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Steelers WR Provides Tough Early Test

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 19, 2013 – 2:25 pm

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

For those of you who enjoy offensive fireworks, tonight’s affair should be a joyous one for you. At the beginning of training camp, veteran wide receiver Pierre Garcon made a boisterous claim that the Redskins could be the best offense ever. Period. End of discussion. See you in the record books.

No. 88, who spent the first four years of his NFL career with the Indianapolis Colts, has been blessed with the opportunity with not one, not two, but three great quarterbacks in Peyton Manning, Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins. So if there’s anyone who knows what he’s talking about its Garcon.

He and the rest of the offense will be tested against an always great Steelers defense tonight. Over the past two seasons, the Steelers secondary has given up only 178.6 yards per game through the air; easily the stingiest defensive backfield in the NFL.

While I won’t go into detail about last year’s loss to the Steelers in Week 8 for obvious reasons, tonight is the perfect measuring stick to see how much the wide receiver corps has improved, especially third-year pros Aldrick Robinson and Leonard Hankerson.

If NFL on ESPN’s individual player rankings holds true, you’ll be seeing the scoreboard change faster than the weather for those other guys too.

Okay, so maybe they didn’t exactly say straight up that this will be a high scoring affair with a plethora of fantastic long bombs, but with Antonio Brown being their 95th best offensive player this season, you’d assume their ranking is based on his potential.

Brown, a 2011 Pro Bowler, has the 4.4 40 speed the Steelers are looking for in replacement of the departed Mike Wallace. Last week, longtime Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said that he thinks the sky is the limit for Brown and he could be their Pierre Garcon in 2013.

“He can be as good as he wants to be. I have seen growth in him and improvements, and that is what we want to see. He has come along as a number-one guy.”

Just a heads up before I continue any further, yes I know Heath Miller is listed at 91 in the rankings, but he won’t be taking any snaps tonight as he is still recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL. For purposes of this story, we just want to focus on tonight’s happenings.

Brown will be a great test for both David Amerson and Bacarri Rambo. While the Titans have a few weapons on the outsides of their offense, they’ve made a concerted effort to build through their run game. If Amerson and Brown go toe-to-toe, it’ll be a great first test for the second round pick. Amerson holds a pretty good height and weight advantage over Brown and could use that as leverage to take him out of his game.

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