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Cameron Johnston Reveals Why He Signed with Steelers



Pittsburgh Steelers Cameron Johnston

Newly acquired Pittsburgh Steelers punter Cameron Johnston recently spoke about signing with the club on an Australian podcast called SEN Breakfast. Prior to his NFL career, the Australian-born Johnston starred at Ohio State. And it turns out the proximity to Columbus played a big role in why he signed with Pittsburgh.

“I joined an incredible club and just wanted to get back closer to home for my wife,” said Johnston. “She’s from Columbus, Ohio, which is a couple of hours drive from Pittsburgh. So it worked out really, really well.”

Johnston is also looking forward to playing for Mike Tomlin, who is one of Australia’s favorite NFL coaches, according to the show’s host.

“Yeah, I got to sit down with him when I signed. That was incredible. It was good to have a conversation with him. He’s an incredible coach and I can’t wait to play for him,” Johnston said.

In almost all categories, Johnston was either at league average or above league average. He was 28th in average hangtime, which is the worst metric he is ranked in, but his punts generally ended up just fine. In net yards per punt, he was sixth in the NFL, in raw yards per punt he was 17th in the NFL at 47.7 yards per punt, he was third in the NFL in fair catches forced, and sixth in the punts downed inside the 20-yard line.

Johnston spent the first few years of his career in Philadelphia before heading to Houston. His hangtime averages are a concern, but he has consistently been great at directional punting. Johnston will look to prove he can stick it out in Pittsburgh.

It is certainly an upgrade on paper from what the Steelers got last season from Pressley Harvin III. Harvin had the second worst yards per punt in 2023 at just 43.8 yards. It seems his struggles against the Buffalo Bills in the wild-card playoff loss were the last straw, as Harvin put the team on multiple short fields throughout the game. A mere 38.5 punt average led Harvin to one of his most lackluster career showings. For a team that plays the field position game so strongly, having a subpar punter is a big deal, especially when they invested a draft pick in Harvin.

Now, Johnston will enter the fray and hope to give the Steelers some consistency at the position.