Carter’s Classroom: Boom or bust for big-play Hunter


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Justin Hunter. - AP

The Steelers' move to sign free-agent wide receiver Justin Hunter at wide receiver is intriguing for the contrast it adds to an already intriguing unit.

Between Antonio Brown, Eli Rogers, Cobi Hamilton, Demarcus Ayers and Darrius Heyward-Bey, there's already a core of quicker receivers who can work underneath routes for Ben Roethlisberger to find. While Heyward-Bey does have the speed to get deep, he doesn't have the size of a prototypical deep threat.

The two receivers who do have such size in the unit are Martavis Bryant and Sammie Coates, but Bryant was suspended for the full season, while Coates broke multiple fingers and became ineffective.

That's what makes the Hunter acquisition sensible: Roethlisberger is at his best when he throws deep. And when Heyward-Bey, Coates and Bryant were all out, Roethlisberger was handcuffed.

Hunter's built for the big play. His 6-4, 201-pound frame is one inch short of Bryant's, and his slim NFL highlight reel is stuffed with deep and/or red-zone targets.

Someone turn out the lights, and let's get to it:

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