The special teams player whose responsibility it is to catch the kickoff or punt from the opposition and carry the ball up the field as far as possible without being tackled or stepping out of bounds.
Kick returners are commonly referred to as "return specialists". Sometimes returners play other speed positions such as wide receiver, running back or defensive back, and other times their sole responsibility is returning kicks.
Brian Mitchell holds the NFL record for most kickoff return yards--14,014 yards--as well as the record for 4,999 punt return yards. Devin Hester holds the record for most kicks returned for touchdowns.