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Steelers notebook: Receiver got Hall of Famer Blount's seal of approval

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 6:15 p.m.

Steelers Hall of Fame cornerback Mel Blount made a call to the Steelers last week to see if he could get Cal (Pa.) wide receiver C.J. Goodwin a tryout.

Blount provided the opportunity, and Goodwin ran with it.

Less than a week after the tryout, the Steelers added Goodwin to the roster Wednesday despite having only 11 catches and 126 yards at the Division II school last year.

“I give all the thanks to (Blount),” Goodwin said.

Goodwin said he worked as a farmhand at the Mel Blount Youth Home when he was 17.

“I started out shoveling horse manure, and now I am playing for the Steelers,” Goodwin said. “It's unbelievable. I cannot believe it, but I have to start believing so I can make the team.”

Goodwin played two years of basketball at Bethany College before transferring to Fairmont State. He was asked to come out for the football team after being seen playing on an intramural basketball team. After a year at Fairmont State, Goodwin got a scholarship to play at Cal.

The Steelers released Jasper Collins to make room for Goodwin.

Brown may see break from returns

Antonio Brown is one of the best punt returners in the league, but as he's grown into one of the best receivers in the league as well, the Steelers are looking for an alternative other than Brown to return punts.

“They say that every year, man, and I am back there,” Brown said.

This year, however, the Steelers seem motivated to find somebody else to return punts especially since they selected Dri Archer in the third round.

Brown didn't sound thrilled about the possibility of returning punts again, but will leave that decision up to coach Mike Tomlin.

“Uh, that's always a good question,” Brown said. “You definitely need to ask Mike Tomlin. I am always willing to do whatever I have to do to help the team.”

Taylor: Gay is underrated

On paper, the Steelers may not appear to be deep at cornerback. But according to Ike Taylor, not only are they deep at the position, but they have one of the more underrated players with William Gay.

“Regardless of what people want to say about him, the man is solid,” Taylor said. “He is really solid. He played good football. I thought last year was probably his best year of his career.”

Gay played 931 snaps last year — fifth-most among defensive players.

Moore impressed with Big Ben

Lance Moore has been working with Ben Roethlisberger on the field for only a couple of weeks, but has been impressed with what he has seen.

“He makes sure that if I have any questions that I come straight to him,” Moore said. “He is an extension of a coach out there, and it is easy to get answers from him.”

Extra points

Troy Polamalu missed his fifth consecutive practice while Jason Worilds has yet to return since the first organized team activities last week with a leg injury. ... Fullback Will Johnson tweaked his ankle and was wearing a walking boot while tight end Michael Palmer left practice early with an undisclosed injury.

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