Tuesday, April 29, 2014
New Steelers WR adjusting to Big Ben
By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH -- Lance Moore had yet to line up new living arrangements when he arrived in Pittsburgh last week for the start of the team's offseason program.
While he still may be bunking with teammate and close friend Bruce Gradkowski, this much is certain: when it comes to one of the Steelers' free-agent signees, things are moving briskly at his new football home.
Moore took part in passing drills Tuesday with the quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends and running backs at Steelers' headquarters, and the players-only workouts mark the start of his adjustment from one franchise quarterback to another.
After catching pass from Drew Brees in New Orleans for nine seasons, Moore is now getting used to Ben Roethlisberger and it is something that will take time.
“I would say that Ben has a little bit stronger of an arm, maybe a lot stronger arm,” Moore said. “Just from the last couple of days with him here, that's something that kind of jumps out at me. If you are kind of lazy with your eyes the ball will zoom right past you. That's something that I will have to adjust to. I feel like the quarterback should never really have to adjust to the receiver.”
Moore and the receivers have done more than just play pitch and catch with Roethlisberger and the other Steelers quarterbacks.
“(Tuesday) we were actually on the field doing more play stuff,” Moore said. “We aren't just throwing routes and stuff like that. That was kind of cool to bring that aspect in so early to try to get a leg up on what is going on when we start doing (OTAs) here pretty soon.”
Moore, who signed with the Steelers after getting released by the Saints in a cost-cutting move, said he anticipates filling the role that Jerricho Cotchery had last season as the Steelers' No. 3 wide receiver.
Like Cotchery, Moore may also be a veteran that youngster Markus Wheaton latches onto as learns the nuances of being a wide receiver at this level.
“He's a guy that is similarly built to me and I feel like I can definitely help him out,” Moore said. “We've been talking a lot about route running and stuff like that.”
New city, new organization and new teammates, but one thing hasn't changed for Moore: He is still playing with one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.
He must be doing something right to go from Brees to Roethlisberger when some wide receivers play their entire career without an elite quarterback.
“I definitely count my blessings every day to be able to play with somebody like a Brees or a Roethlisberger,” said Moore, who played against Roethlisberger when the two were in college. “Honestly, leaving New Orleans was kind of scary for me because I had that comfort in a quarterback that had broken so many records and obviously won a Super Bowl. To get somewhere like the Pittsburgh Steelers that has a quarterback that has won a couple of Super Bowls, it is definitely something that I am thankful for.”