By Teresa Varley
He has emerged in the preseason as the player to watch, a guy fans are clamoring about on sports talk shows and teammates are marveling at the way he can make an impact in just a few seconds.
But that doesn't mean that Stefan Logan is a shoe-in to make the Steelers 53-man roster. He knows he has more to prove. And that final opportunity will come on Thursday night when the team plays the Carolina Panthers in the preseason finale.
"You want to do everything in your power to help this team win and get a roster spot," said Logan. "Going to Carolina you have to put it on the line. It's a big week of cuts. A lot of people don't want to go home not making it. I want to do everything I can to get a roster spot."
So far Logan has been a shot in the arm to the Steelers return game that was lacking last year. He has returned four kickoffs for 157 yards, a 39.3-yard average, all of them occurring against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in the rain.
"I felt good after the Redskins game," said Logan. "They put me out there, it was wet. Coach still had confidence in me to put me out there on kickoff and punt return with the conditions. That let me know the coaches had confidence in me. It's a blessing for me to get out here and do what I am doing. I want to continue to do that. I am going to keep working hard and everything will work out."
Logan also has gotten the call on punt returns, taking eight of them for 111 yards, a 13.9-yard average. He is hoping come Sept. 10 when the Steelers host the Tennessee Titans that he will continue in that role along with returning kickoffs.
"I want punt return and kickoff return," said Logan. "I want both jobs. I am going to go after both of them hard and try to win both of them."
The Steelers signed Logan in February after he played the 2008 season with the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League. He was brought in as a running back, but since has been used in the return game and at wide receiver. It's on offense where he is going to have to show if he can contribute this week.
"They want to get me in on the offensive side of the ball at receiver, as well as returner," said Logan. "Whenever you get your chance you just make the best of it and it will work out. Hines (Ward) and Santonio (Holmes) talk to me and tell me to stay in the playbook and everything will work out. They know I want to play some offense. I want to make a few extra plays for the team."
It's unknown at this point if the team will keep Logan based solely on his return ability. They did just that in 2007 with Allen Rossum, but he is willing to do whatever is asked of him to make it hard for the team to let him go.
"You never know what the coaches are thinking, what they have up their sleeve," said Logan. "You just have to be ready for whatever they throw at you and that's what I am all about.
"The more you can do the more chances you get on the field and the better off you will be making the team. The more I can do the more it will help me. That is what I am trying to do. When you are out there you have to go at it 100 percent and everything will work out for you."