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The biggest sideshow of camp so far has been the Mike Wallace situation. Who knows if he will actually show up for the first week of the regular season. One thing we’ve found out so far is that the team actually doesn’t need their erstwhile receiver to be successful.
Antonio Brown, a fan told me, was doomed to regress because Wallace wouldn’t be there to take away the double teams. OK, that’s a fair worry. The problem is that Brown looked very good against the Eagles, and I don’t think he’ll struggle to make plays with or without Wallace. There’s just no evidence for it yet.
Emmanuel Sanders looks like a capable starter if Wallace is out and an excellent slot receiver if he’s in the fold. He looks completely healthy, and in a camp where player after player has had a problem with being healthy, Sanders’ name has been absent. That’s great news.
The Steelers drafted Sanders with the idea he could become a starter. Now, he might fulfill that potential.
Jerricho Cotchery has been quietly impressive so far. He’s a good possession guy and will get most of his looks close to the goal line. He’ll replace the role Hines Ward played on the field for the Steelers by being the receiver best-suited to go into the middle of the field.
The young receivers, particularly Tyler Beiler, have been impressive too. It will be an interesting battle to see who nabs the final roster spot or two at receiver. Toney Clemons has had flashes of brilliance, but he is still learning and recovering from some big drops.
POSITION GRADE: A