“I think you can call the real estate agent!”
That was Bill Hillgrove calling Stefan Logan’s 80 yard punt return touchdown in the final preseason game against 2009. A play that cemented Logan’s spot on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster.
If Trey Williams wants to have a similar story, he’s going to have to follow the same path. Logan didn’t make the team because of one spectacular return. It was one of several in a preseason that offers few chances, taking advantage of every chance he got.
That year, against the Washington Redskins, Logan returned a punt for 18 yards and a kickoff for 60, a step away from housing it. Against Buffalo, he ripped off a 27 yard punt return. The 80 yard touchdown was the final nail in the coffin. For Williams, he’s just picked up his hammer.
And frankly, Williams has a tougher path than Logan. Blame it on Mike Tomlin or Danny Smith’s philosophy, or the failure of Dri Archer having a trickle-down effect, but Logan made the squad as the punt and kick returner, showcasing both in the preseason. Williams, despite having a background taking back kicks at Texas A&M, has yet to do so with the Steelers.
Logan’s duality created the value the Steelers needed to justify his roster spot. That’s unlikely to happen for Williams. The Steelers prefer bigger, tougher returners on kicks. That’s why you’ve seen the likes of Sammie Coates, Fitzgerald Toussaint, and Knile Davis used there and in past years, the likes of Najeh Davenport and Gary Russell.
Therein lies the problem. Williams is 5’7, 195, and won’t get a chance to work there. With still other non-Antonio Brown options on punts, namely Eli Rogers, a path is awfully difficult to find.
That’s not to take away for the great runback Williams had versus the Falcons. Athletically, he’s impressive, and that was evident during camp. It’s just the wrong team, wrong situation, wrong philosophy. Unless he manages to make house calls these next two weeks, he’ll wind up handing in his playbook.