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The Steelers’ signing of John Gilmore and interest in Reggie Kelly during training camp gave the appearance that they were searching for a No. 2 tight end behind Heath Miller.
Apparently that is not the case.
Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said Wednesday that David Johnson has already locked up the spot even though he appears suited more for an H-back role than tight end.
“He’s a quality blocker on the line of scrimmage and in the backfield,” Arians said of the third-year player. “He’s proven as a receiver. I have all of the confidence in him blocking whoever he’s got to block.”
Arians said Miller and the 6-2, 260-pound Johnson are interchangeable, with one playing tight end in some packages and H-back in others. The loss of Matt Spaeth -– he signed with the Bears as an unrestricted free agent –- did leave an opening that the Steelers have yet to fill.
Gilmore, a 10th-year NFL veteran, rookie Weslye Saunders and Jamie McCoy, who is listed as a tight end and fullback on the Steelers’ roster, are vying for the job of No. 3 tight end.
Gilmore probably has an edge because of his experience, especially when it comes to Saunders.
The 6-5, 270-pound Saunders signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent and didn’t play his senior season at South Carolina after lying about improper dealings with agents.
“He’s gotten better each day,” Arians said of Saunders. “He really suffered because of the missed practice time because it was a change of offense for him, basically being a wide receiver (at South Carolina). But I’ve been real pleased with his effort blocking and he’s got a nice future.”

— Scott Brown



  1. Paul Raspa says:

    The Beauty of this Story is that we have a TE/H-Back in Johnson and he can catch the Ball too!! Arians, you need to split HEATH out a little and let him become a THREATENING WEAPON in our passing game.
    Hell, if the line supports and limits to 40 sacks and Rashaard runs like he can , I see the BEN WITH 30+TD’s—Heath w/ 50+ catches and 8+ TD’S ….. But only if you use him to full capacity!!

  2. David says:

    I’m ready for some football. Nuff talk n’

  3. eyeheartbrucearians says:

    Paul Raspa, how dare you question BA?!

    I adore Bruce Arians. Gosh, he’s swell. Does anyone know if he’s adopting?

    Trib readers will notice that the Trib will not post any criticisms of the Steelers. Who’s the editor in chief–Bashar Assad?

  4. Scott P says:

    Arians is an idiot!!

    I think the Trib will post this criticism. I think they hate him too.

  5. David says:

    hey, when are the Steelers gonna get nuff respect from the media gods to throw the ” DREAM TEAM” cache on us…. man, i wanna be called the dream team, we deserve that title yr. n, and yr. out….. whoooo, ( ric flair )

  6. Paul Raspa says:

    Hey EyeHeart —

    Bruce needs to let these Guys Exploit their Talents!!! Let Ben Open it up!!! But, if Ben ain’t Upright, fighting off Broken Noses and Feet, then we may have other problems!! Kugler needs to teach his O-LINE to STAY LOW — Pouncey stays low but a 6’6 GUARD IN HILLS Might be a problem at Guard.
    Remember B.J. Raji and how he was supposed to DOMINATE LEGURSKY in the SUPER BOWL– Well the GUY didn’t have an assist or a tackle!! You know why— BECAUSE LEGURSKY WAS LOWER THAN HIM AT THE POINT OF ATTACK!! The Line should be Gilbert, Komeatu(another guy who is not low enough –SEE SUPER BOWL INT FOR TD) Pouncey,Legursky,Colon…… I am not a Big fan of Scott (either one) Essex is not a Bruiser…. Ramon Foster should start in place of Komeatu but won’t because Komeatu pulls very well ….!!!!!
    KUGLER NEEDS TO HOLD HIS O-LINE ACCOUNTABLE — he does a decent job but we should be Better!!!!!! Also, when running the ball –our average should be 4.3 -4.5 yds per carry —- You give me the line back in the Mid 90’s Jackson,Stai,Dawson Newberry & Searcy –those Guys Played Low , Blocked to the Whistle and Kicked BUTT!!!

  7. eyeheartbrucearians says:

    Aha, some meaningful exchange…


    Any thoughts on BA’s wide receiver screen, thrown behind the line of scrimmage, about three times per game? I say a pick six waiting to happen. What say you?

  8. Matt In Pensacola Fla. says:

    To I heart BA……You hit out of the park there. Each time I see that play all I think is “pick 6″ and it seens never to get but a few yards IF it works. I know, I know the play is designed to get the DB’s to crowd the line and set up a deep pass, but the chance of the pick is WAAAAY to high for what it is supposed to accomplish. Too much downside for me.

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