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Anyone Worried About Falcons Lack of Dynamic Kick/Punt Returners? DON'T BE!


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First, the NFL is trying to take kick returns out of the game as much as possible* so no stress there.

But more importantly, there is little to no correlation between yards per punt/kick return and offensive points per drive.  Look it up if you want, but since 2016 only one team in the top three of Points per drive had a punt or kick returner in the top three of yards per return (the 2017 Rams.)  That's only one of nine teams.

Consider where the Falcons have invested their salary cap space:  Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Freeman, O.L. etc . . . For cap distribution, the Falcons are ranked fourth in the league in favoring offense over defense.   Sure, field possession helps, but POSSESSIONS are more important than where you get the ball.  The most important job of the return teams (how much of the salary camp do they represent?) is TO MAKE SURE THE OFFENSE GETS THE BALL!  

During preseason, the guys we HOPED would add dynamics to our return game failed in this most important job . . . and they are gone.  

And that's fine.  

Personally, I think field possession is overrated and over the course of a game, a proficient offense that can sustain long drives wears down opposing defenses while keeping their own defense fresh, so I'd be fine with putting 11 guys at the line of scrimmage (for punts) to prevent a fake and letting the ball bounce harmlessly until the offense takes the field.  OK, that might be extreme, but you get my point.

 

*I'm afraid we will see the law of unintended consequences result in the trend of taking advantage of kicking from the 35 with higher (longer hangtime) kicks landing SHORT of the endzone and forcing returns.

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As you said, the NFL is trying to phase out kickoffs, and so be it.  I'll start on the 25 no problem...as far as dynamic punt returns, for our team, a dynamic punt return would literally be if the returner caught the ball and there was no penalty for holding or blocking...If we merely start the drive exactly where the punt ends, we're WAAAAY ahead of the game, especially with our offense...

 

My Special Teams coordination would go like this:  Fair Catch.  Every time.  Don't need to block, so no penalties.  Just catch the ball.  Period.

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10 minutes ago, Falconcheff said:

As you said, the NFL is trying to phase out kickoffs, and so be it.  I'll start on the 25 no problem...as far as dynamic punt returns, for our team, a dynamic punt return would literally be if the returner caught the ball and there was no penalty for holding or blocking...If we merely start the drive exactly where the punt ends, we're WAAAAY ahead of the game, especially with our offense...

 

My Special Teams coordination would go like this:  Fair Catch.  Every time.  Don't need to block, so no penalties.  Just catch the ball.  Period.

Maybe Matt Ryan should be our specials teams coach?

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28 minutes ago, HolyMoses said:

First, the NFL is trying to take kick returns out of the game as much as possible* so no stress there.

But more importantly, there is little to no correlation between yards per punt/kick return and offensive points per drive.  Look it up if you want, but since 2016 only one team in the top three of Points per drive had a punt or kick returner in the top three of yards per return (the 2017 Rams.)  That's only one of nine teams.

Consider where the Falcons have invested their salary cap space:  Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Freeman, O.L. etc . . . For cap distribution, the Falcons are ranked fourth in the league in favoring offense over defense.   Sure, field possession helps, but POSSESSIONS are more important than where you get the ball.  The most important job of the return teams (how much of the salary camp do they represent?) is TO MAKE SURE THE OFFENSE GETS THE BALL!  

During preseason, the guys we HOPED would add dynamics to our return game failed in this most important job . . . and they are gone.  

And that's fine.  

Personally, I think field possession is overrated and over the course of a game, a proficient offense that can sustain long drives wears down opposing defenses while keeping their own defense fresh, so I'd be fine with putting 11 guys at the line of scrimmage (for punts) to prevent a fake and letting the ball bounce harmlessly until the offense takes the field.  OK, that might be extreme, but you get my point.

 

*I'm afraid we will see the law of unintended consequences result in the trend of taking advantage of kicking from the 35 with higher (longer hangtime) kicks landing SHORT of the endzone and forcing returns.

What about when your punt returner muffs the punt and gives the other team the ball at the Falcon 20? What do the numbers say about that?

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14 hours ago, ya_boi_j said:

May I ask why??

He's a veteran with great hands who won't let the moment get too big for him . . . 

And he could set up a SUPER sweet trick play with one of the gunner blockers from the far side dropping back and taking a lateral from Sanu on a return.

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2 minutes ago, HolyMoses said:

He's a veteran with great hands who won't let the moment get to big for him . . . 

And he could set up a SUPER sweet trick play with one of the gunner blockers from the far side dropping back and taking a lateral from Sanu on a return.

That's no reason to consider him as a punt returner. There's rarely even enough time for the returner to even take 2 steps on a punt return, I don't expect that to change all of a sudden, especially enough to run a trick play on the return. If anything he provides a pair of good hands

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6 hours ago, takeitdown said:

This is why I wouldn't have kept Barner.

Keep a promising DL, secondary or WR.

Let Hardy fair catch punts.  When one of the developing WRs or CBs gets comfortable fielding punts, let them.  No reason to keep a roster spot just for that.

Especially with his getting 0 touches from RB, is he a gunner or even play on coverage? Don't get it

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8 hours ago, octoslash said:

Yeah who needs 'em? 

Okay, I'll play...Deion Sanders returned 223 punts in his career...6 of them for TD's.   SIX out of 223...

 

He returned 163 Kickoffs...for 3 TD's.

 

Devin Hester returned 328 punts in his career...for 14 TD's...310 Kickoffs for 6 TD's...

 

 

So yeah, two of the BEST to ever do it, did it 20 times out of 551 attempts...

 

The risk is NOT WORTH the reward...

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1 hour ago, IamFRESCO1 said:

DQ said Sanu used to return in highschool and college....and he may have the best hands on the team. 

I know y'all don't like it but... It's football....and stars have to shine...

D. Sanders

D. Jackson

P. Peterson

And Sanu not even in these guys level.

It’s not about liking it or not, just asked for reasoning why

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