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How he fits: Cameron Johnston

The Steelers have signed punter Cameron Johnston to a free agent contract. His addition should bring a level of consistency to the team's punting game.

A six-year NFL veteran, Johnston spent the first three seasons of his career in Philadelphia before signing as a free agent with the Houston Texans.

Johnston, 32, came to the NFL as an undrafted rookie after playing collegiately at Ohio State. Prior to signing at Ohio State, Johnston played Australian rules football as a midfielder.

"To be able to play in the AFC North, going to Ohio State and watching all of the games on TV, to be able to play in this division is massive," Johnston said. "My wife is from Columbus, Ohio, so to be able to get back up north, too, we love to be here."

The native of Australia has a big leg, as evidenced by his career 47.3-yard net average. But he's also been good kicking directionally throughout his career. In 2023, he averaged 4.25 seconds of hang time on his punts, which ranked 28th in the NFL, but his net average of 44.0 yards last season was fourth-highest in the NFL.

Johnston also placed 30 of his 66 punts a year ago inside the opposing 20, which tied for seventh-most in the NFL. Former Steelers punter Pressley Harvin, who was released at the end of the 2023 season, also placed 30 punts inside the opposing 20, but did so on 78 attempts.

Steelers signed P Cam Johnston on a three-year contract

In fact, Johnston was the only punter in the league who had at least 30 kicks downed inside the opposing 20 while attempting fewer than 73 attempts.

Johnston will replace the aforementioned Harvin as the Steelers' punter – and holder on kicks – and should be a clear upgrade.

In addition to placing 30 kicks inside the opposing 20, Johnston also forced 25 fair catches on his kicks last season. Harvin had 26 forced fair catches, but did so on 78 attempts.

And despite kicking indoors in Houston the past three seasons, Johnston cut his teeth kicking at Ohio State and then Philadelphia.

While Johnston has seen a dropoff in his punting average as the season advances, it's not quite as dramatic as that of Harvin.

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Johnston has averaged 49.3 yards per punt in the month of September. His January punting average is 45.7 yards.

His background in Australian rules football lends itself to punting in the NFL.

"The way you pass the ball in the sport is by punting it," Johnston said. "I think the transition is easy, especially in the college game with rollout punts. It's just a skill set you learn from a very young age that you can transfer to playing over here."

Harvin averaged 46.1 yards per punt in his September games for the Steelers, but saw that average fall over the course of the season to 41.6 yards per punt in January games.

He's also been a holder for two of the league's more consistent placekickers, Jake Elliott with the Eagles and Kai Fairbairn with the Texans. Now he'll get to work with another great one in Steelers' placekicker Chris Boswell.