Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Wake-up call: Talking wide receivers
By Jamison Hensley
There's a chance that Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver Markus Wheaton could press Emmanuel Sanders for playing time. There was no chance that the Baltimore Ravens were going to take wide receiver Quinton Patton in the fourth round. And then there is new Browns wide receiver Davone Bess, who is happy he received a second chance. For more on this chatter about wide receivers, continue reading today's wake-up call ...
RAVENS: General manager Ozzie Newsome said the team wasn't planning to draft Louisiana Tech's Patton in the fourth round, where the San Francisco 49ers picked him right before Baltimore went on the clock. “Did one receiver get taken when we were set to take the guy? No, that did not happen at that point,” Newsome said after the draft, via the team's official website. The only receiver drafted by the Ravens was Elon's Aaron Mellette in the seventh round. “Were there receivers in every round that we considered? Yes,” Newsome said. “As far as Aaron, when we got to that point in the draft, he was our highest-rated guy, and that’s why we decided to take him."
BENGALS: Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis is getting a familiar vibe when hearing the Bengals' plans of putting first-round pick Tyler Eifert on the field at the same time as Jermaine Gresham. Green-Ellis played for New England, where the Patriots used frequently used tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez as a tandem. "Long story short, if you have two tight ends and they are both big guys and you don't feel like you have to cover them with DBs, it actually brings more people in to the box," Green-Ellis said, via the team's official website. "If you have two guys and you feel like one of them is really a receiver then you approach it differently."
STEELERS: The Steelers used a third-round pick on Wheaton, just like they did four years ago with Mike Wallace. Wheaton, who averaged 13.2 yards per catch, doesn't bring the big-play numbers, but the Steelers think he comes more well-rounded than Wallace, who signed with the Dolphins in free agency. "I saw Mike as more of an outside receiver, outside the numbers," offensive coordinator Todd Haley told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "This guy has played the slot a bunch when he wasn't outside. He is a little wider base [than Wallace], a little more running back build, in my opinion. The speed comparison -- it's hard for anyone to run faster than Mike, but this guy does play fast."
BROWNS: Bess doesn't believe he would be the same man today if he hadn't endured the misery from his past. Ten years ago, Bess spent 15 months in juvenile detention and lost his scholarship to Oregon State after he gave some friends a ride in his car after they had robbed a store. “Those heartaches, those tough times, those experiences in my cell molded me into the man I am today. At the time, being a young adolescent, I didn’t understand it. But being older now, I’m so thankful of those moments," Bess said in a conference call, via the Akron Beacon Journal. “My whole thing was going back, not only into the inner city, but abroad or wherever, and teaching, not only kids, but whoever, everybody, that there is a best route."