PITTSBURGH -- Gunner Olszewksi has gotten off to a rough start this season as the Pittsburgh Steelers' punt and kick returner. He's fumbled twice in what looks like a pattern of ball insecurity to his coaches.
"Not very high to be quite honest with you, man,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said when asked about his confidence in Olszewski. “You can’t put two balls on the ground in four games and feel good about it. Two is a pattern in the National Football League."
The Steelers are trying to break that pattern and have tested a few different players in the punt returner role ahead of their next game against the Buffalo Bills. Steven Sims, who's spent the past four gamedays inactive as a member of the practice squad, said he will be active this week and get a chance to prove himself as a returner.
"I'm going to get a shot at it this week, so I'm excited about that," Sims said. "Can't wait to see what happens. ... It's been a little while but I'm excited though."
Sims said he's tried to make the most of his reps this week and earn snaps on his own merit, not just because someone else has played poorly.
"I just feel like I've been ready," Sims said. "I've been working every day, taking my reps and ... just been killing them, doing what I can and letting everything else play out how they're supposed to. I got a good opportunity this week to return."
Olszewski has also taken snaps with the Steelers offense periodically on gameday. Sims believes he is ready to fill in there as well and is ready to get the ball during plays that let him use his speed and shake.
"I could see myself in that same role," Sims said. "Whatever coach asks me to do or needs me to do, I'll be ready. We'll see. I don't know exactly what we're going to have up for this week but I know I'll be doing jet sweeps and things like that."
Sims added that time with newly minted Steelers starting quarterback Kenny Pickett has helped him get to know the offense and prepare him for a bigger role this week.
"During the games I haven't been playing, I've been at his hip, asking him about the play," Sims said. "We've been going through the play, going through the defense. I'm asking him what he likes on this play against this coverage, what he's thinking, where he's throwing the ball and that's kind of where we've been building our relationship - on the sidelines."
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