On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed free agent tight end Richard Gordon to the roster to replace tight end David Johnson, who was placed on injured reserve with a wrist injury that he suffered Sunday in the win over the New York Jets. Head coach Mike Tomlin talked briefly about the former sixth-round draft pick of the Oakland Raiders during his weekly press conference.
"We just decided to strengthen ourselves in the very best way possible," said Tomlin when asked about the decision to add Gordon. "Richard Gordon was a tight end that had similar attributes as David [Johnson] in that he's a strong run performer and he's healthy and ready to go and performed for us in a workout yesterday."
Gordon, who made the conversion from a defensive lineman to tight end while at the University of Miami, saw action at tight end and fullback positions in 14 games played as a rookie with the Raiders in 2011. In 2012, he played in 13 games with one start and has logged a total of 138 offensive snaps during his short career.
The Steelers certainly see Gordon as a run blocker as he only has three career catches for 11 yards. In addition, Gordon will likely be asked to contribute on special teams as he has 15 registered career tackles.
With veteran Matt Spaeth likely still a few weeks away from being able to return, Gordon, once he gets up to speed, could see a few snaps on offense over the course of the next few weeks as second-year tight end David Paulson has been a huge liability in the blocking department as has Michael Palmer.
"Obviously, we have to get to know him and evaluate his ability to learn," said Tomlin on Gordon.