Thursday, October 06, 2011

Anybody "Chris Johnson-Like" Out There?
At his Tuesday news conference this week, Mike Tomlin said, “For practice purposes we are going to look to at least bring in someone who is capable of being Chris Johnson-like in preparation this week.”

Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
Apparently the Steelers have been unable to find anybody “Chris Johnson-like.” What a surprise. Guess what? There is nobody like Chris Johnson on the street, on the waiver wire or in the Arena Football League. If there were somebody else like that, he’d not only be on an NFL roster, he’d be starting. Certainly the highest-paid running back and probably the fastest, only Chris Johnson is “Chris Johnson-like.” 

Still, it would be interesting to know who the Steelers might have been considering. They already have John Clay, the big rookie (6'1", 248) from Wisconsin, on the practice squad. Clay is more a between-the-tackles power back, however, than a speed back like Johnson, who had 2,006 yards in 2009.

"He has unbelievable speed," cornerback Ike Taylor said of Johnson. "With him a play is never over because of what he can do. With him you have to be on key at all times."

If the Steelers are looking for a speed back, they could do worse than looking at Ian Johnson, a running back from Boise State currently on the 49ers’ practice squad, which is his fourth practice squad since 2009. 

Ian Johnson
Granted, Ian Johnson is no Chris Johnson, but of all the running backs at the 2009 NFL Combine, he ran the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.46). And he shares the same last name as Chris Johnson, so he's got that going to make him -- "Chris Johnson-like."

The Steelers, however, are not about to sign a player off some other team's practice squad for just a few hours of practice. That player would have to be added to the Steelers' active roster.

And, although Mewelde Moore will miss Sunday's game, he will return soon, and Rashard Mendenhall might play this weekend. It was just a thought.

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