By Teresa Varley
The Steelers added depth at running back with the signing of Mewelde Moore, an unrestricted free agent from the Minnesota Vikings.
Moore will complete for the job of third-down back and also give the special teams unit a boost as a punt and kickoff returner.
"He is a guy that is capable of doing a lot of things to help us win," said head coach Mike Tomlin on Moore. "He has a reputable resume as a punt returner, he is kickoff return capable. He is a running back who has unique skill sets in that he has very good hands out of the back field.
"He has things that are potentially attractive to us, the details of his role will be etched out but one thing I know about this guy is that he is willing to do whatever it takes to help the Pittsburgh Steelers win. That is what is most important."
Moore, 5-11, 209 pounds, spent his first four seasons with the Vikings after being drafted in the fourth round in 2004. He has 1,285 yards rushing and caught 116 passes for 1,093 yards.
"As far as just being able to go out there and make plays, every opportunity and every chance that I get, I have been fortunate to go out there and make plays and make things happen," said Moore. "I just go out and play football. I enjoy playing the game. I am here and going to get another opportunity. It is a privilege to be here, to be able to play the game."
He averaged 10.4 yards per punt return and 19.3 yards on kickoff returns in his four seasons and is ready and willing to continue with that role.
"I plan on doing whatever the Coach wants me to do," said Moore. "It is up to him. That decision is up to him, what they want me to do. I plan on being able to get back there. Returning is something I can do and playing running back is something I also do."
One of the attractions for Moore when signing with the Steelers was that he already knew Tomlin from their days in Minnesota. But it was also the Steelers tradition and the opportunity to be on a winning team that drew him to the black and gold.
"I think it was more of the history and also my history with Coach Tomlin," said Moore. "I know he is a great coach, a great man, a man with integrity and somebody who is a winner. That is all I want to do, is to play winning football and I think this is the best place. The history, of course, you grew up knowing the "Steel Curtain" as a boy and watching Terry Bradshaw when I was a boy, and them winning so many championships, it is an awesome opportunity.
"Here, people expect certain things here. That is something you expect out of yourself and that is something that you want to be a part of."