The Tyler Grisham-Wes Welker Chronicles

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 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?

You have to be kidding me. Here’s the thing about this trio of white guys: they are in no way comparable on the football field.

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.

This entry was posted in 2010 steelers, Random Junk, Wide Recievers and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.
  • John S.

    I first heard the comparison by the announcers during one of the preseason games. I couldn’t help think it was pretty racist. Not particularly horrible, offensive racist, but kinda cute-because-its-so-well-meaning-it-doesnt-realize-its-racist.

    That being said, I like the look of that Toby Gerhart kid. He’s like a perfect mix of Merrill Hoge and Rocky Blier.

  • ryan

    For my money, Grisham is the spittin’ image of Matt Jones. Or maybe Steve Hutchinson. Actually, perhaps he’s more like Nate Kaeding. Definitely one of those guys, though.

  • Gretz

    I think he has a little bit of John Riggins to his game, too.

  • Delaware Jeff

    Leftwich reminds me of Randall Cunningham.

  • Anonymous

    Wes Welker, really? Where do they get that from? Tyler Grisham isn’t even that type of player. If anything, he’s more a faster version of John Driscoll.

  • FW

    Tyler Grisham is the next Jordy Nelson!

  • John S.

    I can’t put my finger on why, but this post made me look up old special teams ace Sean Morey.

    Guy had an interesting career.

    He lasted ten years in the NFL, ostensibly as a wide receiver. His stats at WR over ten years are equivalent to one really good game — 11 receptions for 168 yards.

    I know teams used him almost exclusively in special teams, but it’s a bit remarkable with the limited active gameday rosters that a guy can carve out a 10 year career as only a special teamer.

  • Gretz

    As for why this post made you look up Sean Morey, I think it’s pretty obvious: Tyler Grisham is the next Sean Morey.

  • ryan

    Also acceptable: “Next Jordan Shipley.”

  • Gretz

    I’m pretty sure Jordan Shipley is the next Wes Welker.

  • John S.

    I think Shipley is actually a reasonable comparison to Welker. Both Big-12 guys who were great at return duties and good receivers as well.

  • Pingback: Steelers Morning Links Daily Thread | Steelers Lounge

  • Gregorymilinovich

    i’m pretty sure that grisham is the next wayne chrebet. right?

  • Jim P.

    I think Grisham has a lot of potential – he has looked really good in training camp both years. I really think if he had more opportunity on the field to prove himself he would surprise a lot of people. And the fact that he’s the 6th or 7th WR on the Steelers is due in large part to the amount of talent the team has right now. He would be a 3rd or 4th WR on a lot of other teams.

  • Dean Keaton

    Perhaps even a little Mike Alstott.

  • Grishgirl

    To the writer of this article – Tyler Grisham beats you hand’s down, so screw you.

  • Pingback: Pittsburgh Steelers Morning Links And Daily Thread | Steelers Lounge

  • Lairddaddy55

    Didn’t James Harrison manage to hang around for a few years on the practice squad. He is not one of the best defensive players in the league or anything is he? I believe your entire article is premature. P.S. Stop hating on the white boy.