One of the most entertaining aspects of this preseason (for me, anyway) has been the never ending comparisons that Tyler Grisham has drawn to New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker. I mean, they just keep coming.
Wilson commented on it after the first preseason game, as Bob Pompeani and Edmund Nelson had a grand time comparing the two players. Because, hell, if you have two short white guys that play wide receiver, they must be identical. Am I right?
Here’s the problem with this comparison: one guy has caught 346 passes the past three seasons (leading the NFL twice and finishing second the other time) and is one of the best slot receivers in the league. The other has caught one pass and might be — on a good day — the seventh-best wide receiver in Steelers camp. Still, the comparisons have kept rolling in.
Just for laughs, I decided to plug “Tyler Grisham-Wes Welker” into the Google machine and, well, let’s enjoy the fun together…
– A message board at Steelersnation.com gets the fun started with a discussion thread asking whether or not Grisham can become the next Welker. [Steelers Nation]
– This is one of my absolute favorites, and it comes from John Harris of the Tribune-Review during last year’s training camp. The part I simply adore:
“Grisham is the type of player who grows on you. The more you watch him, the more you realize he can play. Forget his 40-time. He has football speed, similar to Wes Welker and Kevin Curtis.”
Oh, so now we’re going to bring Kevin Curtis into the mix. What do these three guys all have in common?
One of them, Curtis, is an outside speed receiver. He’s not deceptively fast, or surprisingly fast, or football fast, or quick, or any other cliche catch phrase that’s used to describe a white skill position player: he’s simply flat out, old fashioned … fast. He runs past people. Don’t believe me? Well, just watch…
Another one, Welker, is an inside slot guy that catches 120 passes five yards from the line of scrimmage. The remaining guy, Grisham, is, once again, the seventh-best receiver in Steelers camp. On a good day. [Tribune Review]
– Here’s one more that brings in the Wes Welker and Kevin Curtis comparisons. [Bleacher Report]
– During a chat with Ed Bouchette on the Post-Gazette‘s website last year, a reader asked if Grisham could be the Steelers version of, you guessed it, Wes Welker. Thankfully, Bouchette, as always, had an ounce of common sense on the matter: “Grisham caught one pass and dropped one. What did you see that you liked?” [Post-Gazette]
– “At camp, he’s been one of the standouts, displaying impressive hands and fluidity in his movement and route-running and is drawing comparisons to another undrafted white pass-catcher, Wes Welker (obviously that’s a best case scenario).” That is from a blog that goes by the name [Big Snackers Pantry]
(Love that blog name, by the way.)
– Here’s one that mentions that comparison, but brushes it off. And then makes a comparison that might be even more ridiculous. “Some people have said that he reminds them of Wes Welker, but he reminds me of another wide receiver who isn’t big enough, or fast enough, but who is willing to block and manages to catch everything that’s thrown his way. Has anyone ever heard of a guy named Hines Ward?”
I mean, the Ward comparison is nutty, but I’ll give him partial credit for at least comparing Grisham to another player that isn’t a short white guy. [Steelers Today]
– And, finally (for now), this one is from four days ago, courtesy of Scott Brown. “Grisham is a crisp route runner and catches almost everything thrown in his direction. And, yes, for anyone wondering people tell him all of the time that he reminds them of Wes Welker, who led the NFL in catches (123) last season despite missing the last two games because of a knee injury.” [Tribune-Review]
Look, I’m sure Grisham is a nice enough guy, and the fact he’s managed to hang around camp two years in a row with one of the best teams in the NFL speaks highly of his football skills (compared to, say, me). But he’s simply not that good of an NFL player, and he’s certainly not in the same stadium as a player like Welker, who has established himself as one of the best in the league at what he does.
The fact that comparison has come up as much as it has the past two camps is, quite simply, absurd, and a little bit lazy on the part of the people in the media that keep bringing it up. Thankfully, we’ll get another opportunity on Sunday night to hear a new announcing crew (NBC’s Al Michaels and Cris Colinsworth) make the inevitable comparison between the two short white guys that play wide receiver, but otherwise have nothing else in common.