The Pittsburgh Steelers’ biggest free agent acquisition, Tight End Ladarius Green, has yet to hit the field. How much of an impact can he make once he returns?
Ladarius Green sure has had a confusing career in Pittsburgh thus far. From multiple rumors stating that Green might never touch a football field again due to the concussions he’s suffered to Mike Tomlin reassuring everyone that it’s just an ankle injury, all that matters is that Ladarius Green has yet to hit the football field.
Green was the Steelers’ biggest free agent acquisition. For a team that doesn’t often pursue many players in free agency and often rely on the draft to build their team, this was a big move for Pittsburgh.
With Heath Miller‘s retirement, Green was brought in as his heir. Many were slightly upset that Jesse James, last year’s 5th round draft pick, wasn’t going to get that opportunity, but most of that anguish was washed away after seeing the highlights of Green.
Green is one of the fastest Tight Ends in the league, and the fastest one in his class with a 4.53 40m dash time when he was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
With his 6’6″ frame and impressive speed, Green is an absolute nightmare to cover. He has shown flashes of brilliance coming off a career season that included 4 touchdowns a season ago. On an already potent Steelers offense, Green brings yet another playmaker to occupy opposing defenses.
While Jesse James has done a pretty good job so far this season and the fans have enjoyed chanting “HEEEAAAATTTTHHHH” every time he makes a catch, Ladarius Green is too much of a threat to pass up on. The two of them could combine to be one of the Tight End duos in the league.
On Tuesday, Ladarius Green practiced for the first time. While admitting to being rusty, he also stated that he was excited to be back. While it may be a couple more weeks until he’s on the field, and it could take as long as a year for us to see him play to his full potential, he is a welcome addition to this offense.
The Steelers offense is already one of the more terrifying ones in the league. Add in a 6’6″ speedster with big play capability, and it’s hard to fathom how good this offense could be. It’ll surely make it tougher for defenses to double cover anyone on Pittsburgh’s offense if everyone is so capable of being detrimental to any defense.
When Green was drafted, he was meant to be the heir to the great Antonio Gates. Now, in Pittsburgh, it’ll be up to him to fill the shoes of the beloved Heath Miller. Green is not anything that the Steelers have ever seen in a Tight End.
For all the years Miller spent on the Steelers, he was the reliable target that could always be counted on. He’s was always there with the sure catch. When Jesse James was drafted, he was supposed to be the next Heath Miller.
However, Ladarius Green is a totally different style of player and brings a whole new dimension to the team. He can take the top off defenses and can create big plays on any given down. Additionally, he has the capability of beating his cover man and outrunning the defense. Now that’s something Heath Miller couldn’t often do.