Fields on buzz he may return kicks: 'Funny to me'

PITTSBURGH — Steelers quarterback Justin Fields laughed about the idea he could be returning kickoffs, too.

The 2021 first-round draft pick, who joined the Steelers via trade in March, on Tuesday addressed the now-viral anecdote from teammate Jaylen Warren that special teams coach Danny Smith said Fields could be an option to return kicks.

“I think everybody kind of interpreted it wrong,” Fields told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “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’s funny how serious social media takes everything. It was kind of funny to me when everybody was making a big deal about it for no reason.”

Warren floated the idea in a podcast interview with teammate Cameron Heyward, and it exploded on social media.

“As soon as you touch the ball, that’s when everything starts to happen,” Warren said. “Our special teams coordinator was talking about Justin Fields being back there. … We looked at him like, Justin Fields will be back there? I think it’s cool.”

Though Fields is speedy, running a 4.44 40-yard dash at his pro day in 2021, he wasn’t used as a returner at Ohio State — or at any recent level of organized football.

“Hey, you never know,” Fields told the Post-Gazette on Tuesday. “He might cook something up. We’ll see what happens.”


“Nah, I’m not here to do that,” Fields said. “It was kind of a joke, to be honest with you.”

Instead, Fields is in Pittsburgh for a fresh start after a roller-coaster three-year tenure with the Chicago Bears.

“I’m taking it day by day,” Fields said last week. “I’m definitely competing. I think [Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson] knows that we’re competing against each other every day. Him being out there for me, that helps me getting better, especially each other. I definitely don’t have the mindset of me just sitting all year. I’m coming in every day giving it all I got and pushing him to be his best, and he’s pushing me to be my best each and every day.”

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