Steeler Nation Needs To Relax Over Lance Moore Signing

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Dec 29, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lance Moore (16) stiff arms Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Keith Tandy (37) during the first half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed former New Orleans Saint wideout Lance Moore.  For those feeling compelled to complain about this signing, get over it.  Here’s why….

For those who say Lance Moore was mediocre with one of the best QB’s in the league in Drew Brees:

Pretty sure, Moore will greatly benefit from Big Ben and a no huddle offense – if it ever happens. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, it’s true.  Lance Moore for the entirety of his career had Drew Brees slinging footballs for the Saints offense.  But don’t let the numbers fool you as far as catches and yards compared to someone like former Steeler Jerricho Cotchery.  You have to look at the rest of the Saints pass catchers and how head coach Sean Payton runs the offense.  Drew Brees loves throwing the football to his tight end, Jimmy Graham.  In fact Brees threw to Jimmy Graham a lot.  Quarterbacks have ‘favorites’ and ‘go to’ receivers on their offense, and Graham was one of Brees’.  Graham is also one of the best TE’s in the league and is one of the best in getting open in the flat.  The next three top targets for Brees are Pierre Thomas (a running back) and (finally) their #1 wide out Marques Colston, and (another RB) Darren Sproles.  Each of them had at least 70 catches on the year.  Lance Moore is in a distant 4th with only 37.  But hey, that’s bound to happen to someone who was marred with injuries last season.  Prior to that, Moore had career high numbers with over 1,000 yards receiving to his credit.  The important thing to take away here is that Sean Payton run this offense so that the TE’s and RB’s are a huge part of the passing game – especially on third downs.  Thomas and Sproles are very active in the passing game for the Saints, which is why they get so many balls thrown to them.  That has nothing to do with Moore’s skills and more to do with how the offense is structured.

Ben Roethlisberger is one of the best in the NFL as well, and Moore will benefit from Todd Haley’s tendency to dink and dunk.  Slant patterns and quick outs (and yes yes the bleepin’ bubble screen) are all within Moore’s capabilities to have significantly high YAC once he gets the ball.  Moore is just as fast as Cotchery and has just as good a set of hands, actually better.  And oh yea, Moore’s been in a no-huddle style offense too, which, if Tomlin and Haley are honest about their offense, we’ll be seeing a lot more of that next season.

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  • Steelerologist

    I like the Moore signing, but not as a *replacement* of Cotchery, per se. I think a healthy Heath Miller will more than fill the shape of the hole left by Cotchery. What I hope doesn’t happen is Moore’s signing meaning fewer reps for Markus Wheaton. If depth was the goal, fine, but I think Moore is more of a Sanders than a Cotchery. And I’m no Sanders fan after 2013. Just my two cents, but I’m still hoping for a big WR in the draft.

  • Dom DiTolla

    Moore had far superior ancillary weapons around him during the entirety of his career in New Orleans than he will/is expected to have around him in Pittsburgh. With the Saints, Moore had the likes of M. Colston, D. Henderson, J. Shockey, J. Graham, R. Meachem, D. Sproles, P. Thomas etc.. around him.

    All that’s in Pittsburgh at the moment that is a sure thing at wide receiver is AB. They are one injury to H. Miller away from being an utter dumpster fire at tight end and there is no back on the roster right now behind Bell.

    While I’m intrigued to see what Moore can do as a complimentary target, there’s really nothing for him to compliment in Pittsburgh’s passing game of the caliber he had around him with the Saints.

    I just hope that this move signifies that the FO added Moore as a secondary target and will dedicate themselves to adding offensive playmakers early in the upcoming draft process.

    • Craig

      Of course it means he’s a secondary target save for 3rd down situations. How can you or anyone suggest that it’s more than that? No way the FO makes that kind of dumb decision. They’ve made stinkers, but that’s really awful.

      • Dom DiTolla

        To be fair, some concern is warranted at the moment since they’ve made some pretty piss-poor decisions over the last few seasons (unwarranted extensions to Woodley & Colon, not using that money to lock Wallace up earlier, letting Lewis walk for the price he took in N.O., etc.).

        I just hope they don’t wait too long to add offensive playmakers through the draft. The cupboard is essentially bare for Big Ben, and I am sure that he can’t be happy. Miller and Bell, both non-WRs, are the only red zone threats in the receiving game on the roster.

  • OVP66223

    Yes, Moore had lots of other weapons around him to take off pressure, but he also had to timeshare and target share, thus severely reducing his stats. You can argue one side, but have to also argue the other with it. You can’t say he should have been better given the pressure the other skill players took (thus giving Moore light coverage), without noting all the targets that didn’t go Moore’s way and all the plays he was given off in order to place the RBs and TEs on the field.

    Had he been a more used weapon, he would have put up stats rivaling top 20 WR. Moore passed my eye test over and over again, making me wonder why, if he was the best WR the Saints had, why on earth did the Saints coaches not use him more? He was better than Colston, just that Colston played every down due to his size (too many dead head coaches that will play size over talent).

    Colston was solid, Moore was better, but Moore never got a full-time chance. Sad really.

    • Dom DiTolla

      If Moore was better and more instrumental than Colston to New Orleans’ success, then why was he released? I hardly think that Sean Payton is a “dead head coach” on the offensive side of the ball as you call him either. Last time I checked the Saints have been posting winning records and making the postseason at a far more consistent clip than Pittsburgh over the last few seasons.

      I sure hope the dullard in charge of Pittsburgh’s offense now can find ways to effectively use Moore. Sadly, Todd Haley is no Sean Payton, Doug Marrone or Pete Carmichael, Jr..

      • Craig

        Why did the Steelers sign Woodley to a huge contract? Why haven’t the re-signed Big Ben yet to an extension? Why didn’t they pony up the money to keep Faneca? Why did they let Aaron Smith ‘retire’? Teams and FO’s of those teams make weird and, in retrospect, stupid decisions. Letting Moore walk and not retaining him could have been due to numerous factors.

        “Last time I checked the Saints have been posting winning records and making the postseason at a far more consistent clip than Pittsburgh over the last few seasons” Exactly, and Moore was PART OF THAT SUCCESS. So why not bring him in. Go take a cold shower, Dom, and just wait to see what happens with this guy before you string him and the FO up on the cross before the season even starts. ;)

        • Dom DiTolla

          I’m not saying Moore won’t contribute as a secondary target. But the Steelers have nobody on their roster who is a capable #2 receiver right now on a receiver corps with a complete and total lack of size.

          Pardon me for asking questions or attempting to see how much of an upgrade the move is.

  • Kyle

    Regression toward the mean.
    Cotchery has played 10 years, and has scored 30 TDs. 10 of those TDs came last year. He had two (2) total TDs over the two years prior with the Steelers. Last year was an outlier, at a late age. He’s good for 40 catches, 600+ yards, and 3 TDs, says history.
    Now, I guess he was a “locker room” guy, and I’m sure he was, but that don’t pay the bills. And he doesn’t have a ring, so he was a Tier 2 locker room guy at best.
    I’m excited about Moore. I’d have been happy to keep Cotchery. Both of them are slot guys, not world beaters. Better to pay less for a younger player (who has a ring).