Warrick to return punts

BY GEOFF HOBSON

Rookie receiver Peter Warrick's frustration got soothed a bit Wednesday.

In an effort to jumpstart their No. 1 draft pick's playmaking abilities, special teams coach Al Roberts plans to alternate Warrick with Craig Yeast on punt returns this Sunday in Pittsburgh.

"We want Peter to get his hands on the ball and sometimes when the offense isn't clicking, he's not getting his hands on it enough," Roberts said. "This is just another way to use him. I'm not talking about every punt, but every other one or every third."

Yeast will get the Steelers' first punt and Warrick will probably get the next one in his first NFL chance since returning two for touchdowns at Florida State that included a 90-yarder.

Warrick disappeared during Sunday's 23-14 loss to Tennessee and made his displeasure known after the game. He caught his only pass with 1:27 left in the game and then wondered why the Bengals weren't getting him the ball. And he didn't back down Wednesday.

"I still think I ought to get four or five balls, (no matter the defense,)" Warrick said. "I know it's not all about me. It's more like a team effort. I know it's selfish to think like that, but I do feel like that. That's why they brought me here.

"(But) as I sit back and look at the start of the season until now, I had chances to catch the ball," Warrick said. "I dropped the ball."

Warrick figures he won't be rusty. He catches two punts a day in practice and he's still got the moves that allowed him to break a 59-yarder in the Sugar Bowl earlier this year for a touchdown.

"You've got to have a little wiggle in you," Warrick said. "I feel like I've got it. But Craig Yeast has it, too. You can't take anything away from him. I just want to get more involved."

Yeast, who averaged 21 yards per punt return last year, is only at 6.4 yards this season on 15 returns. With opposing kickers keeping it away from Pro Bowl returner Tremain Mack, Roberts plans to drop both Mack and Yeast deep when the Bengals receive kickoffs.

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