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Old 06-06-2012, 09:43 PM   #1
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Default Todd Haley says Steelers learning O

Todd Haley says Steelers learning O
Updated: June 6, 2012, 5:34 PM ET
Associated Press
http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/80...icking-offense

PITTSBURGH -- Throughout the offseason, on and off the field, new Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley has appeared relaxed, at ease and smiling. The same was the case on Wednesday, when he spoke with the media during training activities.

Far from the fiery, not-afraid-to-get-in-a-player's-face persona he has cultivated over 15 years as an assistant or head coach in the NFL, this is a new Haley with a new mission on a new team. But don't worry, he said. The Steelers will see that side of him soon enough.

"I don't flip that switch until a little later," Haley said, drawing laughs. "In training camp, we'll pick it up a notch."

Demeanor aside, Haley was more direct in addressing concerns about the Steelers learning his offense before the start of the season.

"You use all this time," Haley said. "It will be training camp and then it will be the real preseason games before anybody is totally comfortable."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has repeatedly expressed consternation about the transition to a new system after playing in virtually the same offense under coordinators Ken Whisenhunt and Bruce Arians the first eight years of his career.

Roethlisberger was absent from the optional practice Wednesday, after which Haley spoke publicly for the first time since the draft in April. Haley was asked if he was worried that his two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback has so often expressed concern in assimilating into the new offense.

"I haven't sensed any of that concern, at least me personally," Haley said. "He's in here, he's working hard. He's into it -- even the days when he hasn't practiced, he's over my shoulder, talking, commenting, discussing. That's what I've seen out of all the good quarterbacks -- really good quarterbacks -- that I've been around act like."

While Haley asserted that "this goes on each and every year" around the league, the Steelers are usually a model of consistency. The franchise that has had only three head coaches since 1969 had been running the same offense and defense since Roethlisberger entered the league in 2004.

Arians was the wide receivers coach under Whisenhunt until the latter was hired by the Arizona Cardinals as a head coach. Haley was Whisenhunt's offensive coordinator for two seasons -- including the Cardinals' 2009 NFC title season -- before moving on to Kansas City.

"Change is not always comfortable, and we said that right out of the gate," said Haley, who was fired by the Chiefs in December. "Sometimes when there are changes, that's a way to keep guys on their toes and keep their focus on the understanding of what the goal is -- and that is to win Super Bowls."

While sheepishly conceding he was using "coachspeak," Haley described his offense by saying he wants "a physical group, a smart group, a disciplined group."

Haley has shown an ability to adapt to his personnel. The vertical-passing offense during his time with the Cardinals differed greatly from the run-oriented attack used by the Chiefs during their 2010 AFC West title season. Haley said he's learning about his new players as much as they are learning about him. More than any dramatic changes in structure, semantics are the hurdles that need to be cleared.

"Football is football," Haley said. "Terminology is the issue, really. Philosophically, you spell out to your guys how you want to play football and then it is about them understanding the language.

"We, coaches, are creatures of habit. You can go around the league and hear a lot of the same words. But the problem is when they don't mean the same thing. You try to avoid those situations, where guys are having to translate language-to-language and concept-to-concept."

Haley said the Steelers' offense is where he wants it to be at this stage, with OTAs concluding after a session Thursday. Mandatory minicamp is next week.

"Next week will be a real big week for us because what we are going to do is backtrack and redo exactly what we did again," Haley said. "It will be the third time they are hearing. In Phase I, in the little bit of field work we were able to do, we installed it once then. So this is second time through. And next week will be our third, and training camp will be fourth."

With Roethlisberger turning 30 this offseason, the Steelers are taking steps to keep their $102 million quarterback healthy for the long-term. Pittsburgh drafted offensive linemen in the first two rounds, and team president Art Rooney II suggested Roethlisberger would need to "tweak" his game.

Roethlisberger has thrived due to his propensity to scramble, fend off sacks with his strength and keep plays alive, and the franchise quarterback has been reluctant to alter a style that has made him a star.

While Haley said preventing the quarterback from taking hits is "always an emphasis," he didn't sound as if he was making any directives aimed at forcing Roethlisberger to stay more in the pocket or get rid of the ball earlier.

"It's one of the best things he does, and it's what separates him from all the other guys in the league for the most part," Haley said. "So you don't want to take that great ability away from him."

Haley has yet to work with speedy starting receiver Mike Wallace, a restricted free agent who has not signed his tender nor attended team offseason workouts.

"He'll be behind a little bit, but he has to pick it up," Haley said. "We'll make sure that occurs."


