The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

May 2, 2013

A new Steeler, added excitement

The Tribune-Democrat

— As if Johnstowners needed more reasons to be enamored with the Pittsburgh Steelers, another of their own will be vying for a team roster spot come summer.

Congratulations to LaRod Stephens-Howling, who last week signed a one-year contract to bring his burning speed and quick moves to the Steelers backfield.

“My family and friends are really excited. My phone blew up whenever it went online for the first time,” Stephens-Howling told our Mike Mastovich.

“I’ve always had the support from them. It will be good that I’ll be closer to home. I’ll be on TV. It will be nice.”

It will be nice, too, for area fans to root for the former Johnstown Trojan and Pitt Panther. In four years as a pro, he has demonstrated his talents. Career highlights have included three kickoff returns for touchdowns. In October 2011, Stephens-Howling had a 73-yard touchdown reception against our Steelers.

Affectionately nicknamed “The Hyphen” by Arizona Cardinals fans, Stephens-Howling becomes at least the sixth player from our region to sign on with the black and gold. Others were Carlton Haselrig, drafted in 1989; Jack Ham, who played in the ’70s and ’80s; Ed Adamchik, the mid-’60s; and Edward “Doc” Stofko, mid-’40s. George Margulick played in 1944 for the Chicago/Pit Cards/Steelers, a team combining franchises during World War II. Margulick was from northern Cambria, while the others were all from Johnstown.

In talking about this past year’s experience with free agency, Stephens-Howling told Mastovich that “it’s rough but I have a strong faith in God. I’m just happy that this is over now and I can get back to playing football.”

And hopefully help put an exclamation point on the upcoming Steelers season.

Welcome home, LaRod.

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