Return Men

Discussion in 'On The Field' started by Chop, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Chop

    Chop 1,000+ Posts

    We now have some serious speed burners, open field wizards, and electrifying playmakers on this squad. I hope to see a number of them get shots (in the games) on the return teams to make a big splash. New guys like Jake Smith, J. Whittington, and Tyler Owens, as well as known-quantity returnees Jamison and Duvernay could take some punts and kickoffs all the way to the house. This gives us an aspect to our game that's been largely missing for a while.

    Do you hold out any non-QBs from the return teams for fear of injury? IMHO the risk reward for a playmaking return man weighs in favor of playing him, unless he's a QB (like Roschon, for instance, who would make a good return man).
  2. I_Dont_Exist

    I_Dont_Exist 1,000+ Posts

    The thing about return men is this. Nathan Vasher was full-time for 3 years and returned 2 for TD's. Aaron Ross was full-time for 2 years and had 3. And I'd put Vasher back there 10 out of 10 times.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  3. Chop

    Chop 1,000+ Posts

    Not fumbling is obviously a key factor to consider for return men, as is getting the consistent 10 yards or so on punt returns, and consistently bringing it to the 30 yd line or better on kickoff returns. But with the sort of ultra-fast playmakers we've recently brought in, I say we should give them a try at returns.
  4. AC

    AC 500+ Posts

    Punt returns are fun to watch. Fun to field them too. I always liked it when they kicked a low line drive punt to Aaron Ross or Nate Vasher. Can’t wait to see Jake Smith or J Whittington back there! 51 days fellas!
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Chop

    Chop 1,000+ Posts

    The rise of all these Australian-style punters (a trend we either started or jumped on very early) has allowed the coverage teams to get downfield better and limit punt returns. Return teams will adjust and eventually catch up. A good punt returner is still an important man to have.
  6. Chop

    Chop 1,000+ Posts

    It's like when teams started bringing in European and Latin American soccer players as kickers. Then everyone was doing it and the coaches down to the high schools and lower started teaching the soccer style kick.

    I don't know if many high school coaches are teaching the Australian style roll-out / running punt, but they should be...
  7. NRHorn

    NRHorn 1,000+ Posts

    Just watched a1960 era UT -Ark game and the starting Ark QB Jack Mildren made a tackle on a kickoff.
    I always liked the Aggies 12th Man all-walk on tradition on special teams.
  8. WorsterMan

    WorsterMan 10,000+ Posts

    To me this should be #1 on the list. A Fumble / turnover on a kick or punt can cost you a game.

    Kickoffs are fair easier to judge and adjust to than punts. Easier to catch IMO, no opponent right on top of you, more time to catch, etc.

    Punts are tricky. They take more skill and discipline than kickoffs, harder to judge, contending with wind & sun, opponents right on top of you as you catch it many times, etc.

    We've had some return men with great hands that did not fumble. Need keep that tradition going.
  9. WorsterMan

    WorsterMan 10,000+ Posts

    Hate to point it out but Jack Mildren from Abilene TX was the QB for ou. Maybe you said Ark but meant ou?
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  10. Chop

    Chop 1,000+ Posts

    A little special teams coaching issue: Please, stop fair catching the ball inside the 10 yard line.

    Inside the 10, get out of the way and take the calculated risk that we'll get a touchback.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. NRHorn

    NRHorn 1,000+ Posts

    I don’t know what I was thinking, it was the ‘69 Ark game and I might be incorrect on the ARK QB on special teams.
    So I don’t know, maybe I was watching an old OU game and Mildren was on kickoff coverage.
    Maybe I am just getting old.
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  12. dukesteer

    dukesteer 2,500+ Posts

    It’s a special skill and we haven’t had a consistent threat IMO since Fozzy Whitaker emerged as a terrific KO returner later in his career, after the injuries.

    I agree that with the talent on the field this year, we should be able to reverse that trend. Changing field position is a huge factor in games, as we saw with Dickson. This could be a good year with our portfolio of return specialists and our improving punter.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. tchill

    tchill 25+ Posts

    [/QUOTE]...I don't know if many high school coaches are teaching the Australian style roll-out / running punt, but they should be...[/QUOTE]

    Rugby punting is very popular in high school football. Not only does the kicking team get down fielder farther, but they also have to account for the punter running.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. X Misn Tx

    X Misn Tx 2,500+ Posts

    1 don't fumble
    2 know when to catch it and when to let it go
    3 know when to fair catch and when to run
    4 understand 15 yards is better than going backwards to try for a TD
    5 swivel hips for that first gunner
    6 fast

    That's how I prioritize skill sets
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Chop

    Chop 1,000+ Posts

    Clearly there's much coaching and discipline involved in these special teams positions. I feel like throwing a rock at the tv whenever we run backwards on a return, or fair catch the ball inside the 10 yard line...

    We have some guys on the squad now with break-away speed and electrifying playmaking ability. You would think at least one of them can consistently field the ball without fumbling and can be coached not to make stupid mistakes.
  16. #2is#1

    #2is#1 1,000+ Posts

    Deion was the best ever IMO.
    If the first two guys missed, hold your breath.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. SabreHorn

    SabreHorn 5,000+ Posts


    You must’ve gone through 6-10 TVs per game when Jitter Fields was returning punts.

    • Funny Funny x 1
  18. Statalyzer

    Statalyzer 10,000+ Posts

    Jamison has a lot of potential, but he seemed good for one unforced mental error per game (losing a ton of yards on a reverse instead of eating the ball, fumbling a kick/punt, etc), which is a lot when he only got a few touches. I felt much better once we started putting Brandon Jones back there.

    Or run the ball out of the end zone on a kick and don't make it to the 25. Almost every team does this and it's amazing how apparently nobody has an ST coach who clamps down on it. I bet if the official stats measured kick returns starting at the 25 as the "0" point (such that running it out to the 18 would be a -7) then suddenly most of the KRs would start making far more rational decisions about kneeling vs running.
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  19. Chop

    Chop 1,000+ Posts

    Yep. Mental errors on special teams (and of course fumbles) can make the difference in a close game. It seems like so many teams wrongly treat special teams as an afterthought. To me, it should be a major focus.

    Also, a good kicker or punter is not a waste of a valuable scholarship.
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  20. zuckercanyon

    zuckercanyon 1,000+ Posts

    No doubt, Deion was all world, but Devin Hester highlight reels speak for themselves.....
  21. #2is#1

    #2is#1 1,000+ Posts

    I hear you, but imagine if Deion was a specialist?
    Imagine if he could dedicate most of his week just concentrating on returns, studying film, working angles instead of the other teams best receiver.
  22. zuckercanyon

    zuckercanyon 1,000+ Posts

    Excellent point!
  23. Chop

    Chop 1,000+ Posts

    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  24. Statalyzer

    Statalyzer 10,000+ Posts

    Shipley did it again vs Tech the very next season too.
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