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.