No indication that Lance Moore has overtaken Justin Brown

PITTSBURGH – If Lance Moore gets his first extended playing time of the season on Sunday it might be because starting wide receiver Markus Wheaton is limited by a groin injury -- the second-year man has yet to practice fully this week -- or can’t play at all at Jacksonville.

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley did not give any indication that Moore will play ahead of Justin Brown as the No 3 wide receiver if everyone at the position is healthy.

Consider what Haley said when asked if Brown is playing ahead of Moore, who missed the first two games of the season with a groin injury, because he is a better blocker.

“Not that Lance can’t block but again I’ve said that Lance had a setback,” Haley said on Thursday. “He missed a considerable of time, which included no-huddle reps and things like that. Justin is making progress and doing a good job in the run game.”

A couple of thoughts:

  • Unless I am missing something, Brown is doing a nice job in the running game but he is not exactly the second coming of Hines Ward as a blocker.

  • Moore has a body of work, having established himself as a trusted Drew Brees target for eight seasons in New Orleans. Moore has 347 career receptions for 4,923 yards and 38 touchdowns. Brown has seven career catches for 59 yards. Granted, he has only played four NFL games, but the 6-3, 209-pounder has already lost a fumble and dropped a touchdown pass.

  • Have the Steelers run that much no-huddle to justify playing Brown over Moore because they are worried about Moore making a mental error?

I’m at a complete loss to explain why Brown has played over Moore the last two games and particularly last Sunday. Moore doesn’t strike me as the type of player who would do something to land himself in a coaching doghouse.

Did the coaches think he did not push himself enough to come back from the groin strain that cost him about a month? Or do they see something in Brown to continue playing him over Moore?

“As Lance gets up to speed that competition is improving and I think that will make them all better,” Haley said. “We will have to see how it plays out. Competition is good.”

Which begs the question: Is there actually one going on between Brown and Moore?