Will the real Green Bay Packers returner please stand up?
Seems like only yesterday Randall Cobb returned a kick-off 108 yards against the Saints a couple of years back. Those were the days … for special teams anyway.
In recent history, the only way the Green Bay Packers had a chance at winning games was the offense. We all knew the defense would fold late in the game. It was really inevitable for the longest time, but hopefully that changes this year. In addition, the special teams unit wasn’t doing the team any favors either. Specifically, the kick-off and punt returns have not been stellar as of late. In order to take some of the pressure off the offense, special teams will have to produce this year.
How are the special teams shaping up then?
The Packers’ most accomplished returner on the squad this season is Randall Cobb, but his days as a returner seem to be over. Cobb does remain as an option though (in my mind at least). Special teams Coach Shawn Slocum is moving returners through the drills like it’s a competition. Return candidates are DuJuan Harris, Micah Hyde, Kevin Dorsey, Tramon Williams, Myles White, Davante Adams and LaDarius Perkins. According to the media, it appears DuJuan Harris is a leader for the returner spot right now. In addition to all this, the question about who will be taking over returns this year was not cleared up by the first pre-season game. The situation remains about as clear as mud right now.
DuJuan Harris did have success against the Titans in week 1, returning the first kick-off 40 yards. As far as the punt returns went, it was kind of ugly. In Green Bay’s 20-16 loss to the Tennessee Titans at LP Field, Davante Adams lined up deep for the first two punts and muffed both. Micah Hyde even fumbled one as well. Rain was a factor, causing ball security problems throughout for both teams.
Besides DuJuan Harris, no one has really made a strong case to be the No. 1 return man. Micah Hyde found some success last season returning punts, but the Packers want a stronger showing from their returners. Hopefully it will all be cleared up by the time the Green Bay Packers hop on their flight to Seattle to start their season.
Until then, keep your eye on the ball, watch it into your hands, and hold onto the ball!