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Steelers’ Mike Tomlin on how to handle Tyreek Hill: “Very thoughtfully”

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The last time the Kansas City Chiefs played the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tryeek Hill was still starting to come on. He was becoming a little more than a gadget player but at that point still mostly a gadget player.

Since then he’s evolved as a receiver and running back. His special teams contributions, however, are just as dangerous back then as they are today. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was asked this week how they plan to handle Tyreek in the return game.

“Very thoughtfully, and it’s easier said than done,” Tomlin said via the Steelers website. “You saw what trying to directional kick did to us a couple of weeks ago. We put the ball out of bounds twice. Gave them the ball on the 40. We have to tread lightly as we prepare and understand that our ability to minimize his touches in that area aides us, but we don’t want to give them anything. We gave our opponent some field position a couple weeks ago by kicking the ball out of bounds a couple of times. Not interested in that.”

I read that and initially thought the Steelers would be kicking to Tyreek Hill because they don’t want it going out of bounds. But Tomlin didn’t really answer that question quite that way. He was talking about kickoffs. Tyreek usually doesn’t do kick returns anymore, which is where the Steelers had their issue with the directional kicks. Tyreek does do punt returns, however.

The Chiefs can come out on top either way here. If the Steelers kick away from him, they risk pooching it out of bounds. If they kick to him ... well, ask the Raiders and Broncos about that.