Believe it or not, the Pittsburgh Steelers report to training camp on July 25th, and we are digging up the '32 Scenarios in 32 Days' segment to help us all pass the time. Once a day we will be drafting a potential 2015 season scenario, telling you why it will happen, why it won't and giving you important keys for the scenario to take place.
Scenario: Steelers Antonio Brown takes two returns back for touchdowns.
Why it will happen: Antonio Brown is electric anytime he has the football in his hands. For this reason, and many more, the Steelers will continue to put Brown back as their primary punt returner and possibly for the occasional kick return. Brown has had 4 kick returns for a touchdowns since entering the league in 2010 (3 punt returns and 1 kick off return).
Brown knows how to make plays when back returning both kickoffs and punt returns, and although he rarely finds his way back to receive a kickoff anymore, he did register one kick return last season. Some might argue against using Brown as a punt returner and how it could possibly lead to injury, but the reality is Mike Tomlin has already stated he isn't afraid of putting Brown back to return punts.
32 scenarios in 32 days: Bell rushes for 13 TDs
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If the Steelers do want to pull back on Brown's punt return numbers in 2015, they could certainly use Brown as they used to utilize Santonio Holmes when he was playing in Pittsburgh. Holmes would be used in obvious return situations, or when the team needed a big return, while other players would take care of duties which could lead to more fair catches.
Plain and simple, if Brown gets the touches in the return game there is no doubt he has the ability to take two of those kicks back for touchdowns.
Why it won't happen: Antonio Brown is arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, and the Steelers repeatedly putting him at risk of injury on a punt return play continues to have many cringe every time Brown receives a kick. The Steelers could be dialing back Brown's action on punt returns this season to avoid losing one of their best offensive weapons for any duration of time.
On top of the risk of injury, the Steelers return units were hardly stellar in both kick off and punt returns. Rather, both return units would rarely open up holes for even a returner as talented as Brown. Brown's only return in 2014 was a crazy return in the Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals where Brown returned the ball to the far sideline, only to reverse field and find a seam down the opposite sideline for a touchdown.
If Brown is going to take two returns back for touchdowns he would not only need to get the repetitions, but also have improved return teams in front of him.
Keys: The key here is whether Brown gets the reps or not. Mike Tomlin did say he will continue to put him out there, but it is easy for him to say that sitting in Arizona in the offseason. It is completely different for him to say that when he is watching how important No. 84 is to the overall function to the team's offense. If he gets the reps, there is no doubt he has the ability to take two kicks back for touchdowns. However, if his reps are scaled back, asking him to double his production might be too much to ask, even for Antonio Brown.