Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 Draft: Mike Wallace Doesn't Need to Be Replaced

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Wide receiver Mike Wallace #17 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the football on a 95 touchdown reception against the Arizona Cardinals during the second quarter of the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Steelers defeated the Cardinals 32-20.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Mike StangerCorrespondent IFebruary 6, 2013

With the imminent departure of Mike Wallace to free agency, many Steelers fans are demanding another sub-4.4 guy in this year's draft. They reckon that the offense can only function with a legitimate deep threat.

This type of logic is misguided.

First, an offense doesn't require a speedster to be successful.

One only has to look at the New England Patriots to see an example of a high-powered offense lacking a true burner at wideout. They led the league in scoring in two of the past three seasons.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski averaged more yards per catch (14.4) this past season than wide receivers Brandon Lloyd (12.3) and Wes Welker (11.5). He also had more touchdowns (11) than Lloyd and Welker had combined (10).

Detractors to this logic may point to the fact that the Patriots didn't win a Super Bowl the last three years.

True.

But they didn't win one with Randy Moss, either. And the Steelers haven't won one with Wallace. 

All of that aside, whose offense would you rather have, the Steelers or Patriots?

If you answered the Steelers, you are either a liar or a fool.

Second, the "deep threat" sycophants dismiss the abilities of Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.

If the Steelers are committed to Todd Haley's offense, then Brown and Sanders are more valuable in it than a speedster like Wallace.

Haley's offense relies on three-step drops and short pass patterns with a higher completion percentage.

Both Brown and Sanders are excellent in the open field. They are more likely to take a short pass and turn it into a touchdown than Wallace is able to catch a 70-yard bomb for one.

Lastly, speed guys rarely match the hype.

For every Bob Hayes, there are a ton of guys in the past like Renaldo Nehemiah, Raghib "Rocket" Ismail and James Jett who fell flat. The jury is still out on current players like DeSean Jackson and Jacoby Ford.

Indeed, a great 40 time in the combine doesn't guarantee success on the football field. In other words, track speed doesn't equal football skills.

You see, the Steelers have pressing concerns that need to be addressed in the draft. Finding Mike Wallace's doppelganger just isn't one of them.

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