New Wide Receivers Coach Ike Hilliard Speaks to the Media

By: Michael Stiffler, @Stiffeezy_ on Twitter


New Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers coach, Ike Hilliard spoke to the media on Monday giving insight on the state of the wide receiver room. This was the first time I had the opportunity to listen to him and I will say I am very impressed. You can tell by the way Hilliard speaks and handles himself that he will echo the culture Mike Tomlin has always preached. 

“The Standard is the Standard.” 

Hilliard was questioned how he would handle the current circumstances since he may not be able to do what he is accustomed to. He did not shy away stating, “Every year is the same for me, I’m not going to make any excuses, we are going to get these guys ready. We’re not going to make any excuses about how much time we missed in the off-season.” 

This should come as no surprise as Hilliard has been exposed to some great football minds. He was first hired as a wide receivers coach by Mike Shanahan for the Washington Football Team in 2012. During his time in Washington, he got to coach alongside now head coaches Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay, both of which were offensive coordinators during their time. 

So when asking Hilliard who will be the leader in the wide receiver room, he said, “It starts with me.” You can’t help but love that answer. In a room where the oldest receiver projected to be on the roster is 24 or 25 years old, this is the type of coach the Steelers need. “It is my job to help these young men prepare the way that they’re supposed to prepare. I have to teach them to be pros. I’m going to lead by example, lead them through the way I teach.” When finally addressing the question of who is the leader from the group, he assured that it will take care of itself. 

This is what should be focused on with Hilliard coming into the fold. I know fans want the insight into the players and how they are performing, but given the situation the Steelers were put into with coach Daryl Drake passing way close to the season, Hilliard should provide a voice and a direction to the young group. 


Quick Notes from the Call:

-Hilliard described James Washington as a “freakish athlete”. 

-In regards to rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool, “You can’t teach 6’4″, 238lbs, 4.41” and “as long as Claypool makes plays like we expect, he will play.” 

-For Diontae Johnson to take the next step, he needs to continue to work on the details and mature in the game.

Juju Smith-Schuster “looks great” and they are looking forward to having him for a full 16-game season. 


Below is the full video, which I strongly encourage all of #SteelerNation to watch. What are your thoughts on Coach Hilliard?

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