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Todd Haley says Steelers learning O

Haley: Steelers players, offense melding

June 7, 2012
By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Steelers coordinators Dick LeBeau (defense) and Todd Haley (offense) talk during organized team activities Wednesday at the South Side practice facility.

The Book of Todd, a collection of plays introduced to the Steelers this spring, already has reached hieroglyphical status thanks to a few students who have commented on its difficulty.

While some may hold that Ben Roethlisberger has been front and center with his concern about the new offense, its creator has not experienced that.

"I haven't sensed any of that concern, at least me personally," said Todd Haley, hired by Mike Tomlin in February to coach his offense and permitted to speak publicly Wednesday for the first time since then. "He's been in here, he's been working hard, he's into it. Even on the days he hasn't practiced, I mean he's over my shoulder talking, commenting, discussing.

"That's what I've seen all the really good quarterbacks I've been around act like. I'm just excited about his and our opportunity. He's a guy who has been a very good player and we're going to try to keep that going and even get better."

Several times this spring, Roethlisberger -- he was absent Wednesday to attend to a personal matter -- has talked about how difficult the offense is to grasp, but Haley said his quarterback has been picking it up.

"He's like everybody else. He's learning, he's concentrating and working hard on it, and he's making progress. He obviously is a great player and can continue to be a great player. I'm excited about the opportunity here to be working with Ben, really with all these guys. It's a great group of quarterbacks."

Keeping Roethlisberger healthy -- something Steelers president Art Rooney said in January should be more of a goal -- will require some help from the quarterback, Haley said.

"That will always be the emphasis. Any quarterback you have [you want] to keep hits off them. That's just smart football. And you do it in a number of ways, and a lot of it falls on his shoulders also.

"One of his greatest weapons is his ability to make plays when things break down and that will put him in duress at times. But, at the same time, it's one of the best things he does and it's what separates him from all the other guys in the league, for the most part. You don't want to take that great ability away from him. It's understanding what's going on, understanding when we want the ball to be coming out quick, understanding when we want to run it. That's all going on right now."

Haley introduced the Steelers to an entirely new offense with new terminology for the first time since Mike Mularkey was promoted to coordinator in 2001. He declined to go into much detail but promised it would be heavy on using the assets available to him.
"We want to be, No. 1, a physical group whether we're throwing it or running it. We want to be a smart group and -- it's coach speak -- but we want to be a disciplined group. If we're that with the guys we have out here working, at least in my estimation, we ought to have a chance to be pretty good."

Haley also emphasized, "This is not my offense, it's our offense, and we've worked hard to get where we are."

Toward that end, the Steelers will go over the same material for the third time next week when they hold minicamp Tuesday through Thursday to wrap up spring practices and a 6 1/2-week break before training camp opens July 25.

"Like I said, we have a long way to go, but through this stage I feel good about where we are and I think our guys feel good where we are, coaches and players. Next week will be a real big week for us because we're going to backtrack and do exactly what we did again. It'll be really their third time hearing it. Training camp will be our fourth. ...

"You use all this time. It'll be training camp and then the real preseason games before anyone is totally comfortable. That's each and every year because every year you're making enough changes that guys have to learn and you have personnel changes that affect how you play. We'll use all this time. I'm excited about it and I feel the guys are excited about it."

Nevertheless, he can understand if there is apprehension as well.

"Change is not always comfortable. Sometimes when there are changes -- players, coaches, a lot of changes go on every year -- that has a way of keeping guys on their toes, keeping their focus and understanding of what the goal is and that's to win Super Bowls and win one this year. That's our goal and that won't change. We have to do that with the guys we have here."

Fullback future

Haley will have a fullback in his offense, and while David Johnson has been put there full time this spring, he might not be done playing some tight end.

"David is doing a very good job," Haley said. "Really, the thought process there with David, he knows tight end, he's comfortable with TE. Fullback is obviously something we haven't had that body type here and he had done most of it. That's also a position that if you're playing you have to be back there on a full-time basis, at least in the learning stages. We know David can move both directions and that will give him great value especially on the game-day roster.

"He's jumped head-first into the fullback stuff knowing he's in the learning stage and trying to get as much as he can. It doesn't mean he won't be lining up at tight end either."

The right backs

Even with Rashard Mendenhall out for an undetermined amount of time as he rehabs from ACL surgery in January, Haley believes he has the running backs to do what he wants to do on offense.

"We have a good, diverse group. You kind of have all the parts you like as a coordinator. You have big backs who can run it hard up the middle. You have some quicker, faster backs who can play outside for you. I'm excited about the group in general."

