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Leon Washington got a lot of reps as the top kick returner

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Ian, May 21, 2013.

  1. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    #17 Jersey

    Jeff Howe mentioned that today. Barring a dramatic change obviously Edelman will likely remain their guy returning punts, but it appears Washington will be one to watch during preseason as the Patriots try and find someone who could be a threat returning kickoffs.

    The Blitz with Jeff Howe & Karen Guregian | Boston Herald
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
  2. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I certainly hope so. Washington was the #2 kick returner in the NFL last year and the reason Washington was hired.
  3. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I could be wrong, but I believe that Washington leads all active NFL players with 9 kickoffs returned for TD's.

    His presence should lead to improvement to the ST return unit for sure.
  4. Pewsterbaby

    Pewsterbaby Rookie

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    They also mentioned it on PFW In Progress. Andy "Tard" Hart or Portly Paul Perillo or Erik "Snooty" Scalavino or even Fred "Asleep At The Helm" Kirsch. One, or more, of those guyz said they witnessed Washington out there.

    Oh, you know how the Boston press people are always climbing over each other for the credit.
  5. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    It's one of those things that flies under the radar, but could be one of the most impactful pickups this offseason. Kick return was really the only weakness (and boy was it dreadful) on our special teams. Touchbacks, kick coverage, punt length and coverage, and punt returns (with Edelman or Welker) were all above average units last year. Get to the 35 or 40 with more kickoffs = the offense gets a boost AND in the case of a three and out, Zoltan can still give the defense good field position.
  6. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I know Devin had a big one against the jesters but watching him return kicks was painful - and risky. REALLY looking forward to Washington and getting Edelman back.
  7. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    #17 Jersey

    McCourty returning kickoffs is dangerous anyway. I'd rather not see anyone in their secondary (especially a starter) returning those.
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  8. JMC00

    JMC00 On the Roster

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    I thought it was almost a sure thing that if Washington makes the camp cut that he will be the kick returner.
  9. Mack Herron

    Mack Herron On the Roster

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    #24 Jersey

    This guy has a consistent record of NFL success at the position which transfers easily to another team. He fills a glaring weakness and I am hard pressed to think of another position where I am as confident we have an upgrade.
  10. deters

    deters Rookie

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    I would cringe and cross every toe and finger praying nothing would happen to him on his returns lol
  11. NEPettyOfficer72

    NEPettyOfficer72 Rookie

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    If you look at Leon Washington, he is only 30 and still one of the top return men in the NFL. Statistically, he is one of the best ever and star WR Julian Edelman is one of the best in the NFL as well. We are really blessed to have so many options at that particular position. Either way we go, we are set at return specialist.
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We do NOT have lots of good options. Washington is a top kick returner. Edelman is a top punt returner.

    Alos, neither is signed beyond 2013.

  13. NEPettyOfficer72

    NEPettyOfficer72 Rookie

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    Don't forget Devin McCourty, he is pretty good back there, and we have some rookies that have done well in College returning kicks. Additionally, look at Leon Washington's track record and Julian Edelman's on punt returns. Two top options at return is a lot of options. I know teams that can't even find one and most of them don't have a top option at return man, just someone decent. We have two players that are way above average in that regards, come on man lol
  14. Ian

    Ian Administrator Staff Member

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    #17 Jersey

    I said this a few posts ago but I don't want my starting safety/cornerback returning kicks. I agree with mgteich and feel the other two are good options. If either of them get hurt we're at least ok at RB & WR. Losing McCourty (or a similar player) to me would be pretty tough to handle. :bricks:
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  15. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Revis Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #95 Jersey

    We don't want our starting CB back there
  16. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    We as fans certainly don't want to see our starting stars back there on return duty. Belichick, on the other hand, does not seem to worry 1/2 as much as the fans do, as proven by his decisions over his coaching career.

    I believe that the change to L.Washington was much more due to the ineffectiveness as a whole of McCourty, than it was due to Bill Belichick worrying about not using a player's abilities on the chance that they may/may not become injured.

    One would certainly think that there could have been much "safer" choices than using Wes Welker as a punt returner over the years at times, as he was pretty much always the straw that stirred the drink on offense. I would imagine that there could have been any number of acceptable punt returners on the 45/46 man active roster, as opposed to using our biggest star on offense outside of Tom Brady.

    Washington was available, and he is one of the most proven return men in the game today--so the choice was likely easy, especially once their interest in Josh Cribbs was tempered. We shouldn't have to hold our breaths too many times this year in terms of seeing "stars" back there on returns...but the possibility will always exist on a Bill Belichick coached team. Otherwise we wouldn't be seeing our star TE Gronkowski blocking on a PAT kick with 2:00 remaining in a clear blowout :mad:
  17. zipster9

    zipster9 Rookie

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    Question. Is there really any difference between the 2 types of a "returner"?
    Why not just have washington be the returner for both?
  18. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    We've seen plenty of guys return both punts and kickoffs before, including your example of L.Washington.

    Danny Amendola had both return duties in his first 2 seasons in the NFL, and he actually led the league in KO return yardage that year to boot.

    Julian Edelman has also done both, but has been much more efficient on PR's.

    To answer your question though, KO returns are more dangerous and violent, with a higher tendency for injury due to the speed of the play itself. One needs to have good straightline speed, good vision, and an initial good burst right from the get-go for kickoff returns. The kickoff return is a much faster play, and actually is the fastest play possibly in all of sports.

    Punt returns--are a much slower play in general, where the chance of injury is not nearly as high. To be a successful PR man, one must be shifty (like Edelman), with the ability to be able to juke and make guys miss. It's more likened to a YAC kind of play, as opposed to KO returns, which are much more about blazing speed, initial burst etc. This is why we see Edelman/Welker excel at the bubble screen kind of plays, where they can just grab the ball and make a couple of moves..and BAM.

    Of course some of these traits are going to go hand in hand with each other at times, but that is the general breakdown of the differences. Generally one player will be chosen to be the "top" example of their duty, such as Washington on KR and Edelman on PR; but if an injury occurs either player can handle either duty.
  19. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The best kick returners and punt returners are usually a different group of players. Even when players CAN do both, they are usually much better at one than the others. So, it is with Washington and Edelman.

    That being said, Washington could end up returning punts if he is good enough and Edelman is not deemed worthy of a roster spot.

    And as others have said, it is a eally bad idea to have McCourty return kicks.

  20. scott99

    scott99 Rookie

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    #87 Jersey

    Exactly, the title of this thread is like saying "The sky is up". Thank you Captain Obvious.

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