Lost in the trades and signings is the fact…the Pittsburgh Steelers play a game today. And by this weekend, they will have made their cutdowns to the 53 man roster. One name who could still wind up being on there? Demarcus Ayers.
Ayers had some really interesting comments to PennLive’s Jacob Klinger, stating he believes the punt return job is still him.
“Danny Smith and Coach Tomlin have expressed that I had a strong, strong, strong opportunity at that spot,” Ayers told Klinger. “And that’s what they see me being that guy. That’s the feel I’ve been getting and that’s what I’ve been hearing from them.”
Ayers hasn’t gotten a chance to show off that punt return ability so far, missing the first three games with an injury I don’t think has ever been specifically disclosed. He’ll have his first crack at it tonight.
Coming into camp, Ayers seemed to have that strong shot to win the punt return job. He’s better than Eli Rogers and while not as good as Antonio Brown, the team has felt the tradeoff of getting Brown off punts if worth it. Ayers was drafted specifically with being the punt returner in mind.
He told Klinger he “felt great” about his chances of being the starting punt returner. Of course, that would shakeup what most of us believe about the construction of this roster. Either the team still keeps six receivers, axing Darrius Heyward-Bey, or they bump back up to seven.
So the battle could come to special teams. What DHB can do there versus what Ayers can do. Who would you rather have?