Thursday morning, I had an outstanding phone call with Adam Crowley (@_adamcrowley) of ESPN Radio in Pittsburgh to preview the upcoming playoff match. Adam is a Pittsburgh native and hosts “Locked on Steelers” and also covers the Penguins for ESPN’s iHeartMedia Radio cluster. Adam is a smart guy with lots of knowledge on the team so I figured he’d be the perfect guy to go to for an inside look on this playoff team. Below is the transcription of our conversation where we talk about the Steelers players you haven’t heard of before but should know, Tedy Bruschi, Steelers red zone percentages, ridiculous Le’Veon Bell stats, and the similarities between Marty Bennet and Big Ben.
ADAM MAGNACCA: So we all know about Big Ben, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown, but give us some background on some other weapons on the Pittsburgh offense and who you think the #4 guy is.
ADAM CROWLEY: Yeah that’s interesting, if Ladarius Green is healthy, it’s certainly him. He’s a big play guy, he’s got height, he’s got speed, and he’s deceptively fast. you watch him running down the football field and it doesn’t look like he’s going all that quickly, but he’s got long legs. He’s able to go up and make combatted catches and is a big time red zone target. We’ll find out as the week progresses whether or not he’ll be able to go in this game on Sunday. If I’m a Steelers fan I wouldn’t be optimistic that it would happen. We’ve seen this before, he did practice in a limited capacity and if he were able to go he’d be a big time weapon for the Steelers offense. If not him, I really think its a committee. The Steelers don’t really have another option other than Bell and Brown who is going to terrify New England, but they guys who can get it done. Eli Rogers is productive out of the slot. Really good football player, shifty after the catch, as is Demarcus Ayres, who is very similar. One of the PR/KR guys as a 7th round draft pick for the Steelers this year out of Houston. He’s a guy that can make you miss in the open field. Cobi Hamilton is a guy who can be utilized in the red zone, can get down the field sometimes on the deep route. He has made some clutch catches for the team this year as has Jesse James, the other Steelers TE who has filled in admirably for Ladarius Green since he went down. Darrius Heyward-Bey is the guy who can be used to stretch the field. Same thing with Sammie Coates although he hasn’t been used since the early part of the season because of injuries and some inconsistencies with him. So the Steelers really don’t have an elite weapon after Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown except for Ladarius Green and he very well might not play on Sunday.