Steelers HC Mike Tomlin sticking with what he knows in Pittsburgh’s return game

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When Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked whether he’ll stick with Ray-Ray McCloud as his returner, he did not hesitate.

“Yes,” Tomlin said flatly in his weekly press conference today.

Though I’m not sure there would ever be a situation where Tomlin would’ve said no, his answer should come as no surprise. Moments after McCloud’s costly fumble on Monday night, Tomlin put him right back in.

McCloud’s fumbled punt return was scooped up by Bears defensive back DeAndre Houston-Carson and returned for a score taking Chicago to within three points.

On the one hand, you have to give it to McCloud for trying to spin out of a tackle and gain more yardage. On the other hand, with defenders swarming, McCloud wasn’t going to get far.

You feel for the kid. When the Steelers signed McCloud in 2020, he brought a spark to a special teams unit that’s lacked excitement in the return game. Since then, there have been moments where it looked like he might rip one off. Other times… not so much.

McCloud is averaging 8.8 yards on punt returns and 23.8 on kick returns in 2021.

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