Found July 18, 2012 on Bleed Black & Gold:

The Steelers are set at the number one and number two receiver position.  Mike Wallace is the guy.  Even if he holds out for a little bit of camp he will still be the number one receiver.  Antonio Brown came out of nowhere last season and took grasp of the number 2 role.  These guys are basically cemented in to their spots. 

That leaves a number 3 receiver battle in the works.  It should be a good one to watch.  The Steelers have Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery vying for the position.  Both guys are deserving of the role and could play it very well.  This camp battle will be fun to watch.  These two guys are professionals and will battle it out the entire time in camp.

Lets start with Jerricho Cotchery.  Cotchery is a veteran who knows how to get open and knows how to make plays.  He has been a number 1 receiver before in this league and knows what the position entails.  His experience shows up big when it matters. 

By the end of last season Cotchery had earned the trust of Ben Roethlisberger.  It was almost as if Cotchery had become Ben’s new Hines Ward.  When he was in trouble or needed a first down he was firing it out to Cotchery.  Cotchery made some big catches late in the season.  He and Roethlisberger were in sync.  Cotchery will try to ride that momentum into this years camp to win the number 3 spot in this offense.

Emmanuel Sanders on the other hand is the young up and comer.  He played well as a rookie when the team went to the Super Bowl but missed the second half of the game due to injury.  He struggled to get that injury healed in time for camp last season.  It cost him some time and it pretty much cost him a spot.

Sanders was expected to be the guy who stepped up when Ward started to disappear from the offense.  Sanders was out with injury himself though and was passed on the depth chart by Brown.  Brown took the spot and never looked back.  He became Roethlisberger’s main target last season and won the team MVP for the Steelers.

All that being said if Sanders can stay healthy he should have a good chance to earn this spot.  In my opinion Sanders is the best receiver on the Steelers roster.  He is not the fastest like Wallace.  He is not the big play maker like Brown.  He is the best route runner and understands his job better then anyone else though.  When healthy I trust that Sanders can get the job done no matter what.  His ability to break open then find the hole in the defense sit down and make the play is what sets him apart.  Sanders is still a hidden gem if he can stay healthy as I finish beating a dead horse.

This is a new offense and it needs to be run correctly and Roethlisberger needs to be in tune with whoever is in that spot.  This offense can go to new height this year.  Sanders is a good student of the game and will pick up the offense quickly.  He will be making the right reads and running the right routes.  I think it is time for the Young Money Crew to take off and become unstoppable.  This spot goes to Sanders.

3rd Wide Receiver

Emmanuel Sanders


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