clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Meet Richard Gordon, the newest Steelers player on the roster

New, comments

A high school teammate of Steelers WR Antonio Brown, the two appear to be opposite in many other ways on the football field.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

He likely won't be nicknamed "Flash."

The Steelers signed tight end Richard Gordon, but not for his vertical speed. The 268-pounder is much closer to a tackle than a receiver. His lone NFL touchdown came against the Steelers - a one-yard lob from Carson Palmer off play-action.

He attended Miami Norland High School with Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown for a spell - also the alma mater of Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe - but the similarities as players pretty much end there.

Gordon is a blocking H-back sort, as opposed to the quick, diminutive slot receiver role played by his graduating classmate.

Gordon got the scholarship to Miami, while Brown ventured outward to Central Michigan. Brown was a sixth-round pick in 2010, while Gordon went in the same round in 2011.

How long Gordon will even last in Pittsburgh is anyone's guess with three tight ends on the roster - Heath Miller, David Paulson and Michael Palmer - and Matt Spaeth presumably edging closer to a return.

Gordon was given the No. 44, which, contrary to an earlier thought, means nothing by way of Gordon playing H-back vs. tight end. Teams can use jersey numbers in the 40s when none in the 80s are available for a tight end - all of which are currently spoken for in some way: Plaxico Burress (80), Paulson (81), Palmer (82), Miller (83), Antonio Brown (84), David Johnson (85), Hines Ward (86), Spaeth (87), Emmanuel Sanders (88) and Jerricho Cotchery (89).

It doesn't seem like fullback Will Johnson's job is in any kind of jeopardy, but perhaps the Steelers are simply looking to add a flanking blocking element to their offense in an effort to revitalize a power running game that hasn't proved effective through the team's first five games.

Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley has used H-backs most seasons, including last year, when Leonard Pope largely filled that role.

According to Pro Football Focus, Gordon logged 79 snaps last year with the Raiders, and received scores less than -1 in all areas. Nothing terrible, nothing outstanding.

More from Behind the Steel Curtain: