Larry Johnson Would Be An Unneeded Distraction
Years ago, Steelers fans were screaming at their televisions on draft day for the Black & Gold to draft running back Larry Johnson with their first round pick in 2003. The Steelers traded up with the Kansas City Chiefs and drafted safety Troy Polamalu while the Chiefs ended up drafting Johnson at #27. Johnson had to sit behind Priest Holmes for years before getting the starting job and has always been a distraction to the Chiefs throughout the years.
Johnson was released by the Chiefs on Monday and several analyist are claiming Johnson may indeed land with the Steelers. While Johnson is attractive from a big back standpoint, he is less attractive from a distraction standpoint. Not only that, the Steelers have no room on the roster for him. Even with Carey Davis injuring a hamstring Monday night, he is more of a fullback and special teams contributor. Neither role that Johnson is accustomed to. Sure you could release Davis, Arnold Harrison or Stefan Logan, but you still have too many bodies per game day hats. There is no way Rashard Mendenhall, Willie Parker or Mewelde Moore are made inactive on game day. It just will not happen.
If there were to be an injury to Mendenhall, then and only then would Johnson become an option, but the Steelers also have a couple of running backs on the practice squad they could activate as well in the form of Isaac Redman and Justin Vincent. Nothing would make the Penn State alum more happy than to come back home and play for the Steelers, but right now, there is no need nor room at the inn.