The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed free-agent TE Justin Peelle (49ers). Terms of the contract were not disclosed. In a corresponding move, the team waived injured FB David Johnson (knee).
Read more: http://www.kffl.com/hotw/nfl#ixzz23TelAOPv
Here are a few links:
Third link here, from Turner the Burner, describes him as a "normally stalwart blocker."
Another link here:
Seems like a decent veteran insurance policy, and the Steelers certainly could do worse, but I hope that either Will Johnson or McCoy are able to keep him off the roster.
David Johnson Waived/Injured, Steelers Sign TE Justin Peelle
by Neal Coolong on Aug 13, 2012
As expected, FB/TE David Johnson was placed on the Waived/Injured list Monday, the result of a torn ACL suffered in the Steelers' 24-23 loss at Philadelphia in their opening preseason game.
To replace him, they signed veteran blocking TE Justin Peele, a 10-year NFL veteran who last played sparingly with San Francisco.
Johnson's designation exposes him to waivers, and gives teams a chance to sign him. If no one does, his rights return to Pittsburgh, who then place him on Injured Reserve.
During the preseason, players must clear waivers before being placed on the IR. It's extremely unlikely anyone would claim him.
Peelle has played with the 49ers last season, and the Atlanta Falcons from 2008-10. Before that, he was in Miami for 2006-07, and with the Chargers, who drafted him and kept him from 2002-06.
Used almost exclusively as a blocker in 2 TEs sets, Peelle has 123 career catches and 12 touchdowns in 10 NFL seasons.
He wouldn't be expected to make the roster as it sits now, but bringing in more competition for a pure tight end isn't a bad idea, considering the Steelers are now without Johnson as well as Weslye Saunders, who will sit out the first four games of the 2012 season. Heath Miller and 2012 free agent signee Leonard Pope are likely at the top of the depth chart now, while the possibility of Jamie McCoy or even rookie David Paulsen sneaking out a spot is still alive.
McCoy's inexperience despite some position flexibility (he played some fullback against Philadelphia) could be the main reason why Peelle was brought in.
Very familiar with this guy as my son is a huge Falcons fan, and thus, I end up watching most of their games (that don't conflict with the Steelers). Watched him for 3 seasons. He is not a good athlete or a good receiver. He is an effective inline blocker as a TE. But, he is 6'4! I'm not sure why we keep trying to squish a round peg through a square hole, but this guy is really a TE, not a FB. It is very difficult to get low enough at the POA for a 6'4 move blocker, especially one who is not a great athlete and at the end of his career. Hopefully, he is just a camp body for now. But, I really would have liked to see them add a real FB. I know there are not a lot of options, but there has to be one who can be moderately effective and who is a more natural FB than Peelle.
Cool. There is a Charger's fan who comes into the Steelers bar to watch chargers games! He is Justin's uncle!! He's gonna love this!!
I would be very surprised if the Steelers are willing to waste a roster spot on a FB only. They want a player with position flexibility. He needs to play both TE and FB...He will need to be able to run, block and catch the ball to win the spot on this team. The majority of formations will probably not include a FB...
Sorry, but a true FB is a dinosaur in this league....extinct.
Peelle is a good experienced FB...who also plays TE...
The guy who is going to be FB will also have to pull double duty as #3 TE...that's just how it will have to be...
I'm hoping that Will Johnson can earn the job....