NFL 2015 Draft: Steelers ‘Coaching Up’ Could Be A Problem


The Steelers are probably feeling pretty good about the results of this year’s draft.

Well, I guess the expression should be that they feel pretty good about who they came away with. The results of the draft will be seen on the field this season.

That’s something Steeler Nation may witness sooner rather than later as long as new defensive coordinator Keith Butler ditches the “Dick LeBeau Method” when it comes to getting the young guys on the field despite being rough around the edges.

Getting the talent on the field and let them make plays. That bell has been rung no louder than right here on this site the last few seasons. Let practice and coaching take care of the rest.

But, for me, there’s the rub in the Steelers draft this season.

These newly minted rookies will be a bit more than rough around the edges. There’s a certain lack of skill or attribute lacking with each one.

The theme from the Steelers coaches was consistent when addressed about potential issues with each draft selection – those things will be ‘coached up.’ In other words, improve or knock out the deficiency through teaching and practice. Rinse and repeat.

I just don’t believe you can ‘coach’ some of these things out of these guys.

Senquez Golson – this young man was said to be the steal of the 2nd round by Mel Kiper. Granted, that’s Mel Kiper, but you have to respect the general excitement from the experts on this guy getting selected.

Ball hawk skills, brings INT’s to the table, and has good speed. The problem? He’s 5’9″. That’s just one inch taller than Dri Archer.

He might be able to stay with a receiver with his speed and agile coverage skills. But, without the height he will suffer against jump balls and back shoulder throws – all the rave in the NFL these days.

Here’s a list of the heights for the top three WR’s for each team in the AFC North:

Ravens – 6’2″, 6’2″, 5’9″

Bengals – 6’4″, 6’2″, 6’1″

Browns – 6’5″, 6’3″, 6’2″

Height is just one piece of the puzzle, but if he is to make his way as an outside corner, he’s going to have to find a way to overcome the height discrepancy.

Sammie Coates – a good sized wide receiver who is able to stretch the field. The statistic that gets floated around the most about Coates is that 40% of pass attempts to him were 20 or more yards. The statistic that they won’t include with that is how many of those were actually completed.

Another statistic that we all know about Coates is his affinity to drop passes. Almost 20% of balls thrown to him are dropped. Dropped. That’s 1 in 5 passes that he fails to reel in.

Not really a great number you want attached to the stat sheet.

Steelers WR Coach, Richard Mann, attributes the drops as a lack of concentration because he wasn’t on the field much. I find that hard to believe, and yet, even if true, Coates is in for a rough time in Todd Haley’s offense.

Haley loves his 2 TE and Jumbo sets, essentially only putting one or two wideouts on the field. Coates is going to be at best 4th on the depth chart, and I doubt (unless he is truly out shining Bryant) Coates will be taking any snaps away from Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant, and Markus Wheaton.

Coates won’t be on the field much to break through the lack of concentration barrier.

I don’t really think that’s the case anyways. It’s the hands. And, you can’t teach hands. You just can’t. Limas Sweed anyone?

It’s difficult to look at each player and not like the player. These two, Golson and Coates, have potential and some raw skill. Usually with a bit of coaching, guys with raw skill can overcome deficiencies. That’s what you’re supposed to get out of your second and third round picks.

The Golson and Coates picks are two controversial ones for me considering who was still on the board at the time (and that it was rumored the Steelers were trying to make moves). As the second and third picks for the Steelers I worry that their red flags are ones that necessarily can’t be worked or ‘coached’ out of them.

Next: Steelers MMQB: Draft Wrap Up

More from Still Curtain