Mike Tomlin says WR Steven Sims is fighting 'for a seat on the bus' - Steelers Depot

Mike Tomlin says WR Steven Sims is fighting ‘for a seat on the bus’ – Steelers Depot

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide reception area is about as deep as it has been in recent memory. After the supposed top three in Chase Claypool, George Pickens and Diontae Johnson, there are many capable receivers vying for the remaining spots. Among the receivers is Steven Sims, who commented on Head Coach Mike Tomlin after Wednesday’s training camp.

“He works extremely hard,” said Tomlin when asked about Sims after the team’s Wednesday practice. “He’s working to define the role. I don’t know if I can describe it from a role perspective. He’s a man fighting for a seat or a seat on the bus.”

Sims began his career with Washington, where he caught a touchdown during his two-year stint in the 2020 Wild Card game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sims was signed to the Steelers practice team in 2021 and played in one regular season game. The third-year veteran seemingly faded into the background, given the competition for the final selection spots. However, his impressive preseason debut against the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday, with a 38-yard jet sweep and 38-yard punt return, brought his name back into the conversation.

Perhaps Sims’ best argument for making the roster is that outside of Olszewski, he is the only current Steeler with experience returning both kicks and punts, hence the “role” Tomlin mentioned. In particular, Sims didn’t have much impact as a receiver, making one catch for two yards in two targets.

With the depth the team has on the receiver position, it’s likely that six receivers will make the 53-man roster, instead of the usual five. Outside of the aforementioned top three, Calvin Austin III, Miles Boykin, Gunner Olszewski, Tyler Snead, Cody White, Tyler Vaughns and Sims will battle for the presumed remaining three spots (Anthony Miller was injured recently). Simply put, this is a tall mountain for Sims to climb, and it’s hard to imagine him doing that.

Both Austin III and Olszewski look close to making the roster for fourth and fifth place. That is, Austin III is a fourth-round rookie with impressive speed, and Olszewski is a free agent signer with ample point and kick return experience and had an impressive preseason receiver. This leaves White, Snead, Vaughns and Boykin as Sims’ remaining competition. Assuming Sims can beat White, Snead and Vaughns due to their relative inexperience, which in itself is a bold assumption, Boykin arguably brings more to the roster and has more experience.

Injuries aside, it looks like Sims is likely a practice squad candidate, as the seat on the bus Tomlin mentioned is likely occupied. Given what he showed in the preseason debut, he could end up on a 53-man roster that isn’t in Pittsburgh.

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