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2018 Steelers Training Camp Player Preview – Marcus Tucker

July 5, 2018
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2018 Steelers Training Camp Player Preview – Marcus Tucker

For third-year receiver Marcus Tucker, he knows this training camp is now or never.

After two years on the practice squad, Tucker is now in the right position of accomplishing his goal in making the Steelers active roster. Coming into training camp last season, Tucker was an afterthought, as the Steelers crop of wide receivers vying for a roster spot included then rookie Juju Smith-Schuster, Martavis Bryant returning from his year-long suspension, Sammie Coates coming off a disappointing 2016 season, and Eli Rogers looking to capitalize on a strong 2016 performance. Though the Steelers still possess one of deepest and talented receiving corps in the NFL, the pathway to the starting roster is not nearly as daunting as it was one year ago, considering the departures of Coates and Bryant; as well as Rogers, who is still trying to regain his form following ACL surgery back in January.

Chances of Making The Roster

Tucker needs to establish himself early in training camp, reminding coaches why they were high on him coming into OTAs back in May. In all likelihood, the starting receiving roster should include All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown, rookie sensation Juju-Smith Schuster, this year’s second-round pick James Washington, last year’s training camp star Justin Hunter; and veteran Darrius Heyward-Bey. With this Steelers likely to carry six receivers on their main roster this season, Tucker’s best chance is to outperform Rogers; a possibility considering he is not 100%. Special teams is also another pathway to the main roster. Rogers has to versatile enough to show he can be an asset on kickoff or punt returns, though he will have stiff competition against undrafted free agent kick returner/receiver Quadree Henderson. Overall, if Tucker can replicate his performance from last year’s preseason game against the Panthers and show that he is versatile enough to play special teams, he should find himself on this year’s active roster.

Kelly Anozie http://www.pittsburgh-blitz.com

Born and raised Ottawa, Ontario Canada, Kelly is a Steelers contributor to The Point of Pittsburgh. Formerly a contributor for SBNation's 'Behind the Steel Curtain'. Kelly can be reached via the Twitter handle @kanozie80

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  1. Marcus Tucker is a nice PS player but he is just another training camp body for the Steelers who are loaded at WR. I can see Tucker making another team but not the Steelers.

    • mm Kelly Anozie

      A year ago I would have said that. If the Steelers plan on taking 6 receivers, then it would come down to either Eli Rogers or Marcus Tucker. With Rogers yet to train and the Steelers coaches high on Tucker, don’t be surprised if he makes it. In terms of this team being loaded, they’re not as equipt as they once were; aside from the 5 starters I noted, plus Justin Hunter didn’t quite prove himself to be effective last season. Heyward-Bey is a great blocking receiver but his hands are suspect; thus the only real big-play receivers they have are Brown, Smith-Schuster, and Washington if all works well.