Scouting the Steelers: The Special Teams

In a three-part series, we break down the Dolphins' next opponent: the Pittsburgh Steelers. In this final installment, we take an in-depth look at the Steelers defense.

It's pretty obvious that the Steelers are 4-1 on the season mostly because of their defense, which ranks first in total yards allowed and first against the run.

But there's also no question that Pittsburgh might not have been able to pull out a victory at Tennessee in Week 2 without rookie Antonio Brown returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown.

Brown is part of a Steelers special teams unit that has improved dramatically under first-year assistant Al Everest after a nightmarish 2009 season.

More important than Brown's return, the Steelers have tightened up their kick coverage after giving up four kickoff returns for touchdowns last season.

In addition to Brown, another Steelers special-teamer off to a good start this season is punter Daniel Sepulveda. The left-footer from Baylor, a former fourth-round pick, is averaging an impressive 46.7 yards per punt with a net of 40.2.

Kicker Jeff Reed, meanwhile, is off to a shaky start with four misses in his first 12 field goal attempts. He has been a reliable kicker through the years, though.

Veteran Antwaan Randle El returned to Pittsburgh in the offseason and has been handling the punt returns, although he has yet to break a long one.

The guy to watch for the Dolphins in this matchup clearly is Brown, who grew up in Liberty City and would love nothing more than to produce a big play in his hometown.


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