FB Will Johnson’s been a pleasant surprise for the Steelers offense. Luckily, his first career touchdown Sunday against Washington was much better looking than Pittsburgh’s throwback uniforms. (US Presswire)

There are several standouts on offense for the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3), and first-year fullback Will Johnson isn't likely to be mentioned among them.

The Steelers welcomed Johnson to the offense this season, figuring the bruising 6-foot-2, 238 pounder's devastating blocking would add a dimension the offense hasn't had lately. Johnson, who has just one carry for five yards and six catches for 52 yards, likes the role, especially the assignment of protecing QB Ben Roethlisberger.

"I knew I was coming in here, competing for a spot on special teams or as a fullback in the offense,'' Johnson said Monday afternoon. "I just wanted to do everything that the coaches asked me to do so I could earn their trust more and more each day. I feel like I've done that so far this season.

"As far as being a blocker, protecting Ben is always going to be our first priority. So, we've worked hard to accomplish that goal, and I think we've done a pretty good job so far. And when we make a good block for Ben, he's the first one to let us know how much he appreciates it.''

Johnson has helped keep Roethlisberger relatively clean this season, as the quarterback has been sacked just 13 times in seven games. He was sacked once every 12-plus drop-backs last year, but that figure has nearly doubled this season. Johnson also scored his first NFL touchdown Sunday against the Washington Redskins.

"Getting Will his first touchdown, I was kind of yelling: 'turn around, you're open.' " Roethlisberger said. "It's so much fun having so many weapons on offense and playing as a whole team. I'm really happy about that.''

 Roethlisberger completed passes to nine different receivers against the Redskins, including the short pass to Johnson and a one-yard touchdown toss to No. 3 TE Leonard Pope earlier in the game. That score helped set up Johnson's touchdown late in the third quarter.

"I wasn't surprised too much, because we run those plays a lot in practice," Johnson said. "It was a little bit of a surprise that they lost me and Leonard on those two plays. Usually, there's a guy right on my hip, so I was a little surprised that I got wide open.

Johnson knows not to expect to many TD passes. He's determined to make sure the Steelers continue to get production out of the running game, which they did with Jonathan Dwyer surpassing 100 yards for the second straight game.

"We have a lot of versatile players on offense, and we're able to show a lot of balance,'' Johnson said. "We proved it during the game with Jonathan's running and with our passing game, so we were very balanced in that game.''

Notes: The Steelers reinstated rookie NT Alameda Ta'amu from the Reserved/Suspended List. He was suspended for the Steelers’ last two games and was inactive for the opening five games of the season. Ta'amu was a fourth-round draft pick this year. The Steelers did not have to make any additional changes to the active roster because they granted an exemption for Ta'amu.

Follow Steelers reporter Chuck Finder on Twitter @CBSSteelers and @cfinder.