Pulling for Pittsburgh Steelers WR James Washington

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Plug and play. The devices we love are the ones that require no setup and make our lives more efficient. The Pittsburgh Steelers should plug and play wide receiver James Washington and make the offense more efficient.

Only they haven’t. And it’s to their detriment.

In an October 12 press conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged JuJu Smith-Schuster’s season-ending injury was a chance for Washington to shine.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence in James,” Tomlin said. “So however unfortunate the injury is for JuJu, it does provide an opportunity for James to expand his role and to do some things that we all know he’s capable of doing.”

Washington needs to be on the field in order for the Steelers to use those capabilities to their advantage. In his regrettably limited sample size of 14 targets, Washington has 108 yards on the season. He’s averaging 11 yards per reception for a catch percentage of 71.

Heading into the bye week, Ben Roethlisberger’s passer rating when targeting Washington is 93.7 (per Pro Football Reference’s advanced stats) — nudging Diontae Johnson (93.4) out for first among wide receiver corps.

Related

WR coach Ike Hilliard takes blame for James Washington's lack of reps

On Wednesday, Steelers wide receivers coach Ike Hilliard took the blame for not further involving Washington. He said the fourth-year receiver will get more reps in practice for what will be a “cleaner rotation with all four or five guys” come game time.

We’ll see if Hilliard stays true to his word when Pittsburgh travels to Cleveland on Halloween to take on the 4-3 Browns.

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