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Pittsburgh Steelers Need David Paulson and Matt Spaeth to Step up with Heath Miller on PUP List

July 28th, 2013 at 9:36 PM
By Mark Mihalko

The Pittsburgh Steelers are three days into training camp and are dealing with some of the typical bumps and bruises that come with this time of the year. Sunday, cornerbacks Cortez Allen (knee discomfort) and DeMarcus Van Dyke (hamstring) were slowed by injury and are listed as day-to-day.

'Steelers Training Camp 2010' photo (c) 2010, RJ Schmidt - license:
Of course, the major injury story remains centered on the tight end position where two remain on the PUP list. 2012 team MVP Heath Miller and back-up David Johnson, who are both recovering from ACL surgery and neither have a definitive timeframe for their return.

While both took part in some conditioning drills, which included running and cutting, on a third field on Saturday, no update on their conditions was made public. At this point, the Steelers remain extremely thin at the tight end position with those two on the sideline and may eventually need to search out some depth if neither is ready early in the season.

Looking at the depth chart, free agent signee Matt Spaeth appears to be entrenched atop the pecking order with Miller on the sideline, with second-year tight end David Paulson his primary back up. However, after the first two days, it is clear that Paulson came into camp with something to prove.

The former seventh round selection from Oregon appears to have added muscle to his frame during the offseason and now looks more like a tight end than wide out. During that process, he did not lose any of his athleticism, and he has put his receiving skills on display over the first days in camp by making some impressive catches during drills.

Even if Spaeth and Paulson can prove to be solid in the run game and serviceable in the receiving game, they are in no way a replacement for Miller. The truth is, if the Steelers are to compete for a championship, they will need all three of those players to show up and make plays,


Tags: Cortez Allen, David Paulson, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Football, Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers

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