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Steelers No. 2 WR goes from "one trick pony" to "big man with little-man skills"

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have been looking for a solid wide receiver with size and speed, and the team has gone from a "one trick pony" to a "big man with little-man skills".

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

When the Pittsburgh Steelers saw Hines Ward reaching the end of his career, it was time for the next generation of wide receiver to make their way onto the team. Enter the trio who dubbed themselves the "Young Money Crew". The trio would be none other than Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown. As Ward was slowly phased out of the lineup, it became clear the future was with the three young, talented wide outs.

As Ward retired, it became the three receivers who would make up the team's best receivers for the next several years, but there was always something missing. When Wallace held out of training camp wanting a new contract, it was Brown who received a pay day. As Brown became the focal point of the offense, it was Wallace who was dubbed a "one trick pony" by head coach Mike Tomlin.

Tomlin said this publicly, possibly as motivation for Wallace, but it ultimately showed what the coach thought of the unfinished product Wallace was. Wallace could go deep, but his route running and precision was always questioned throughout this time with the Steelers.

Wallace has gone from the Steelers to the Miami Dolphins and now to the Minnesota Vikings. Sanders leveraged his time with the Steelers to a new contract with the Denver Broncos which means Brown is the last remaining member of the "Young Money Crew", and the team is still searching for a quality receiver to stand opposite the best wide receiver in the league.

Enter Martavis Bryant. Bryant has the size, speed and skill set to be a dominant force in the NFL, and as reported by ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Tomlin has given Bryant a moniker in his second year - "Big man with little-man skills".

Quite the opposite of the label "one trick pony" Wallace was given when in Pittsburgh, but Tomlin's new label for No. 10 shows exactly how far the wide receiver has come in just his second season. Bryant has been applauded for his work this offseason. He has added 10-pounds of muscle, has worked on the precision of his route running and looks to be in top physical shape entering his sophomore season.

Tomlin's label shows how Bryant seems to be the complete package the Steelers have been searching for since the days of Plaxico Burress and Hines Ward. A 1-2 punch which will have opposing defenses reeling, and is exactly what the team will be delivering in 2015. With Brown's knack for finding space within a defense, combined with Bryant's ability to stretch the field will equate to success for the Steelers' passing game next season.

Letting a "one trick pony" go for the eventual selection of a "big man with little-man skills" seems like a trade off which will pay huge dividends for the Steelers in 2015.