Buccaneers could use Antonio Brown as kick returner
Early in his career, Antonio Brown was used heavily as a kick and punt returner by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Those responsibilities diminished as he blossomed into an elite receiver, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could change that.
Coach Bruce Arians on Friday left the door open to using Brown as a return man when asked if that might be an option.
“He’s a great punt returner and kick returner,” Arians said, via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk. “It’s just going to be one of those things where we can get him out there with a live ball and not a jugs machine — get him back to catching them. He’ll give us good depth in that area.”
It’s not a yes, but it’s also not a no. Jaydon Mickens has served as Tampa Bay’s return man this season and hasn’t done much wrong, but Brown is such a tempting option in that role.
Brown returned kicks for the Steelers during his first two NFL seasons, with one kickoff return for a touchdown. He was used on punt returns more consistently, and has four career scores as a punt returner. Ultimately, the decision may be based on Brown’s role as a receiver, and that could preclude him from taking on the return responsibilities.