It didn’t take long to understand what the Steelers saw in Ryan Switzer when they traded for the receiver/returner, who handled the punt and kickoff return duties on Sunday against the Browns.
“He has done a good job,” said special teams coordinator Danny Smith. “We are just getting to know each other. He is a good player, he has a great attitude, he has a toughness, and a quickness about him. He takes his job serious. He does study the game. He and I will continue to grow as we proceed with this thing throughout our season. The initial stages show he is quite capable and we will see continuous improvement throughout and I am excited to have him.”
Switzer returned five punts for an 11.2-yard average, with a long of 22 yards, and three kickoffs for an average of 23 yards, including a long of 28 yards. It’s not often that players handle both the punt and kickoff return duties, but Smith said Switzer’s skillset works for that.
“It’s just a matter of his quickness,” said Smith. “He is extremely quick. He has a good catch point, by that I mean you see him running into catches, he is a good judge of where the ball is. That is what makes him effective. He is back at you pretty quick, because of his quickness. He has the ability to do both because of the skillset he has.”
Switzer described is performance in the return game on Sunday as a ‘good game,’ but knows it’s just something to build on as the return game is still relatively new to him. He was a returner last year for the Cowboys, but wasn’t utilized in that manner in college.
“It was my first ever year last year doing it,” said Switzer. “I got more comfortable the more reps I got. The more I get to know these guys that are blocking for me, get to learn the system, and perfect what Danny is asking me to do, the better it will be.”
To hear the full interview with Danny Smith, listen to SNR at 1 p.m. today.