As the Pittsburgh Steelers now prepare for the 2015 regular-season opener against the New England Patriots, it appears on the surface as though wide receiver Antonio Brown will once again be the team’s primary punt returner. During his Saturday press conference, Mike Tomlin was asked if that will indeed be the case.
“We’re going to utilize Antonio [Brown] and Dri [Archer] and in the kick return game we’re going to utilize Dri and Markus [Wheaton] and we’ll determine what that division of labor is as we get closer to game time.”
During the preseason, neither Brown nor Markus Wheaton received any return opportunities. As for Dri Archer, he returned four kickoffs for 98 yards and three punts for 19 yards during the team’s five preseason games. He did, however, also have two fair catches.
We’ll see what ultimately winds up being the division of labor Thursday night, but I will be surprised if Brown isn’t the team’s punt returner to start the season. Archer will more than likely be the primary kick returner to start the season, but much like last year, we could see Wheaton in that role should the former third-round draft pick fail to impress.