The Pittsburgh Steelers are not off to a great start to the 2021 season. They’re currently sitting at 1-3 with a struggling offense and a defense that hasn’t been fully healthy since Week 1.
Even with the struggles they been going through, there have been some bright spots on the team. One of those bright spots has been wide receiver and return man, Ray-Ray McCloud.
McCloud signed with the Steelers before the start of the 2020 season and immediately took over the primary return duties both as a kick returner and punt returner. He started the season as one of the most electrifying return men the Steelers have had in a long time as he was near the top of the league in both categories through the first half of the season.
He seemed to have more difficulty finding room to operate in the second half of the season however, as his numbers dropped down to the middle of the pack during the final eight games. Steelers fans were getting frustrated as it appeared he tried to do too much instead of pick up the yards that were available which resulted in great field position many times earlier in the season.
McCloud was extended on a one-year deal to return as the Steelers primary returner and their 5th wide receiver for this season, and through the first four weeks, he has appeared to regain his early 2020 season form.
McCloud currently sits as the 3rd best punt returner as well as the 3rd best kick returner in terms of yards per return of players with at least 5 attempts in each category.
As a punt returner, he is currently averaging 10.8 yards per return across his 5 return attempts with a long return of 15 yards. Those are some pretty solid numbers that have given the Steelers some good field position on a couple occasions this season.
His kick returns come in at a solid clip as well, averaging 26.6 yards per attempt across his 8 returns with a long return of 40 yards which took place last week against the Green Bay Packers.
While McCloud assuredly would like to be more involved in the offense as he has been limited to only 4 catches this year for 35 yards, the work he is doing in the return game has been one of the few bright spots to point out through the first four weeks.
Let us know below what you think of McCloud’s performance so far this season!