Steelers’ Mike Tomlin Put on Notice by Ravens WR Ahead of Rivalry Matchup

Mike Tomlin

Getty Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin received a message from a Baltimore Ravens wide receiver.

The Pittsburgh Steelers matchup with the Baltimore Ravens is already one of the biggest games of the year for both teams. But it just got a little more appetizing.

Ravens wide receiver DeSean Jackson talked about his experience through 2022 free agency on The Lounge on December 8. He didn’t begin the season on an NFL roster, but Jackson signed with the Ravens on October 18.

There were other teams besides the Ravens interested in Jackson. One of those other teams, according to Jackson, was the Steelers.

The 36-year-old receiver stopped short of saying Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin privately guaranteed him that Pittsburgh would sign him, but Jackson did state Tomlin never followed through on what he told him in the offseason.

And for that reason, Jackson will be very ready for Week 14.

“I gotta really get after them,” Jackson said on The Lounge from Baltimoreravens.com. “Mike Tomlin, we had a few talks. He was like ‘yeah, I’m gonna bring you in.’ Never happened.

“So now it’s like, alright now y’all missed out now. So now you all are on the other side. So now I got some extra motivation.”


Steelers Offseason Need at Wide Receiver

Wide receiver was a position of need for Pittsburgh during the offseason, but the organization chose to fill that need in the draft.

Rather than adding more depth to offensive or defensive line (other than defensive tackle DeMarvin Leal), the Steelers drafted two wide receivers — George Pickens and Calvin Austin — with two of their first four draft picks in 2022.

Apparently that was enough rookie depth for the Steelers to lose interest in Jackson.

The 36-year-old receiver could have definitely been useful for the Pittsburgh offense this season, but they were still probably better off without Jackson this year.

After adding Pickens, even with Austin injured the entire season, the Steelers entered 2022 with its top three receivers all 26 or younger. Tight end Pat Freiermuth, who leads the team in receiving yards, is also only 24.

Given the 2022 season has been a bit of a rebuilding year for the Steelers, those players gaining valuable experience was more important than having a guy like Jackson.

Even without Jackson, the Steelers found one of their young receivers, 24-year-old Chase Claypool, expendable by the trade deadline. Pittsburgh traded Claypool for a second-round pick to the Chicago Bears on November 1.


How the Steelers Stop Jackson & Ravens Passing Attack in Week 14?

Jackson has only made 5 catches for the Ravens in 3 games this season, but he’s averaging 20.0 yards per reception. That could prove to be a problem for the Steelers defense.

Pittsburgh has yielded a lot of big plays in the passing game, which has led to the Steelers defense being ranked 29th in the league with 255.1 passing yards allowed per contest.

Jackson has always been a big-play threat. He’s averaging 17.6 yards per catch in his career, and he doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Jackson averaged 22.7 yards per reception in 16 games with the Los Angeles Rams and Las Vegas Raiders last season.

In Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jackson hauled in a 62-yard catch. He had 6 receptions of at least 30 yards last year.

Even with Tyler Huntley expected to be behind center, Jackson has to be a vocal point for the Steelers defense on December 11, especially with the veteran receiver extra motivated.

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