Steelers QB Justin Fields on possibly returning kicks: ‘I’m not here to do that’


Justin Fields does not want to return kicks for the Pittsburgh Steelers

Despite Steelers running back Jaylen Warren hinting several weeks ago that special teams coach Danny Smith was pondering the idea of using the Steelers’ new quarterback as a kick returner, Fields brushed it off as mere chatter Tuesday.

“Nah, I’m not here to do that,” Fields told reporters. “It was kind of a joke, to be honest with you. “I think everybody kind of interpreted it wrong.”

“It’s funny how serious social media takes everything,” Fields said. “Coach Danny was basically just trying to send a message that no matter who you are, you could be on special teams. He just used that as an example.It was kind of funny to me when everybody was making a big deal about it for no reason.”

Fields’ comments came after Warren revealed that Smith had mentioned Fields’ name as a possibility on special teams during an offseason meeting. The idea of using Fields in the role seemed more plausible due to the NFL’s new kickoff rules

“Our special teams coordinator was talking about Justin Fields being back there,” Warren said during a live taping of Steelers defensive lineman Cam Heyward’s podcast. “We’re like, ‘Hold up, hold up.’ We looked at him like, ‘Justin Fields is about to be back there?’ I don’t know. I think it’s cool.”

Fields, though, seemed less than enthused when asked about it Tuesday.

The first-round pick by the Chicago Bears in the 2021 NFL Draft would certainly be a capable playmaker in the open field, having rushed for 2,220 yards and 14 touchdowns during his career. And the new kickoff rules, which prohibit players aside from the kicker and returner from moving before the ball is touched, would work in his favor.

Fields, though, is more focused on battling fellow new Steelers arrival Russell Wilson for the team’s starting quarterback job after landing in Pittsburgh via a trade with the Bears in March. 

How will the Russell Wilson-Justin Fields QB competition pan out?

When it comes to special teams, Fields is not a role that doesn’t involve his throwing arm — but if he can utilize it, that may be enough to perk his interest. Smith and the Steelers’ special teams corps have reportedly been drafting some diagrams that would equip Fields as a passer, allowing him to showcase his arm strength not down the field, but across the field on a return.

At the possibility of that, Fields was optimistic.

“Hey, you never know,” Fields said. “He might cook something up. We’ll see what happens.”

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