Steelers showing faith in WR Sweed this offseason

(Al Bello / Getty Images)

Steelers WR Limas Sweed's rookie season included 14 games, six receptions for 64 receiving yards and one dropped pass. (Al Bello / Getty Images)

Steelers WR Limas Sweed‘s rookie season included 14 games, six receptions for 64 receiving yards and one dropped pass, wide open against the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game that Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette describes as “the biggest pass of his life.”

But despite Sweed’s slow start to his NFL career, the Gazette writes the Steelers are expecting much more out of the Texas product in his second season.

Sweed is the reason the Steelers did not make a bigger play to keep their No. 3 receiver, Nate Washington, before he signed as a free agent with Tennessee. He is a reason they enter the draft not desperate to pick a wide receiver on the first day.

Bouchette reminds readers that Sweed is not the first Steelers rookie WR to have an underwhelming first season, and that a wideout’s second season, following his first complete offseason program, is often a much better barometer of his potential. Plaxico Burress caught 22 passes and no TDs as a rookie, then 66 and six TDs the next season. Hines Ward had 15 receptions and no TDs in his first season, 61 and seven the next. Lynn Swann made 11 catches to go with two TDs as a rookie in 1974; 49 receptions and 11 TDs the next.

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