Steelers Add Ex-Bengals Wide Receiver, Release O-Lineman

Damion Willis

Joe Robbins/Getty Images Damion Willis of the Cincinnati Bengals during training camp on August 23, 2020.

On Tuesday December 28 the Pittsburgh Steelers signed former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Damion Willis, one of three moves involving the team’s practice squad. Willis, 24, is a former undrafted free agent out of Troy who appeared in ten games for the Bengals in 2019, including two starts. During those games he caught nine passes for 82 yards on 16 targets. In the two years since, he has spent time with the Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos and New York Giants.

In two seasons with the Troy Trojans (2017-18) he played in 24 games, catching a total of 98 passes for 1,496 yards and 13 touchdowns, including 10 TDs in 2018.

A practice spot came open on Monday, when wide receiver Anthony Miller was added to the practice squad Reserve/COVID-19 list.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday the team restored offensive guard Malcolm Pridgeon to the practice squad after he too spent time on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. In a corresponding move, the Steelers released guard Nate Gilliam from the practice squad.

Gilliam, who has spent most of his time in NFL with the Los Angeles Chargers, was signed to the practice squad only a week ago.

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Assistant Coach Chris Morgan Elevated

Tuesday December 28 was also Chris Morgan’s first day as offensive line coach, having been elevated from assistant offensive line coach after Adrian Klemm jumped ship for a job with the Oregon Ducks.

During his press conference on Tuesday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin indicated that Morgan’s promotion provides him the opportunity to “evaluate C-Mo,” who appears to be a candidate to step into the role full-time next year. “C-Mo is very credible,” added Tomlin, before noting that Morgan” was the lead line coach for the Atlanta Falcons for a number of years before he got here.”

Indeed Morgan served as Atlanta’s offensive line coach for six seasons before he was fired by the Falcons in January 2021. He was hired by Tomlin on February 5, 2021.

Prior to joining the Falcons, Morgan worked as assistant offensive line coach for three different teams: Seattle (2014), Washington (2011-13) and Oakland (2009-10). In his first season with the Falcons he was named Offensive Line Coach of the Year by Pro Football Focus.

Week 17 Practice Squad Protections

On Tuesday the Steelers also revealed the names of the four practice squad players they have chosen to protect this week.

OL Rashaad Coward
DT Khalil Davis
RB Trey Edmunds
DE John Simon

None of the four can be signed by another team until after the Steelers host the Cleveland Browns on Monday January 3, 2022.

Ex-Steelers DB Jordan Dangerfield Visits With 49ers

Finally, several former Steelers had tryouts or visits with other teams in the early part of this week. That includes defensive back Jordan Dangerfield, who visited with the San Francisco 49ers. Meanwhile, defensive back J.J. Wilcox had a tryout with the Indianapolis Colts while tight end Dax Raymond had a tryout with the Detroit Lions.

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