I normally don't spend a lot of time trying to learn about the draft picks that come in the later rounds of the draft, but seeing how Kuhn has ben performing lately I figured it's time to start now. Some interesting tidbits about him though... who knows maybe he could fill in the Buses shoes ?????
Originally Posted by Mike Bires - Times Sports StaffPITTSBURGH - One day when he's forced to begin his real life's work, John Kuhn will no doubt put his chemistry degree from Shippensburg University to good use.
As a college junior and senior, he worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. He's also worked briefly for Johnson & Johnson. He's a smart guy with a bright future.
But Kuhn, who celebrates his 24th birthday on Sept. 9, isn't in any rush to start earning a steady paycheck in the chemistry field. He wants to first play in the National Football League.
He's hoping to latch on with the Pittsburgh Steelers - or anybody else for that matter - as a fullback/halfback.
"I believe I can play at this level," said Kuhn, who made a rare start at fullback Thursday night when the Steelers played the Carolina Panthers in the fourth and final game of the preseason.
Today or tomorrow, Kuhn will learn his fate with the Steelers.
By 6 p.m. Saturday, the Steelers must cut 22 players to meet the mandatory roster limit of 53. Kuhn, a long shot when camp started five weeks ago, anxiously awaits his destiny.
Last summer after he graduated from Shippensburg, Kuhn signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent. He was cut Sept. 2 but signed to the practice squad Nov. 30.
This summer, he held his own at training camp. On occasion, he even drew high praise from coach Bill Cowher. So there's a chance he may be retained if the Steelers decide to keep five running backs. There's also a chance he could be assigned to the practice squad again.
"I've been getting better every week," Kuhn said. "I'm just trying to make the most out of every opportunity."
Going into last night's game, Kuhn led all Steeler running backs in the preseason with 69 rushing yards and a solid 4.3 per carry average. He got most of those yards as a halfback. But against the Panthers, he played only at fullback while Dan Kreider joined a host of other starters who didn't play.
Much like Kreider in games that count, Kuhn didn't touch the ball once as a fullback. He blocked and blocked and blocked some more. It's hard to assess how he fared in his role as a blocker. But on one Duce Staley carry in the first quarter, Kuhn got crunched by a defensive tackle at the point of attack.
"The Steelers give everybody a fair chance," said Kuhn, who played five series in the first half. "If you're good enough to play, it will show in time."
Kuhn is right about the Steelers giving small-college players a chance. Cornerback Ricardo Coclough played at Tusculum. Wide receiver Nate Washington played at Tiffin. Linebacker Clint Kriewaldt played at Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Kreider played at New Hampshire.
Might Kuhn be the next small-college product to earn a roster spot?
Might he join Willie Parker, Verron Haynes, Staley and Kreider as backfield mates as the Steelers try to repeat as Super Bowl champs?
Or might he be reporting to work soon with his chemistry degree in hand?
The Steelers will make their decision as early as today.