Quick hits

As for how the absence of Mike Wallace will affect the wide receiver's learning of the offense, Haley said, "He'll be behind a little bit, but he has to pick it up, so he will. We'll make sure that occurs." ... And as to whether he has displayed any of his infamous fiery reputation with the Steelers this spring, "No-no, I don't flip that switch until a little later. This is offseason for them to learn, get in shape, condition. Training camp, we'll pick it up a notch."

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz1x7nXjkyv
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: Todd Haley says Steelers learning O

i have a good feeling about this year's offense
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Todd Haley says Steelers learning O

What is this Fullback position that Haley speaks of?? Why does Haley say that Johnson has to be there on a Full Time basis to learn it........I thought if you put a guy back there, even if he wears #85, that he is a FB?? That is what I was taught over at Arians Universe forum.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Todd Haley says Steelers learning O

and what Kuhn is doing in GB as a FB is kinda interesting - although I don't want 85 having the ball at crucial times - nor do I want him blocking - wait - why exactly is this guy here again?
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelfury02 View Post
and what Kuhn is doing in GB as a FB is kinda interesting - although I don't want 85 having the ball at crucial times - nor do I want him blocking - wait - why exactly is this guy here again?
Thank You! Why does it sound like it's a no-brainer that Johnson makes the roster?
The versatility he provides at TE and FB, thereby saving a roster spot, is that it?
He's sucked as a blocker, way too inconsistent with the good blocks, he whiffs more than he hits.
His hands, forget it. I don't see it in this guy at all and If Haley makes Johnson productive and consistent at either position I'll be the first to call him a miracle worker.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelfury02 View Post
and what Kuhn is doing in GB as a FB is kinda interesting - although I don't want 85 having the ball at crucial times - nor do I want him blocking - wait - why exactly is this guy here again?
Yeah, and who beat out Kuhn for that roster spot back in the day?? I cant remember if it was Carey Davis or somebody else.

Who is the better football player....Kuhn, Johnson or Davis?? No need for good football players on the roster when you have an offensive system to implement.
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Todd Haley says Steelers learning O

the fact that johnson still is green at the FB position despite being there for 2 years in BA's system is also more evidence that BA was clueless as hell

DJ has the potential to be a good FB, and haley sees that. to help him, he's actually giving him a chance to learn how to play it. who woulda thought? NOT ARIANS
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: Todd Haley says Steelers learning O

Like it or not, Steelers quarterback Roethlisberger slowly adapting to Haley's offense

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: June 07, 2012



PITTSBURGH — In what can be interpreted as another visible manifestation of his aversion to change, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wore a No. 78 jersey for the team's final offseason training activity on Thursday.

Roethlisberger said he eschewed his regular No. 7 "in honor of" former Steelers left tackle Max Starks, who tore a knee ligament during the January playoff loss in Denver and remains unsigned. It's the second consecutive season Roethlisberger made such a public suggestion to the organization to bring back his teammate and friend.

Such a move is not unlike the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback's subtle references in recent weeks on adapting to a new offense. Roethlisberger has repeatedly made it clear he was apprehensive about the transition from former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians — a close friend — to that of Todd Haley, former coach of the Chiefs.

As he walked off Heinz Field wearing the old and tattered jersey Thursday, Roethlisberger said he and the rest of the offense have "made progress" digesting the new terminology.

"Every day is a little bit better," Roethlisberger said. "I'm not saying I can go out and call a game myself right now, but I understand when he calls a play, I know what's going on for the most part. So we're getting it down to figuring it out."

Pittsburgh conducted its final non-mandatory offseason workout at its home stadium on Thursday. It was the final of 10 organized team activity sessions over the past three weeks, the others taking place at team headquarters across town.

Mandatory mini-camp — complete with full pads — will run over three days next week.

Roethlisberger said it will be a crucial week in terms of the offensive players assimilating into the new system.

"We've made some strides," Roethlisberger said. "They may not be giant strides, but they're strides forward. I don't think we've taken any backward. That's the key — and it's just OTAs right now. It will come next week for mini-camp."

Just like Haley said the day before, Roethlisberger pointed out that picking up the new verbiage is the most difficult part of adapting to a new offense for the players.

"Same words mean something different," Roethlisberger said. "It is football, and football is football. We understand some concepts, but we're putting the old stuff behind us and moving forward."

Same thing with moving on with some different personnel — Roethlisberger's tribute to Starks aside. The Steelers' top two draft picks, David DeCastro and Mike Adams, have not been at the training activities because of conflicts with their academic schedules at Stanford and Ohio State, respectively.

They will arrive for mini-camp next week, and each will be plugged, initially, onto the first team. Adams will line up at Starks' former position, left tackle. DeCastro will be at right guard.

"I've heard so many great things about both of them," Roethlisberger said, "so we'll see what it's like having them in person."

