David Johnson can contribute as a tight end or a fullback, and Johnson has been mostly utilized by the Pittsburgh Steelers as a fullback recently. Johnson confirmed to the team’s official site that the Steelers will now move him back to tight end to presumably back up solid starter Heath Miller. The Steelers could add another TE in the mix by using a draft pick on one, and both Miller and Johnson are coming off of seasons in which they tore their ACLs (Miller also tore his MCL). Miller’s severe knee injury is more recent, as it came at the end of the regular season (Johnson tore his ACL in the preseason).
Although Johnson doesn’t have the body type of a true tight end, I doubt the Steelers will be using him in that manner. They are going to use him in a variety of ways, with most of Johnson’s duties being staying in to block. That’s where he is going to be needed, and that’s definitely where he makes his game. The Steelers will still throw it to him a little bit at TE, and he did make 12 catches back in 2011. With Miller recovering from the ACL and MCL tears, it made sense for the Steelers to move Johnson to TE, and he should see a nice spike in pass targets in 2013 as a result.
The piece on David Johnson on the Steelers official site is an incredible one that depicts the journey Johnson has taken in his recovery from the ACL tear. As the title states (even if it was in reference to his climb of the renowned “Cardiac Hill”), Johnson’s hard work is paying off. Here’s one select quote from Johnson in the piece talking about his feelings during the rehab process, “I thought why me for a little bit, I was a little angry, but after a while I was over it and focused on getting better. I know injuries like this happen to people and I feel like I am going to have a long career playing football so I went ahead and got past it.”
The Steelers brought Johnson back on a one-year deal last month, and he will strive to make the deal pay off in 2013 whilst being back at the tight end position- I’m sure everybody is rooting for him to have a good year.
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