Johnny Holton happy to stick with Steelers on practice squad, staying ready for call-up |

Johnny Holton happy to stick with Steelers on practice squad, staying ready for call-up

Chris Adamski
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Johnny Holton plays against the Tennessee Titans in the second half of a preseason game Aug. 25 in Nashville.

Turns out, the delay in naming Johnny Holton to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice squad earlier this week was a simple matter of family and logistics.

A veteran of parts of three seasons and 32 NFL games with the Oakland Raiders, Holton opened eyes with the Steelers during a strong preseason in which he made big plays on offense. And with his reputation as a strong special-teams “gunner,” many believed Holton had earned a spot on the 53-man roster.

Turns out, the Steelers kept just five wide receivers after final cuts. And when they named the first 10 of the 11-man practice squad Sunday, Holton was likewise omitted. Holton was indeed added to the practice squad Monday.

“It was a delay because I was in Atlanta,” Holton said, “watching my brother play college football for Alabama. I was at the game.”

Holton’s brother is Joshua Jobe, a sophomore defensive back for the No. 2-ranked Crimson Tide. Alabama beat Duke, 42-3, at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta.

Two days later, though, Holton was back up north practicing with the Steelers.

“It’s always good to just have a foot in the door in the NFL,” Holton said, “so I’m happy that they brought me back for practice squad and I am going to take full advantage of it.”

Holton is a speedster (4.4 in the 40) and big-play artist (catches of 59 and 44 yards in the preseason) who is only an injury away from a possible promotion. Unlike last season when they kept six, the Steelers have only five wide receivers on the active roster.

“The message to the practice squad guys is you got to be available to practice or you won’t be here, so you have to come to practice every day.”

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Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Steelers
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