Welcome to PatsFans.com

The Return Game

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, May 4, 2013.

  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,453
    Likes Received:
    97
    Ratings:
    +227 / 17 / -2

    We now have 2 of the best returners in the NFL: Washington (KR) and Edelman (PR). And yes, they are also positional backups.
  2. dales804

    dales804 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,622
    Likes Received:
    89
    Ratings:
    +170 / 2 / -1

    Disable Jersey

    The Patriots could do well to improve their KR. I had high hopes for Demps but that didn't work out. Now it's Wasington to step in and I have confidence he can and will. I would be fine with not seeing McCourty return another one and Woodhead wasn't anything to write home about either.
  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2005
    Messages:
    13,090
    Likes Received:
    70
    Ratings:
    +172 / 0 / -0

    There has been a lot of talk on this site over the last couple of years about the need for the Pats to improve their kickoff return game, but in my opinion that need is overstated.

    The difference between what the Pats averaged and the median is a whopping 2.3 yards per return; that's not worth worrying about. Even the difference between what the Pats averaged and the number one kick return team is only 6.1 yards per return. There are a lot more important things to improve rather than whether the Pats start three or fewer drives per game from the 21 as opposed to the 23 or 27 yard line.

    The most important aspect of the kick return is ball security, not averaging a few extra yards. Turning the ball over costs your team one of a very limited number of possessions while at the same time it gifts your opponent with three or seven points.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that kick returning is a lot more than the player who catches and runs with the ball. Much of the issue with the Pats kick returns the last couple of years appears to be less than stellar blocking, making it difficult for the return man to even make it back to the twenty yard line. While a better return specialist might improve things, don't expect drastic improvement if the ten others blocking for him don't do a better job.

    2012 NFL Team Returning Stats - National Football League - ESPN
  4. scout

    scout Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    7,702
    Likes Received:
    26
    Ratings:
    +37 / 0 / -2

    #15 Jersey

    I don't think it that stats or the average that is significant. Its' the timing or situation when the offense can't generate yards and we just got scored on. Having a L. Washington returning a kick to the 40 yard line is a nice opportunity versus last year when I would hope for a Knee.
  5. lurker1965

    lurker1965 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,714
    Likes Received:
    31
    Ratings:
    +79 / 6 / -7

    No Jersey Selected


    #1 Please someone tell me that a "moderator" on this board did not just link to E!SPN. If he did please tell me noogies were delivered. (Hint for JMT: if you can't find an alternative on yahoo, NFL.com, or any other site that does not lead to financial gains by ESPN you may need to resign.:) )

    #2 Does that number include punt returns? I saw the offense on non-turnover non-punt situations starting around the twenty. Yes I know the average starting field position was not far off the league average. Again, do your numbers take out punt returns and turn overs?

    I don't know why a play works at the forty and not the twenty, but it does. I do not know (nor care) what the rest of the league does.

    Or are you going to tell me I can't trust my lying eyes again?:D
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  6. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2005
    Messages:
    13,090
    Likes Received:
    70
    Ratings:
    +172 / 0 / -0

    100% guilty as charged, mea culpa. Sorry, got lazy I guess. Noogies accepted.

    P.S. When I comment, I comment as a forum member - just like you and everyone else. In terms of you or anyone else responding to one of my forum opinions, I expect no special treatment - so feel to free to disagree if that is the case. On the flip side, if I do feel like responding to someone's opinion, I am likewise going to do so as just another plain old forum member.

    Strictly looking at kickoff returns with those numbers.

    The reason for inclusion of other teams was to put the topic in context, as to what could reasonably be expected. Changing the kickoff return man is at the very best going to only add about six yards per return, and most likely will add less than that. While it would certainly be nice to start at the 40 once in a while, those median and very best kickoff return averages tell me that for every time that happens, there are going to be about a dozen times that the ball comes out no further than it has been.

    I agree, there have been multiple times when I felt like covering my eyes when the Pats were fielding a kickoff the last couple of years. Perhaps our viewpoints are skewed a bit because most of what we see of other teams returning kickoffs is of a highlight reel touchdown return, and we don't see the dozens of other returns by those same teams that ended up somewhere in the vicinity of the 20-25 yard line.

    Another thing to consider: the Pats returned just 38 kickoffs last year (or slightly more than two per game), and the league average was 43 returns (about 2.7 per game). With the kickoff being moved to the 35 yard line there just aren't as many kickoff returns as there used to be, which makes this aspect of the game less significant and a lower priority in my opinion.
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  7. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Messages:
    7,651
    Likes Received:
    15
    Ratings:
    +31 / 0 / -13

    Does anybody know whether differences in average return tend to come more from:


    • Distance returned on a "typical" return?
    • Big plays?
    Also, how many punt returns (as opposed to fair catches, touchbacks, etc.) do there tend to be per game?
  8. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2005
    Messages:
    13,090
    Likes Received:
    70
    Ratings:
    +172 / 0 / -0


    I don't have an answer to the first two questions, that may take a while to figure out.

