Markus Wheaton Must Step Up For Pittsburgh Steelers In 2014

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

For a team that finished hot in 2013, the Pittsburgh Steelers have a lot to take care of before next season, starting with the questions at wide receiver. The Steelers have three wide receivers who will be free agents in 2014. Emmanuel Sanders, Jerricho Cotchery and Plaxico Burress, who spent the entire season on injured reserve, will all be free agents leaving the Steelers with just three wide receivers from last season.

One of those receivers, Markus Wheaton must step his production up in 2014. This is nothing that Wheaton doesn’t already know. The first year wide receiver was setback with injuries a couple of times during his rookie season. A broken pinky finger on Wheaton’s right hand caused him to go through surgery and miss four games.

“The injury set me back. I felt every time I took a couple of steps forward there was a setback with an injury,” said Wheaton.

Wheaton’s setbacks cost him just six catches for 64 yards in 2013.  However, Wheaton did see some action on special teams as a gunner, which was exciting for the young receiver from Oregon State.

In his second year, Wheaton will be expected to do much more. He will have to take on a bigger role with the absence of players lost in free agency. Wheaton will have to read coverages and be a well-rounded route runner and receiver. In college, Wheaton made several big plays, which is what he was brought to Pittsburgh for. Wheaton must be ready to take the next step for his quarterback Ben Roethlisberger next season. Luckily, Wheaton’s locker is right next to Roethlisberger’s. The two should form a great connection.

Brandon Sweeney covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL football for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SweeneyRant, Like him on Facebook , add him to Google+, and Trust him on Sulia.


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