It’s time once again to analyze the crazy musings about the Steelers from some guy named Lambert. What’s on tap for today from our Gather.com friend? Why it’s his two cents about Wallace and how the Steelers would be smart to replace him by shopping for another receiver.
This isn’t the first time that Lambert talks nonsense about how the Steelers might and should deal with Mike Wallaces unwillingness to sign with the team. In his first whiff Lambert thinks the Steelers would best off to trade Wallace to Carolina because Steve Smith needs a younger replacement. Not realizing that the Steelers would never trade their receiver for a lineman (as Lambert suggets) for many reasons, Lambert falls flat in his argument of the validity of such a deal.
Today Lambert continues his out of touch reporting on the Steelers with the idea that the Steelers would look to someone like James Jones of the Green Bay Packers for an option to replace Wallace. Once again, where to begin? First we have to look at the kind of receiver James Jones is for the Packers. Jones is a #3 or #2 at best with most teams in the NFL. The Packers receiving core is more crowded than a Permanti’s at noon on a Thursday. Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Tori Gurley, Diondre Borel, Donald Driver, and Jermichael Finley. That’s a pretty big depth chart. Finley, of course, is their star TE, but he is a favorite of Rodgers. Jones signed, strangely enough, last season after the Packers snagged Cobb. The writing was on the wall that it was a crowded roster and that he would be hard pressed to get big numbers. Jones does run a really nice shoulder fade – something that Wallace lacks – but that’s about it. You could call him a one trick pony. Hmmm, where have I heard that before.
Looking at comparison between the two receivers – Wallace and Jones – they are pretty different. Wallace runs a 4.33 – one of the fastest in the NFL. Jones runs a ‘slow’ 4.59. In fact Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders are both faster than Jones. So in no way can Jones ‘replace’ Wallace with his speed. Unless there be rockets in them shoes.
Jones’ stats are also significantly less than Wallace’s. Even for a pass happy team with Rodgers and Co., Jones caught only 38 passes for 635 yards and 7 TD’s in 2011. Wallace had over a 1,000 yard season and had 8 TD’s. The argument can be made that Jones’ numbers suffered because of the crowded roster. But, you could say the same thing could happen were he with the Steelers. Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Jerricho Cotchery, Hines Ward, Heath Miller in 2011. Plenty of depth there. Hines is gone, but the Steelers picked up Toney Clemons in the draft for a possible replacement at the #4 spot. So where would Jones fit in all of this on the Steelers roster? Without any significant talents, such as Wallace’s speed, Jones would just fall to the middle of the depth chart. $2.3 million is a steep price for a #3 or #4 guy. Cotchery is set to make $825k in 2012 to put it into perspective. Not a great deal.
Speaking of deals, Lambert never actually states what the Steelers would use as a bargaining chip to trade for Jones. Wallace? Timmons? Clark? Kind of hard to make a convincing argument if you don’t actually list the other half of the deal.
‘Like it or not though losing Wallace is a huge blow for the Steelers. His speed and skill are almost impossible to duplicate, let alone replace.’ - Erik Lambert
Like it or not, Lambert, your notion of trading for Jones is not a good one. And, once again, it shows your lack of understanding of this team. The loss of Wallace is not a huge blow – mainly for the reasons I listed above with the Steelers depth at a set of hands (Pope now included). He may be ‘the talk’ within the media, but that’s because it’s the only dramatic thing happening at camp right now. Otherwise it’s business as usual in Latrobe.
Nice try, Lamby. ’Til next time.