Gunner Olszewski motivated to show out against Patriots in Week 2

"Anytime you play the ex, you want to show out."

Gunner Olszewski is looking for revenge against his former team on Sunday. AP Photo/Emilee Chinn

For Steelers receiver Gunner Olszewski, Sunday’s game against the Patriots brings extra meaning.

Olszewski began his career in New England, playing three seasons with the Patriots as a backup receiver but was the lead returner after he joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2019. The Patriots let Olszewski walk away though as a free agent this past offseason.

Not only will that be on Olszewski’s mind, but he also said it’ll motivate him to show out against his former team on Sunday.

“Anytime you play the ex, you want to show out,” Olszewski said. “Any time I get the ball, I want to do something with it. Playing the old team, the team that didn’t want you, sure I want to go out there and show what I can do.”


Olszewski even said he’ll even share whatever information he can about how the Patriots and their coaches operate, though he recognizes that the coaching staff has changed a lot since he left.

“I am not going to tell them anything if it ain’t 100 percent,” Olszewski said. “They’ve had some coaching changes over there. I am not 100 percent sure what they are doing on the offensive side or the defensive side anymore. Stuff that I see, sure I’ll mention it. But these coaches do this for a living, break down film, so I am sure I can’t tell them something they don’t know.”

Even though Olszewski is looking to get revenge against his former team on Sunday, he seemed appreciative of the three seasons he spent with the Patriots. He shared the message he learned from Bill Belichick and compared his former head coach to his new head coach, Mike Tomlin, in a positive light.

“Good football teams play good techniques, fundamental,” Olszewski said. “They preach the same sort of things.”

“They are two of the most consistent coaches in football,” Olszewski added. “I am appreciative to have played for both of them.”

Olszewski had a quiet opening performance for the Steelers in Week 1. He played just nine offensive snaps and wasn’t targeted. He also returned a punt and a kickoff.


New England’s decision to let Olszewski go came in an offseason in which it added depth to the receiver room, trading for DeVante Parker and selecting Tyquan Thornton in the second round of the draft.

The Patriots didn’t have a clear replacement though for Olszewski, who was an All-Pro in 2020 for what he did as a punt returner, at returner. Cornerback Myles Bryant was the primary punt returner in Week 1, returning two punts for 12 yards, and running back Ty Montgomery was the primary kick returner, returning a kick for 28 yards.

Third-round rookie cornerback Marcus Jones figures to be in the mix as a returner sometime soon, too. He won the Jet Award in 2021, which is given to the top returner in college each season. He returned punts and kick-offs throughout training camp and the preseason.


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