Roethlisberger was sacked more than any quarterback in the AFC last season (40) and no quarterback in the league has endured more than the 261 sacks he has since 2006. He'll have a revamped line protecting him this season. So, that could help. And Roethlisberger also lauded the work this summer of veteran Willie Colon, who moves from tackle to left guard.

In one way, Roethlisberger's career has come full circle. When he was a rookie in 2004, veteran offensive lineman Alan Faneca famously said wasn't enthused about having a 22-year-old take snaps.

"No, it's not exciting," Faneca said the week before Roethlisberger's first career start. "Do you want to go work with some little young kid who is just out of college?"

The Steelers won each of Roethlisberger's 13 regular-season starts that year en route to a 15-1 record.

Months removed from his 30th birthday, Roethlisberger was more diplomatic about the prospect of having a pair of 22-year-olds being the only thing between him and 270-pound pass rushers.

"As long as they do their job, I don't care," Roethlisberger said. "I don't care who it is — as long as they put 100 percent into it like the rest of the guys and how I'm going to do and do their job, I'm fine with them."

NOTES: Linebackers coach Keith Butler said that reserve LB Jason Worilds had offseason wrist surgery and that Pro Bowl LB James Harrison has not been practicing with the team because of knee inflammation.

http://www.therepublic.com/view/stor...Roethlisberger
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: Todd Haley says Steelers learning O




Q&A with Todd Haley

June 6th, 2012

Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley talked to the media for the first time since offseason practices began last month. Haley, who replaced Bruce Arians, covers a broad spectrucm of topic in this 10-minute interview.

Q: HOW IS TEACHING THE NEW OFFENSE COMING?
A: “It’s going very well. That is what this time of the year is for. I have to take my hat off to all the offensive coaches because we have been to work here since February pretty hard and haven’t really looked up much. We have done a lot of work in the building that now we can take outside the building. We feel that it is a good offense and our offense but we have a long way to go.”

Q: WHY IS IT DIFFICULT FOR PLAYERS TO LEARN A NEW OFFENSE?
A: “Football is football. Terminology is the issue, really. Philosophically, you spell out to your guys how you want to play football and then it is about them understanding the language. We coaches are creatures of habit. You can go around the league and hear a lot of the same words but the problem is when they don’t mean the same thing. You try to avoid those situations where guys are having to translate language-to-language and concept-to-concept. That is what we were doing in the offseason – making sure we were doing the right thing to give our guys the best chance to succeed.”

Q: YOU ARE WHERE YOU WANT TO BE RIGHT NOW
A: “I feel that we are. We have a long way to go but through this stage I feel good about where we are. I think our guys feel good about where we are – coaches and players. Next week will be a real big week for us because what we are going to do is backtrack and re-do exactly what we did again. It will be the third time they are hearing. In Phase I in the little bit of field work we were able to do, we installed it once then so this is second time through and next week will be our third and training camp will be fourth.

Q: HOW IS BEN DOING WITH THE OFFENSE?
A: “Just like everybody else. He is learning and is concentrating and working hard on it and is making progress. He is obviously a great player and will continue to be a great player. I am excited about the opportunity of working here with Ben and really all these guys. It is really a good group of quarterbacks.”

Q: CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR OFFENSE
A: “You want me to tell everybody that right now? We want to be a physical group whether we are throwing it or running it. We want to be a smart group and it is coach speak, but we want to be a discipline group. If we are that with the guys we have out here working, in my estimation, we have a chance to be pretty good.”

Q: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE RUNNING BACKS?
A: “I am excited about our running back group. Rashard is working hard on the side to get back and we haven’t been able to see him but I’ve seen enough of him of what he is and will be capable of. The guys here are working hard and they are a good versatile group which I like. We have some big guys and some guys who can player on the perimeter so it is a nice combination.”

Q: HAS IT BEEN MORE DIFFICULT FOR THE OLDER GUYS TO LEARN?
A: “This goes on each and every year. Like I said, as the season evolves and things change and you come up with words and at the end of the year you have to clean it up and kind of get back to basics and that’s what we’ve done. We have tried to do it as a group to make it the most sense possible for everybody involved and not just me. This is not my offense. This is our offense and we worked hard to get to the point of where we are.”

Q: WILL OFFENSE BE THAT MUCH DIFFERENT
A: “I really can’t answer that. Football is football and we are going to play at our strengths and what we do well we are going to try to do even better and push the envelope that way and see how good we can be.”

