Nice 2nd round steal. I was hoping what's his name from michigan would fall to us in 2nd (ended up going in the 3rd to the Giants) but I'm happy with Sweed. Ben should take the draft team out to dinner for snatching up the tall rangy WR he wanted.
Steelers hold high expectations for Sweed By Scott Brown TRIBUNE-REVIEW Sunday, June 15, 2008
He has impressed the Steelers not just with his physical ability but also with a willingness that borders on eagerness to learn.
"He is very humble. He communicates. He is not afraid to ask questions," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "His passion for the game shows through the minute he walks into the building which allows you to indicate that he has a chance to be what we think he is capable of being."
Translation: the Steelers may have found a keeper.
Sweed has a unique blend of size and speed and is a tremendous leaper. Long and lean as a goal post, he is also deceptively strong -- he could bench press more than 300 pounds when he was in high school -- and he almost certainly wouldn't have been available when the Steelers picked in the second round of the draft had a wrist injury not derailed his senior season at Texas.
Victory keeps Sweed from becoming goat Buzz up!By Kevin Gorman, TRIBUNE-REVIEW Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Limas Sweed knew it was a touchdown as soon as he saw the Baltimore Ravens defender squatting near the first-down marker. Sweed froze him with a stutter-step and broke free.
The 6-foot-4 rookie receiver's eyes lit up when he saw Ben Roethlisberger's picture-perfect pass land on his outstretched fingertips with nothing but the end zone before him.
Then, he droppped the ball.
"It was my first time to get in and play a lot on offense," said Sweed, a second-round draft choice (53rd overall) from Texas. "You make mistakes. Everybody's human. I can't remember a wide receiver that came into the league that never dropped a ball. It's just something that happened."
That it happened in the final minute of the first half of the AFC Championship Game was one thing. That Sweed rolled around afterward on the Heinz Field turf — when the only bruise was to his ego, drawing the ire of a record home crowd — was another.
"I guess you put so much pressure on yourself that you end up hurting yourself," receiver Hines Ward said. "It was a simple catch. All he had to do was run up under it. Anxiety might have hit, I don't know. The fans gave him a hard time, and we gave him a hard time. But he didn't try to drop it on purpose."
Sweed did come back and redeem himself with the block on Ivy and later he converted a huge 3rd down. I say chalk it up to a learning experience. I was cussing him at the top of my lungs when he dropped that ball. You could just see that play develop and Ben launched a perfect pass. You see it coming down right on target. Sweed doesnt even have to break stride and ....DOH!!!! That would have been a dagger in the Ravens right there... Would have been a play replayed for a long time...
I just hope Sweed learns fro it and grows into the dominate wr he can be... I think the block he threw on Ivy shows Hines is rubbing off on him..
The 2009 season will be unlike any other year for Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Limas Sweed.
Not only is he expected to produce, but he is coming off a season in which he struggled for playing time and catching the football for the first time in his football career. That's inspiring Sweed, a Steelers 2008 second-round draft pick, to improve in his second season.
The Steelers won their record sixth Super Bowl title with a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Feb. 1. About three weeks later, Sweed was independently training, running through routes and doing cone drills.
Limas Sweed #14 WR Pittsburgh Steelers
2008 STATS REC YDS TD AVG LNG 6 64 0 10.7 17
After what the organization deems a "redshirt year" in 2008 when Sweed caught six passes for 64 yards, the former University of Texas star knows the training wheels are being removed. He will be under the spotlight of playing for the reigning Super Bowl champions.
"I don't look at it as pressure -- I love pressure and I believe the Steelers love pressure," Sweed said in a telephone interview with ESPN.com. "This team is so close that guys are like brothers, and you don't want to let your family members down.
"I think that's how guys take it when they're out there playing -- they're not only playing for themselves but they're playing for the man next to them. And I definitely, definitely don't want to let any of those guys down."
The opportunity comes after former teammate Nate Washington signed a six-year, $27 million contract with the rival Tennessee Titans, whom the Steelers will face in the season opener on Sept. 10.
In addition to starting cornerback Bryant McFadden, Washington was one of the few productive free agents Pittsburgh lost this offseason.
"I figured something might happen," Sweed said of the opportunity. "I may have been more shocked that [Washington] ended up in Tennessee. But I believe I can step in and do the job."
Pittsburgh believes both Sweed and a fellow 2008 draft pick, first-round tailback Rashard Mendenhall, are due for more productive sophomore campaigns. In many ways, the Steelers view the pair as extra draft picks or this year's free-agent acquisitions.
Starting receivers Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes also have been two of Sweed's biggest supporters, which Sweed says "is like an added bonus." From the first day he arrived, both starters worked with Sweed in an effort to bring him up to speed with the offense.
Looking beyond the surface, there are plenty of reasons to believe in Sweed's potential. He is big (6-foot-4, 220 pounds), fast and has shown the ability to get open. Sweed also didn't have problems with drops in college, which leads many to believe his issues last season were more mental (inexperience, nerves) than physical.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images Limas Sweed dropped a possible touchdown pass in the AFC Championship Game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Sweed did not drop a pass during the regular season. But in the AFC Championship Game victory over the Baltimore Ravens, the streaking Sweed dropped a possible touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The rookie atoned for the miscue with two receptions for 20 yards and a crushing block on Ravens cornerback Corey Ivy.
"Being around guys like Ward, Holmes, [tight end] Heath Miller and Ben Roethlisberger should have a real positive effect on the kid,” Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. said. "He can certainly play at this level. I think he can be a real capable No. 2 receiver, maybe as soon as a year from now. He proved he was able to get separation and that's harder to do than anything.”
Sweed also is a winner. He is one of the few second-year players who sport both BCS Championship and Super Bowl rings. Sweed estimates that he has more than 100 career victories and just 20 losses on his résumé playing football since high school.
"I wouldn't call it spoiled; I would call it getting used to winning," Sweed said. "To win a national championship in college in Year 2 and then come in here with the Steelers and win a world championship in Year 1, it's been unreal."
The Steelers are counting on Sweed to be prepared for his next reality check.
Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Bruce Arians likes to run a lot of three-receiver sets at the expense of the fullback. The third receiver is almost considered a starter for the Steelers, as Washington caught 40 passes from that position last season and had plenty of opportunities to affect the game with big plays.
Sweed knows exactly what is expected of him from the beginning of camps this year. Instead of waiting his turn as a rookie, he will see significant playing from the beginning of the season.
That is why Sweed already is eager for September. All the work he is putting in now is focused toward the goals of fitting in with the defending champs and quickly erasing the memories of his rookie mistakes with his coaches and teammates.
"We're in the offseason program working out, and I'm seeing guys like NFL Defensive MVP James Harrison working out right next to me," Sweed said. "That's added motivation that if a guy can be Defensive MVP and come back early and workout, that tells me what this team is about.
"I'm glad I'm a part of that, and I don't want to let these guys down. I'm doing everything in my power every day to be prepared, so when the time comes I'll be ready to deliver."
Sweed needs to stay committed during the off season and pre-season to be the solid #3 WR this year. He had a pretty bad year, but most rookie WR's did in 08. It's time to step up and show why Sweed was projected to be a late 1st round WR....