The return of Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller to the lineup Sunday night resulted in a huge reduction in playing time for second-year tight end David Paulson and it’s likely to get even lower now moving forward.
Paulson struggled quite a bit in the blocking department in the first two games of the season and now he will be relegated to mostly special teams work moving forward.
The return of Miller also resulted in more playing time for tight end/fullback David Johnson, who now appears to be fully recovered from the knee injury that he suffered last year during the preseason. Johnson even figured into the passing game Sunday night in the loss to the Chicago Bears as he caught two passes for 51 yards.
“I like some of the things he’s doing both in the running game and in the passing game,” Tomlin said Tuesday of Johnson during his press conference. “Much like Heath Miller, he’s working his way back from an ACL and I see a dramatic improvement in him physically week-to-week, and look forward to continued improvement in what he’s doing both physically and mentally.”
With Miller now back, we are starting to see more two tight end personnel groupings on the field and would have likely seen even more Sunday night had the Bears not jumped out to such a big lead.
The Steelers still won’t get injured tight end Matt Spaeth back for several more weeks, but Johnson should be an adequate compliment to Miller, especially when it comes to the running game, until he returns.