Steelers Add Ex-Eagles RB, ‘Gadget Player’; Browns Work out Joe Haeg

Jason Huntley Eagles

Eric Espada/Getty Images Jason Huntley of the Philadelphia Eagles runs upfield during a preseason game against the Miami Dolphins on August 27, 2022.

On Friday September 2 the Pittsburgh Steelers announced the signing of two more players to the team’s practice squad, including defensive tackle Renell Wren, a day after Jeremy Fowler of ESPN first reported the news.

The other player who was signed is former Philadelphia Eagles running back Jason Huntley — 5-foot-9 and 193 pounds — who first entered the league in 2020, when he was a fifth-round pick of the Detroit Lions (No. 172 overall) out of New Mexico State.

In 2020-21 he appeared in a total of six games for Philadelphia, carrying the ball 18 times for 70 yards (3.9 yards per carry). He was released earlier this week during Philly’s final round of roster cuts, despite a strong performance in the preseason finale, totaling 11 carries for 93 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown run.


Jason Huntley is a ‘Quicker Than Fast Gadget Back’

As for what Huntley potentially brings the Steelers: His running backs coach at New Mexico State has described Huntley as “fearless,” having noted that he served a wide variety of roles for the Aggies, including on special teams where he served as a kickoff returner, punt returner and gunner. In fact he returned five kickoffs for touchdowns in college. And during his senior year at NMSU he rushed the ball 154 times for 1,090 yards and nine touchdowns, an average of 7.1 yards per rush.

He has also been described as a “quicker than fast all-purpose gadget back,” one who isn’t well-suited to be a between-the-tackles ball carrier.

“While he has some wiggle and elusiveness, he takes an alarming amount of punishing blows and gets tossed around like a sack of laundry as an inside runner,” said NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein in 2020, before adding that “he’s a lightweight scat-back who offers good versatility as a pass-catcher, change-of-pace runner and quality kick returner. He will need to pair with a team that utilizes his vision and tempo primarily on stretch plays,” concluded Zierlein, which could be exactly how Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada plans to utilize him. Or at least plans to consider using him.


Joe Haeg to the Browns?

Meanwhile, on Friday former Steelers offensive lineman Joe Haeg visited the Cleveland Browns, this according to Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network.

The visit came a day after Haeg visited the Raiders, supporting Mike Garafolo’s NFL Network report that “(a) few teams” have expressed interest in potentially signing the former fifth-round pick.

Haeg was released as part of Pittsburgh’s final round of roster cuts, in effect swapped out for veteran offensive tackle/guard Jesse Davis, who was acquired from the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a conditional 2025 seventh-round pick.


LB Buddy Johnson Worked out for 49ers

Also getting a workout on Friday was former Steelers linebacker Buddy Johnson, one of three players who visited the San Francisco 49ers, as per Aaron Wilson.

Johnson was drafted by the Steelers in the fourth-round in 2021 out of Texas A&M. He has yet to appear in a regular-season game.

The Steelers currently have a total of 13 players signed to the practice squad, three short of the maximum of 16.

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Shaun Horrigan
Shaun Horrigan
20 days ago

How about trading for one of those…
“GADGET” OFFENSIVE LEFT OR RIGHT
TACKLE STARTERS !
If only a RIGHT TACKLE can be traded
for…do that and move Okorafor to LEFT
TACKLE.

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