Steven Sims, Miles Boykin Competing for Steelers WR6 Spot
PITTSBURGH — It certainly feels like the Steelers have five wide receivers locked in already. Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, George Pickens, Calvin Austin III, and Gunner Olszewski should feel more than comfortable in their roster spots as it stands. However, the battle for the sixth wide receiver spot between Miles Boykin and Steven Sims is one that continues to rage on.
It is a good-spirited, fun competition for the final roster spot. Both Boykin and SIms have vastly different skill sets, but they are still competing for one spot. Still, it is iron sharpens iron storyline for both of the players. Boykin’s been more impressive for the Steelers on special teams coverage, while Sims has made his name as a returner. As receivers, both have made plenty of plays throughout training camp and in the games. That has made it all the more encouraging for both of them.
“This helps us,” Sims said. “Miles brings a different type of player to the receiver room, Cody brings a different type to the receiver room, Chase, GP (George Pickens), I could go on. We all have different styles of play. We are just trying to learn from each other and be better. We’re pushing each other. Because we know, we’re all capable.”
Boykin views it in a similar light to that of Sims. They may be fighting for one spot, but they are helping each other in every way they possibly can. It is that friendly competition factor that has allowed both players to stand out in a big way during their time with the Steelers.
“It’s just iron sharpens iron,” Boykin said. “I think we’re all getting better. We’re all making plays out there, and at the end of the day, it’s all competition. That’s all the NFL is, especially when you dim it down to our room, that’s what it’s all about.”
In the latest Steelers Now 53-man roster projection, it was Boykin who made the team over Sims due to his skillset. Interestingly enough, with that spot not locked, Boykin and Sims each have made standout plays in their respective games, but neither of them is satisfied with what they have shown thus far. Boykin forced a fumble in the first preseason game, nearly recovered a fumble in the second game, and should have had a touchdown in the first game as well. He looks at those things as growing opportunities.
“Yeah, I forced the fumble, but I want to get the ball back,” Boykin said. “A forced fumble is no good unless you get the ball. In teams for me, that’s where I have to get better. This past game, I had a chance to recover a fumble but didn’t come up with it. But for me, making those plays consistently, that’s a big thing for me. Especially on special teams, when I’m honing in on it, I have to get a turnover for the team.”
For Sims, it was not cashing in his return as a touchdown. Not only that, but his big jet sweep during the game did not go for a touchdown, either. Sims brushed it off as insignificant. He wants to get after it more in practice and turn those big plays into touchdowns right then and there. While some players have joked with him that he is too slow, Sims is not taking those as lightly. He is vowing to finish those plays in the end zone.
“Man, I feel like it doesn’t even count,” Sims said. “You know, it’s not the real season. It didn’t mean anything. That was just another day, another opportunity for us to go out and get better. Pretty much, it was just like a practice. That’s what I expect from myself. I hate that I got caught. People were calling me slow. But I’m going to score the next one.”
Who will come out on top of the job? Some of it depends on versatility and skill set. Boykin diversifies the skill sets a little bit more than SIms does. However, both men have played at an extremely high level thus far in the preseason, and they should expect the play to continue as the competition winds down.