three tight ends.

Not to try to anticipate training camp cuts already, but it's likely the team drafts a wide receiver within one of its first three picks. With Brown, second-year WR Markus Wheaton and Moore already slated for the team, Heyward-Bey, Rookie To Be Announced from Rounds 1-3, former practice squad WR Justin Brown and Derrick Moye will compete for that final spot.

Considering his experience, Heyward-Bey has to figure in as the favorite for that fifth spot. His focus is a bit longer than that, though.

"I just want to have fun and help this team win. I am not trying to prove anything to anybody. I just want to go out here and play football to the best of my abilities and try to win a Super Bowl."