Report: Emmanuel Sanders Told He Will Return Kicks & Punts In 2012

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders told ESPN 970 radio today that he has been told that he will return both kicks and punts in 2012 for the team. Sanders made the comments while out at the Pittsburgh auto show on Sunday.

Fellow wide receiver Antonio Brown saw most of the duty last season on both punt and kickoff returns as Sanders missed a lot of time with both knee and foot issues.

Brown returned 27 kickoffs for 737 yards last season for the Steelers with 25 going for 20 yards or more. He also returned 30 punts for 325 yards and that included 1 for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals. 6 of those 30 went for 20 yards or more and 26 were fair catches. Brown finished 5th in the league with a 27.3 average on kickoff returns and 10th in the league in punt returns with an average of 10.8. Brown was voted to the Pro Bowl as the AFC return man for his efforts.

Sanders had 5 kickoff returns last season for 93 yards with an average of 18.6 and returned just 3 punts for 22 yards for a 7.3 average.

  • Eric87

    yep can’t have antonio back there constantly taking hits on kickoffs now that he is a starter, but he is dangerous returning kicks. Hopefully the Steelers plan on using them both.

  • Seagledad05

    I know we need OL and DL in the draft but it would be nice to see Janoris Jenkins slip to us or we jump up to get him. He would help out the secondary tremendously aswell as a terrific return man. I have a feeling someone will jump on Mike Wallace and we will have two 1st round picks so this would be a nice option. Ike is a good corner but doesn’t create turners like we need at times. I also agree that Antonio will be even better now that he can concentrate on receiving not to mention that Sanders isn’t quite as electric as Brown.

  • greeny

    I agree….this to me is a sign that they are preparing for Wallace not to be back with the team.

  • Ty019

    we must tender wallace for 2 1st round picks. He is worthy of a top 15 pick and it will be someone like New England that offers him a contract and gives us a very late 1st round pick and it will be considered a steal to get a develop proven young receiver with blazing speed and great hands late in the 1st round. We must make them pay for wallace with 2 1st round picks

  • hanjonquin

    I don’t think they are doing it to prepare for Wallace leaving, they will do everything it takes to make sure he stays a Steeler, I believe it is the opposite, using Saunders keeps AB fresh and is insurance against teams doubling Wallace.