Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace ranks fourth in the NFL in receiving yards, and is third in the league in yards per catch among receivers with over 20 catches.
Asked today about the issues that come with defending Wallace - the third-year burner out of Ole Miss - Webb said he feels that Antonio Brown is the more talented player between the two.
“Every time somebody asks me, they’re always talking about Mike Wallace,” Webb said, “but they have a guy, No. 84, Antonio Brown, who’s better than 17 (Wallace) in all aspects of the game. Great returner, great wide receiver. But they have a great corps.”
On the season, Wallace has made 43 catches for 800 yards and five touchdowns. Brown, meanwhile, has 34 grabs for 431 yards and one touchdown. Brown is also averaging 12.1 yards per punt return and 28.9 yards per kickoff return.
One factor to remember here is that Brown is the one who beat Webb for a 58-yard reception on a third-and-19 late in the Pittsburgh’s Divisional Round win over the Ravens last year. The long reception led to the Steelers’ game-winning touchdown.
That play might be factoring into Webb’s thinking just a tad.
Webb also agreed with a theory that has been tossed out by some analysts that the Steelers are more dangerous without veteran wide receiver Hines Ward, who missed Pittsburgh’s last game with an ankle injury.
With Ward out, the Steelers were able to put their three young, fast wide receivers -Wallace, Brown and Emmanuel Sanders - on the field at the same time in Sunday’s win over New England. That group combined for 207 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Patriots.
“They’re actually a better team with 88 (Emmanuel Sanders) and not Hines Ward,” Webb said, unprompted.
Asked a follow up question about his thoughts on Ward, Webb responded: “They’re very dangerous without Hines. I guess Hines slows them down. No, just playin’. Nah, but Hines makes those guys. He molds those guys into him, the same attitude. It’s a great team. We’re going to have to come in and play our A-game, especially on their home field.”