Marcas Grant | Tags: Three and out, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Javon Ringer, Lance Moore, Markus Wheaton, Matt Forte, Mike Williams, Phillip Tanner, Pittsburgh Steelers, Robert Woods, Stevie Johnson
Wheaton to have bigger role: The Steelers had high hopes for Markus Wheaton last season. Injuries and poor performance prevented him from reaching those expectations. This season, coach Mike Tomlin thinks Wheaton is ready to take “a significant step.” Pittsburgh added Darrius Heyward-Bey and Lance Moore through free agency, but it could be Wheaton that gets the first crack at replacing Emmanuel Sanders on the field. The Steelers are still looking for a big wideout — one they could find in the draft — but the second-year speedster from Oregon State has sleeper potential heading into the 2014 season.
Bears seeking RB help: After parting ways with Michael Bush, the Bears are on the hunt for help in their backfield. The team reportedly is taking a look at Javon Ringer and Phillip Tanner as potential backups to Matt Forte. Forte had a brilliant 2013 campaign, finishing as the third-highest scoring fantasy back. But he had a total of 363 touches last season, second-most of his career. There’s no reason to believe Forte won’t again be a bell-cow for Chicago, but with Bush no longer in the picture someone will need to grab the occasional short-yardage or goal-line opportunity. Whoever it is will be a handcuff, but considering Forte’s workload in recent seasons, their value will be limited.
Williams out to prove Bucs wrong: Now that Mike Williams is a Buffalo Bill, he’s out to prove that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a mistake by trading him away. It’s a sentiment we’ve heard plenty of times from plenty of athletes over the years. The extra motivation is encouraging, but actions speak louder than words. Perhaps returning to his hometown will help spur that extra production, but Williams will also have to compete with Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods for targets in an offense that still leans heavily on the running game.
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