|Steelers sign veteran kick returner Drummond|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 31 July 2008 13:43|
Drummond, who grew up in Pittsburgh and attended Penn State, was a Pro Bowl selection as a Detroit Lions after the 2004 season, when he returned two punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns.
``He's a return man that has some track record and he has a background in other areas, be it as a gunner or covering kicks,'' Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. ``He's shown he's capable of doing that and he's had a nice career doing that.''
Offensive tackle Jason Capizzi, who had a foot injury that might require surgery and was keeping him from practicing, reached an injury settlement with the team and was released to make room on the roster.
Drummond played for the Chiefs last season after spending the first five seasons of his career with Detroit. He returned a punt for a touchdown during each of his first two seasons in the NFL, but has not scored in the last three seasons.
Drummond, who has played on kick and punt coverage teams as well, said he also had received interest from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills.
``I honestly think I'm peaking right now as far as my career goes, and I feel better than I do when I had my Pro Bowl year,'' Drummond said. ``This is a good situation for me to be a part of.''
The Steelers released veteran return man Allen Rossum in the offseason and were projecting a multiplayer battle for the punt and kickoff return jobs.
Starter Santonio Holmes, third-year receiver Willie Reid, specialist Jeremy Bloom and rookie running back Rashard Mendenhall are among those expected to compete with Drummond for punt and kick returning duties.
Drummond has caught only four career passes for 7 yards in 64 games and is one of 11 wide receivers on the Steelers' camp roster.
One of them is second-round draft pick Limas Sweed. He was carted off the practice field Wednesday, and the Steelers found out their newest wide receiver does have a physical defect - but not an injury.
An eye test resulted in Sweed returning to camp Thursday with contact lenses. As for being carted off the field a day earlier, Sweed had cramps.
``I just went in and had them checked out, and they told me, 'You know, you have a little astigmatism,''' said Sweed, who said he has always been prone to cramps and dehydration and neglected to take his salt tablet Wednesday. ``I'm happy because I never knew. Now I can be 20/20 and be back in action.''
Coaches saw Sweed squinting during video sessions and noticed he would catch the ball on only certain sides.
``The old wide receiver in me (notices) that when you see guys struggle to pick up the blur of the ball, that's often one of the first things that you look at,'' Tomlin said. ``It was a minor issue, it's been corrected, and hopefully it's a winning edge for him.''