Q: ANY APPREHENSION FROM PLAYERS IN THE CHANGE
A: “It is not for me to answer, really. Change is not always comfortable and we said that right out of the gate. Some times when there are changes and there were changes and that’s a way to keep guys on their toes and keep their focus on the understanding of what the goal is and that is to win Super Bowls. Win one this year is our goal. That won’t change. We are going to have to do it predominantly with the guys we have here. They are into it, competitive and competing against the defense, which is fun to watch on some days yet we are still keeping it in a learning phase of getting the guys to understand it conceptually and philosophically on how we are going to play.”

Q: AT YOUR OTHER STOPS, HOW LONG DID IT TAKE THE QB TO GRASP THE SYSTEM
A: “You use all this time. It will be training camp and then it will be the real preseason games before anybody is totally comfortable. That is each and every year you are making enough changes that guys have to learn and you have personnel changes that affect how you play. That’s how it is going. We will use all this time. I am exited about it and I feel like the guys are ready excited about it and feel the guys can make progress.”

Q: ARE YOU CONCERNED THAT BEN SEEMS SO CONCERNED ABOUT THE LEARNING CURVE?
A: “I haven’t sensed any of that concern, at least me personally. He’s in here, he’s working hard. He’s into it — even the days when he hasn’t practiced, he’s over my shoulder, talking, commenting, discussing and those are all, that’s what I’ve seen out of all the good quarterbacks — really good quarterbacks — I’ve been around act like. And I’m just excited about his and our opportunity. He’s a guy who’s been a very good player and we’re going to try to keep that going and get even better.”

Q: THE WORD ON THE STREET IS THAT YOU ARE A FIERY GUY. HAVE SEEN THESE GUYS SEEN THAT YET?
A: “No, no. I don’t flip that switch until a little later (laughs). This
is offseason for them, (time) to just learn and get in shape, get in
condition and then in training camp, we’ll pick it up a notch.”

Q: DO YOU HAVE AN EMPHASIS ON KEEPING BEN HEALTHY AND WHAT CAN YOU DO TO DO THAT?
A: “I think that will always be the emphasis, any quarterback you have, is to keep hits off of them. I think that’s just smart football. And you do it in a number of ways and a lot of it falls on his shoulders also. One of his greatest weapons is his ability to make plays when things break down. And that will put him in duress at times _ but at the same time, it’s one of the best things he does and it’s what separates him from all the other guys in the league for the most part. So you don’t want to take that great ability away from him. It’s just that understanding of what’s going on, understand when we want the ball coming out quick, understand when we want to run it… and that’s all going on right now. We’re just building the team philosophy. Like I said, part of this is evaluation because we do have a lot of new guys out there and we’re trying to evaluate what each and every one of them does to use them to their abilities.”

Q: DID BEN TAKE THE DAY OFF?
A: “He had some personal matter that he had to attend to.”

Q: HOW WILL YOU USE CHRIS RAINEY?
A: “He’s a young guy, but what I didn’t really realize coming in because I hadn’t seen him much is Baron Batch is another unique player at that position. Like I’ve said, we’ve got a good, diverse group. You’ve kind of got all the parts you’d like as a coordinator, anyway… You’ve got some big backs who can run it hard up the middle, some quicker, faster backs who can play outside a little for you, so I’m excited about the group in general, and Chris is just one of those guys, and he looks like he wants to be a part of this.”

Q: CAN MIKE WALLACE PICK UP OFFENSE QUICKLY?
A: “He’ll be behind a little bit but he has to pick it up. We’ll make
sure that occurs.”

Q: IS IT TOO EARLY TO TELL WHAT YOU HAVE WITH YOUR OFFENSIVE LINE?
A: “We don’t have pads on. You know something about the guys who have been here. Obviously Pouncey and Gilbert and Willie and those guys, and they’re experienced, really good players. And now we’ve added some young guys into the mix who are going to compete. But really other than what we’ve seen out of college tape some of them and some of these younger developmental guys who have been here but who haven’t played as much, we need to get the pads on to really make a full evaluation. But I think we’re all excited. We’ve got a lot of guys who have been and want to continue to be part of something great. And that’s the goal and it will start with them.”

Q: DAVID JOHNSON’S MOVE TO FULLBACK
A: “David is doing a very good job and the thought process there with David is that he knows tight and is comfortable at tight end. Fullback is something that is obviously we didn’t have that body-type here. It is a position that if you are playing, you have to be back there on a full-time basis at least in the learning stages. We know David can move both directions and that will give him great value especially as a game day roster type guy. When you have a guy who can do a couple different things, that’s a bonus. He is has jumped headfirst into the fullback stuff knowing he is in the learning stage of trying to get as much as he can, but it doesn’t mean he won’t line up at tight end either.”

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...-worilds-agent
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