So it appears that new Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley is putting at least some type of emphasis on the fullback position after all. Many fans were wondering if the team would draft a FB late in the draft last month, or perhaps pick up an undrafted free agent to fill that role. Things became a bit more clear, or perhaps even more clouded depending on how you look at it, according to Ed Bouchette via his blog: Excerpt below (the full story can be read for subscribers). Either way there definitely appears to be a change of emphasis on the style of running that the Steelers will do.
Steelers just finished their second spring practice and halfback Isaac Redman dropped some news – tight end David Johnson has been moved to fullback on a fulltime basis. He no longer attends meetings with the tight ends and will be part of the running backs meetings.
Redman also said there will be more emphasis put on the running game this season.
Johnson’s move raises a question whether the Steelers will keep two tight ends and one fullback, three tight ends, one fullback and fewer running backs on the roster and, of course, who those will be.
Johnson’s roster spot was in trouble this season even with him having experience as a FB, at least I think so. With Heath Miller coming back and free agent from Kansas City, Leonard Pope also on the roster, there’s a log jam for the normal 3rd tight end spot.
Now that he (Johnson) is the fulltime blocker he’ll likely make the team but then that could mean that Weslye Saunders, Jamie McCoy, and David Paulson are only practice squad candidates. It could go down that way but the more likely scenario in my mind atleast, is having 3 TE’s still because if one goes down and DJ goes back to TE, you’ve lost your FB.
We’ll dive into this more this evening and the possibilities of other roster spots that could be trimmed down to carry a 3rd TE.