Tomlin Says Trey Williams ‘Added To His Portfolio’ With PR Touchdown

Trey Williams is small by NFL standards. But his portfolio is large and he added to it Sunday afternoon.

The talk of the game, Williams scored the Pittsburgh Steelers first touchdown in a 17-13 win over the Atlanta Falcons, running back a punt 64 yards late in the third quarter. A look at it for those who didn’t watch the game or just want to rewind the tape.

Matthew Marczi is going to expand on Williams’ future with the team going forward in an article tomorrow. But it’s fair to say he at least caught the team’s attention after a quiet camp, one hindered by a hamstring injury.

It isn’t just the glitz of a loud punt return that made an impression on the coaching staff. Asked about Williams following the game, Mike Tomlin steered the discussion to the nuances of Williams’ game he did well.

“You’re talking about adding to your portfolio,” Tomlin said post game. “What you’re capable of doing. This is a guy learning to catch punts. Forget what he did once he had the ball. I thought he had good judgment and decision making and fielding the ball today. For a guy with very little experience in that area.”

Williams, a high-prized but little used recruit from Texas A&M, never returned a punt in college. His focus was kickoffs, finding moderate success over his career, averaging 24 yards a pop. But in the NFL, in Pittsburgh at least, the preference is to have kick returners who offer size and more toughness. Williams was forced to try his hand in the punt game.

Special teams is more than just making big plays. It’s about being in position to do so. Making smart decisions and getting square and under the football, both traits on display on Williams’ touchdown. And while most guys would be eager to do it again, Williams let the next punt travel into the end zone for a touchback, a smart, selfless decision. Those areas of his game will help him as much as what he did on his 64 yard scoot.

And for now, be the talk of Pittsburgh.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • The main thing is he showed good judgement re when NOT to try a run-back and burst + elusiveness when he did. Notice heow fast he blew through six defenders in the first 8 yards of his run-back. Impressive. Unfortunately, Rogers has yet to show that much explosiveness and decision with the ball in his hands. And yet, one run=back does not make an NFL returner.

  • Steelers12

    “But in the NFL, in Pittsburgh at least, the preference is to have kick returners who offer size and more toughness”.

    Might be time to change that philosophy

  • The Chin


  • T R

    Let the church say…

  • Alex Kozora

    Fair point. Just not expecting it to change.

  • nutty32

    Dri Archer was given a shot.

  • walter

    Too bad Dri Archer didnt show that quick burst up the middle.

  • Douglas Andrews

    I wonder what changed because he showed a quick burst in College but never showed much of a burst in the NFL.

  • Dan

    Is that the philosophy though? Or is it just having so many flops back there that the team just resorted to having a guy that could get it to the 20 without fumbling. Remember Gary Russell the KR? Just got the job because he didn’t commit turnovers.

  • LucasY59

    they had Fitz and Davis back for KRs, Im thinking he needs to start returning KOs as well for him to have any chance of makeing the roster and even then dont know if they have room for a return specialist

  • Steelers12

    But other teams find returners y can’t we. We are best organization in NFL

  • Steelers12

    If u don’t succeed try again

  • Steelers12

    Me either, I love Tomlin as a coach but he is stubborn as they come

  • Rusted Out

    If he performs that well on return duties again or even three times, I’m sure they’ll find room for him on the roster. Outside of AB, the Steelers haven’t had anyone decent to fill that role since… Santonio Holmes?

  • Rusted Out

    Archer was the smallest player I’ve ever seen suit up, and he was destroyed by a blade of grass most times. What is this “size and toughness” thing you speak of?

  • Kevin Artis

    Neither did Chris Rainey.

  • SilverSteel

    Add to his portfolio. Tomlin speak for – we ain’t keeping him. Better improve resume.

  • Biggie

    Williams as a solid back and KR at A&M, he was in a rotation as they had a number of good backs at the time. Tre Carson (bengals) was powerback, Brandon Williams (Cardinals) a true athlete and 3 down back who switched to CB and made Cardinals roster and James White who was another solid back. Williams has a great burst and could be a good 3rd down type back with return ability however not sure how they would keep him on roster as it might mean keeping 4 backs and Nix or getting rid of Toussaint (which I am ready for) and Davis which I don’t see happening. A spot on the PS to develop is possible. He gets a little boost maybe with the fact that other than catching the ball Connor looked good yesterday. I’d like to see him starting with 1st team unit Preseason Game 3 and see what he can do with a solid group of OL. I think we will use extra roster spot(s) at WR and/or Secondary.

  • Craig M

    Mini Mack Herron 5’5 1/2″ 170 lbs. soaking wet- led CFL in all purpose yards and the NFL in return yards- (ran like a Muslim leaving a bomb scene). Williams “added to his portfolio” Tomlin- duh, ya think?

  • Craig M

    There was once a guy named Mini Mack Herron who was around 5’6″ and 1bout 170 lbs. who led the NFL in return yards for a couple of seasons and all purpose yards as a RB.

  • Steelers12

    Yep. Could u picture if we had too notch returner. The possession of the ball at midfield or further down with our offense would be scary

  • Mister Wirez

    Nice pick at #3 I believe.

  • stan

    I don’t see any reason he can’t return kicks too. He’s 5’7, 200 and plenty tough enough to break a tackle on a kickoff return. The question is whether he’s good enough to ever earn a helmet on Sundays. He’s looking like a good practice squad candidate regardless. I’d say BBD and Toussaint are in big trouble.

  • Terrible Towlie

    when was that?(herron) Lil Train Lyonel James , James Brooks, Darren Sproles, Danny Woodhead…..chargers love some little men

  • Terrible Towlie

    the players got Bigger, Stronger and Faster

  • walter

    yes he was a third round pick

  • walter

    It almost looked like indecisiveness

  • Craig M

    73-76 NE 1st and then Atlanta. I remember him because I had a cousin out here on the west coast who wanted to play in the NFL but everyone told him he was to small- after he saw Herron he was disappointed w/ himself for not trying out. That was back in the late 60s and I hear tell they still show film on him at Buena Park high school.

  • Craig M

    I think you just started me drooling- but it’s difficult to tell when your my age. 🙂

  • Steelers12


  • Rocksolid20

    Not trying to rain on his parade , and I was very excited to see the
    run back . Good judgement would have been to read his block , cut right
    and go in untouched .