    As for actual punt returns, there were a total of 1,133 punt returns in the regular season last year. That's an average of 35.4 per team with a median of 36, which works out to an average of 2.2 punts returned per team, per game last year.

    In regards to actual kickoff returns (i.e., not including touchbacks, out of bounds, etc.), there were a total of 1,395 kickoffs returned in the regular season last year. That is an average of 43.6 per team, with a median of 43. That works out to an average of 2.7 kickoffs returned per team per game in the 2012 season.
  9. Brady_to_Moss

    Brady_to_Moss Revis Island is here PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    17,172
    Likes Received:
    113
    Ratings:
    +273 / 4 / -1

    #95 Jersey

  10. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Messages:
    13,205
    Likes Received:
    117
    Ratings:
    +279 / 4 / -2

    #51 Jersey

    2.3 yards may be the difference between a made and missed game winning FG. Everything matters.
  11. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,785
    Likes Received:
    13
    Ratings:
    +17 / 0 / -0

    I don't feel as if this team's KR issues were due to the returner himself. Most of the time it seemed like the blocking wasn't opening any holes.

    Granted a good KR can subtly make his own holes with his first few moves, but I'd put the majority of the blame on the blocking scheme and players we're using.
  12. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    14,166
    Likes Received:
    218
    Ratings:
    +496 / 3 / -7

    #24 Jersey

    You're on fire tonight, aus.

    I am cracking open a cold Foster's lager in honor of what you bring to this forum, my friend :rocker:

    One of my favorite posters.
  13. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    14,166
    Likes Received:
    218
    Ratings:
    +496 / 3 / -7

    #24 Jersey

    I'd think that you're probably onto something with this thought, and it's possible that a couple of the ST moves will prove to back your theory up (in terms of blocking and various assignments).

    That said, I also definitely saw a difference of DMcC in the way that he hit the hole during his initial burst on KO returns--particularly after the costly fumble that happened at the end of the NYJ game when it almost lost the game for us.

    If you get a chance, watch his KO return for a TD last year, then compare it to some of his other returns. He is certainly more tentative in his initial burst on the majority of the other returns.

    With that kind of speed, he probably has the potential to take at least 1-2 returns to the house every season, but he'd also be more prone to getting knocked on his a55 in a potentially season ending way. That is the fine line that Belichick walks when using important starters on ST's, particularly the KO returns which are known to be much more "violent." Hopefully we can see someone else who isn't quite as important step up, a la Leon Washington.
  14. lurker1965

    lurker1965 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,714
    Likes Received:
    31
    Ratings:
    +79 / 6 / -7

    No Jersey Selected

    #1) Do not sweat it. I highly doubt anyone here cuts you slack because of the "moderator" thing.

    #2) is the multi-quote of 1 post thing time consuming? I'm lazy and ...

    #3) if, say, the Colts return game is almost as bad as ours, then that is the Colt fan's problem. It excuses the Patriots as much as them excusing Peyton by saying, "Brady did..." I doubt anyone here uses the same justification as Colt fans.:)
  15. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    22,218
    Likes Received:
    92
    Ratings:
    +325 / 15 / -10

    Big plays tend to have a large impact. A 100 yard return if you get 40 returns (about the average JMT listed) raises your avg from 20 to 22.
  16. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    14,166
    Likes Received:
    218
    Ratings:
    +496 / 3 / -7

    #24 Jersey

    Your point could very well be true, jmt. It's certainly at least debatable.

    If so, could we also assume that the all-important perception from fans regarding the kickoffs by Gostkowski may not end up mattering as much as many think?

    If that's the case then maybe there is something to the rumor of Gostkowski not being re-signed when his deal is up? After all, there may be a strong argument that we could potentially save a decent amount of cap space/money by looking to the draft or simply paying a vet journeyman a million or so to come in and do his thing.

    For what it's worth, I don't necessarily have a horse in this race. I believe that Gostkowski does things well for the most part. The only issue would be the compensation.
  17. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Messages:
    13,205
    Likes Received:
    117
    Ratings:
    +279 / 4 / -2

    #51 Jersey

    It's got nothing to do with me and all to do with the beers, red wine and fine BBQ enjoyed last night.

    We're all aware of the value placed on field position. It's a common sense approach to something which has the ability to put 3 on the board. Given the closeness of results in the post-season, that 2-3 yards really could be the difference between a Superbowl or another Goober heartbreak.
  18. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    14,166
    Likes Received:
    218
    Ratings:
    +496 / 3 / -7

    #24 Jersey

    I honestly don't know if my heart could take it again...and I'm only in my late 30's.
  19. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Messages:
    11,024
    Likes Received:
    14
    Ratings:
    +45 / 0 / -0

    #12 Jersey

    Both positions are upgraded in a sense. KR you add one of the best in the league. Washington also upgrades the backup PR position not necessarily better than Welker but it's better than having a starter fielding punts. Saves DMC from further risk of injury too.
  20. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2007
    Messages:
    11,024
    Likes Received:
    14
    Ratings:
    +45 / 0 / -0

    #12 Jersey

    Also some of the rookies may contribute at return if need be

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>