Report: Steelers Rookie WR Reggie Dunn Has Yet To Master Catching Punts

On Monday, I posted a few things that I was hoping we would learn from the Pittsburgh Steelers first OTA session of the 2013 season that got underway on Tuesday and one of those items concerned rookie undrafted free agent wide receiver Reggie Dunn, and more specifically, his ability to return punts.

It just so happens that Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette posted about Dunn in his Tuesday online chat and apparently the Utah kickoff return extraordinaire has yet to master the skill of catching punts.

“I\’m told Dunn, while a great kick returner, has not mastered the job of catching the ball on punts,” wrote Bouchette, when asked how the punt return job is shaping up early on.

Bouchette did not clarify when he was told that bit of information about Dunn, but even Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said during his recent conference call with season ticket holders that he was curious to see if the 5 foot, 9 inch, 178 pound wide receiver has what it takes to seriously compete for the punt return job.

Yes, it\’s still way early in the off-season and hopefully we will get a few more punt return reports on Dunn over the course of the next several OTA practices. Hopefully those future reports include him showing improvement in that area.

Dunn, along with offensive linemen Nik Embernate and Mike Golic Jr., have been the most talked about undrafted free agents this offseason. While all three definitely have their work cut out for them in order to make the Steelers 53 man roster out of training camp, Dunn perhaps has the toughest road of the three to travel. Should he be unable to master the art of catching punts by the time training camp rolls around, that road will become even rockier for him.

  • TJimmy

    I know he’s fast, but can he make the ankle breaking cuts like Antonio Brown and other good punt returners?


    If your a baller, there is no excuse for not being able to catch a punt. If he didn’t have a problem with catching punts the Utes would have been crazy not to use him, he is a serious longshot, maybe he doesn’t work on his game enough? You want to be great you have to do the time!

  • lefnor

    Don’t forget Chris Hubbard, the extremely athletic offensive lineman from UAB. I think he has a better chance for the 53 man roster than Golic because he can play every position in the OL and a perfect fit in the ZBS.
    Brian Arnfelt is another promising UDFA. Very good 2 gap player, and a perfect LDE prospect in this D. Nick Williams has a better chance for the final roster as a 7th DL, because he was drafted, but I hope Arnfelt at least reaches the practise squad.
    I’m waiting for good news about these guys.

  • steeltown

    I’m not sure I want a guy that struggles to catch, I don’t care how explosive he is, one turnover on a miffed punt and its all for nothing

  • steeltown

    Agreed.I like Arnfelt too, if we keep 7DL on roster this season (NWilliams being the 7th) I certainly hope Arnfelt makes the PS because next yr we’ll need the depth

  • steeltown

    I love the possibilities here. I like that these guys are being given opportunity. We could very well see 2 UDFA OLine players make the 53man this year. Some might say that sucks and it means terrible depth, but I like guys that are given nothing but the opportunity, it makes for a driven player

    And some of these guys could easily have been late Rd draft selections, Golic Jr. and Mike Farrell especially… but hell, good for us in the end

  • Bradys_Dad

    If these guys don’t make the roster I can see all 3 of them being kept alive on the practice team.

  • Bradys_Dad

    Agreed but I’d still like to see us re-sign Lego for experience and depth. maybe after the June clearance of $ ???

  • Isaac Reveles

    not that we saw any last season. fair caught everything

  • steeltown

    Yes, I like Legs but he is nothing more than a backup Center in my eyes, he’s a mediocre OG and cant play Tackle. With the run on injuries these past few seasons, we need backup guys that are capable of playing multiple positions. If you look at Beachum or even Golic Jr, these guys can possibly be the backup Center and still play other positions. It was mentioned that even Foster was given snaps at Center yesterday

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I have to agree with you on that one. I love a speedster as much as anyone but a fumbled punt very often will literally lose the game.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    If you look at other NFL rosters, there are many, many UDFA offensive lineman that are starters for other teams. OL is different than other positions. The skill level is not the same. An UDFA is often not that far behind a 3rd rounder in size, speed, strength, experience. Heart plays a huge role.

    The Steelers seem to find UDFA talent regularly at positions like RB, LB, S, etc., but for some reason they’ve been whiffing lately at OL. Hopefully that changes.

  • steeltown

    You’re right about that, even going to a smaller school or playing on a bad Team while cause you to be overlooked and can hurt draft status.. and then of course, like in the case with Golic Jr, being slightly undersized hurts you as well even though the talent is there

    I think Beachum proved that size doesn’t quite matter, when you have good technique and drive