If Indianapolis Colts kicker Pat McAfee slips up Sunday and fails to boot the ball out of the end zone during a kickoff, running back Dri Archer won’t be returning it. Instead of the struggling Archer this week, the Steelers have decided to go with LeGarrette Blount as their kickoff returner Sunday at Heinz Field.
“Things didn’t work out as well as they wanted before, so they switched it up,” Blount told the Associated Press Friday. “(And) I’m excited about it. It’s going to be fun. We’re hoping that we can get everything done the way that we want to get it done, and we hope that we can be effective with it so we can keep it going.”
To say that Archer is struggling is an understatement and it shows with his 17.9 yard average and long of 23 on nine returns this season. Blount, however, has returned two kickoffs so far this season for a 19.0 yard average with a long of 25. Even though his numbers are also pedestrian, he’s had success in the league as a kick returner in the past.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that the return game needs to be fixed but special teams coordinator Danny Smith didn’t give any clues Thursday that a change was coming during his talk with the media.
“It’s a process, to be honest with you,” said Smith when asked what needs to be done to improve the Steelers return game. “It’s a combination of things. He’s (Archer) gotta do a better job selling stuff. We have to do a better job blocking. We’ve missed it a couple of times, and he’s made some mistakes a couple of times. That’s my fault, ultimately. We’ll keep working at it, and I think he’ll be fine. It sure hasn’t shown yet, but we have to get better there.”