Danny Smith wants us to believe that the post for 2022 is ‘wide open’

The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed large receiver Gunner Olszewski to a two-year, $4.2 million deal in free company, primarily on account of his beginning talents and ball return. So, which means Olszewski, who has spent the previous two seasons with the New England Patriots as their main return, is lock to make the Steelers’ 53-man roster later this summer time, proper? Properly, as the nice Lee Corso all the time likes to say, “Not so quick, my mates.”

Throughout the Steelers’ obligatory mini-camp practices that happened final week, particular groups coordinator Danny Smith made it clear throughout a media session that nobody has ever closed any jobs relating to the returns division.

“It is large open,” Smith stated, In keeping with Brian Patko of Pittsburgh Submit Gazette. He added that he was “a choose variety of males”.

Smith has continued to make clear the state of affairs relating to the chances of returning in 2022.

“To be trustworthy with you, we have now extra choices than we did,” Smith stated. “Now we have extra numbers than we had, so we’ll type that out. You could possibly say this man has an edge or this man has an edge, however I do not actually take a look at it that means at this level as a result of we have not performed with a few of these guys but.”

No matter Smith’s feedback, Olszewski is clearly probably the most completed participant presently on the Steelers roster relating to bringing again talents.

In his earlier three seasons with the Patriots, Olszewski, a former unpolished free agent from Bemidji State College, returned 66 balls for 834 yards and touchdowns, with a 70-yard lengthy common season. He is additionally returned 36 full kickoffs up to now within the NFL for 834 yards, with a size of 37 yards. He was named a First-Crew All-Professional in 2020 for his efforts this season.

Bolstering Olszewski’s attraction is the truth that he is had 10 skilled NFL specials up to now with seven of these coming via the 2021 season. Do not assume Smith is not conscious of that.

Except for Olszewski, the Steelers really produce other choices relating to returning males. Nevertheless, none of those choices are as skilled as Olszewski, and they’re

Fellow Steelers large receiver Stephen Sims, who spent 2021 on the group teaching employees, has NFL expertise as a return, returning 30 balls for 186 yards and 35 kickoffs for 861 yards and touchdowns. One other Steelers large receiver, who spent a lot of the 2021 season as head coach, Anthony Miller, returned 5 pictures for 55 yards and eight kicks for 183 yards in his NFL profession.

Whereas Steelers rookie receiver Calvin Austin, this yr’s fourth-round draft choose from Memphis, has made some college-level comebacks, he is been restricted to kicks solely, with a complete of 29 of them for 323 yards and two touchdowns. . One other large receiver, Tyler Snead, a non-drafted free agent from East Carolina, enters the NFL with extra comeback expertise than Austin. Snead has made 60 kick-backs for 1,268 yards and two touchdowns and 37 kick-backs for 270 yards throughout his school profession.

Transferring on to these gamers, the Steelers have again Anthony McFarland Jr., large receiver Cody White and even cornerback Cameron Sutton. Having stated that, and if we’re being trustworthy, it is onerous to think about any of the three successful the return job this summer time.

In conclusion, Smith’s latest feedback about opening the door for returnees large open in early summer time are prone to be respectful. Maybe he needs to ship a message to Olszewski that no job is protected in June. Nevertheless, Olszewski, though listed as a large receiver, has all 9 receptions for 127 yards and two touchdowns in his first three seasons within the NFL. He was primarily signed to the deal that was to be the Steelers’ new payoff now that Ray-Ray McCloud’s large receiver is gone. If he fails to get the nod from Smith the primary week comes, he’s unlikely to make the 53-man roster, and so the Steelers shall be out of the $1.235 million signing bonus they gave him in March.