The Pittsburgh Steelers are bringing back a familiar face: David Johnson. The team announced the signing of the former Pittsburgh tight end on Tuesday afternoon.
Johnson was selected by the Steelers in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He stayed with Pittsburgh until the end of the 2013-14 season, when he was then picked up by the San Diego Chargers. (He stayed with the Chargers for two seasons.)
In his career, Johnson has 24 receptions for 224 yards. He has one touchdown, which came back in 2011 against the Tennessee Titans.
Johnson might not have the stellar and flashy career numbers, especially in the touchdown category. However, when it comes to blocking, he doesn’t need those big numbers. He just needs to protect his running backs and help them get down the field.
Johnson is a big tight end (6-foot-2-inch, 260 pounds) who will be mainly used in the run game to help protect and lead the way for running backs Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams. Johnson could be a good replacement for Heath Miller, who was known for his blocking abilities.
The Steelers will more than likely stick with the three tight end scheme they’ve had on their final rosters for years. Right now, they have six tight ends: Ladarius Green, Jesse James, Matt Spaeth, Xavier Grimble, Jay Rome and Johnson. Green, James and Johnson look like they will be the final three on the roster, but the Steelers could instead go with the veteran Spaeth over Johnson or could even make room for a fourth tight end.
At 28 years old, Johnson is also a bit of a veteran. He knows the Steelers organization and the offense well. And having both Green and Johnson is a positive, as they were teammates on the Chargers for two seasons.
To make room for Johnson on the Steelers’ current 90-man roster, the team announced the release of tight end David Reeves.
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