When you give your opinion as often as I do about the Steelers, there are going to be plenty of instances where I’m right and plenty where I’m wrong. This is definitely one of those where I was wrong but I have company.
Mike Tomlin needs to correct a mistake and I need to own up to the fact that I was on board with it. I wanted change at the kick return position because I just didn’t feel like Dri Archer gave the Steelers any type of threat whatsoever. With the addition of Jacoby Jones, I felt the veteran returner would be more decisive and would be much more of threat but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
After Jones fumbled the opening kickoff last night, then fumbled again on a punt return, Tomlin had no choice but to sit him for the remainder of the game. Now he must take the next step and give Jones his walking papers. Whether that means bringing back Archer, who passed on as many as 10 offers to join practice squads, is uncertain but it’s clear Jones cannot be returning kicks any longer.
His decision-making is questionable at best and he looks as shaky as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs when he settles under a kick or punt. This Steelers’ team has no room for error with four games remaining and every play and every decision gets analyzed with more and more scrutiny.
As much as I don’t like Antonio Brown returning punts, he proved again last night why it’s tough to keep him from doing so. One option in the kick return game is Markus Wheaton who I felt was very acceptable last year in that capacity. Whether Tomlin chooses that route is unknown for now but I don’t think there’s any way he can go back to Jacoby Jones.
If Tomlin has lost confidence in him then I see no reason to keep him around any longer. It’s tough to admit when you’re wrong but this would be a great time to do it.
photo courtesy thescore.com