Remember When The Pittsburgh Steelers Signed WR Lance Moore?
Aug 9, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Lance Moore (16) on the bench against the New York Giants during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
When the Pittsburgh Steelers lost former WR Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery to free agency during the offseason, Lance Moore was signed to help stave the bleeding. The former New Orleans Saint was a slot man, and the hope from the Steelers and Steeler Nation was that Moore could become the Red Zone slot threat that Cotchery was just a season prior.
So where in the name of Art has Moore been?!
Well, to recap, Moore sustained a groin injury during preseason and the first week of September. Moore was shelved for the first two weeks of the regular season. However, Moore was healthy and active for Week 3’s contest against the Carolina Panthers. Moore could be seen in pads on the sideline. He was mentioned once, and only once, during the first quarter by Billy Hillgrove as standing patiently on the sidelines. Moore would take one snap that game. One.
Moore assures that he is 100% healthy and defers comments about his playing time to the coaches. You can tell he’s frustrated even if he won’t admit it. So what’s the problem? Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Moore have gelled well on the field. Is it really a “setback” that has kept Moore from taking any form of significant snaps. Has the young Justin Brown, a 23-year old former 6th round pick, truly shown enough to jump Moore on the depth chart for good?
Even if that is true, the fact that Moore had only taken one snap since his recovery is just baffling. Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley told Alan Robinson of the Trib, “He’s in a catch-up situation, and he’s got to work his way back.” I don’t quite understand that reasoning. We’re knee deep into the regular season now. Unless Moore starts taking snaps in games, when will he be ‘caught up?’ Are the routes really that complicated? Who does Haley think he is, Dick LeBeau?
I’m all about putting the best players on the field for a given situation. If Moore isn’t capable of that, then he shouldn’t be on the field. But if he’s healthy, what’s keeping Moore from being able to prove that he is the best slot option in a three or more WR set?
Moore might take some more snaps this Sunday against the Bucs, and maybe then some of the shroud will be pulled back.