How the Green Bay Packers can improve their special teams unit

Green Bay Packers, Corey BojorquezPackers04 40
Green Bay Packers, Corey BojorquezPackers04 40 /

It is no secret that the Green Bay Packers‘ special teams unit has been struggling for years.

With the Week 14 matchup against the Chicago Bears, the doubts of the special teams proved to be true as Jakeem Grant took a punt back 97 yards for a score, the furthest in Chicago Bears history.

So, how can this Packers squad improve their special teams unit? It’s simple really.

Continue with Maurice Drayton (until the end of the season)

It’s a controversial opinion considering how bad his unit has performed, but firing Drayton this late in the season will only be detrimental to the Packers’ special teams unit.

If they continue with him going forward and they play as bad as they have, Drayton will be fired starting next season.

Allow for starters to play on special teams

The biggest issue with the Packers’ special teams unit is that there are way too many rookies and lower depth chart players not playing well, Amari Rodgers being one of them.

Last season, veteran Tavon Austin was the returner for the Packers and was serviceable. If the Packers were to sign another veteran kick returner, it would allow for less muffed punts and better field position for offense. Plus the rookies can learn from the veteran players if they were to play behind them or with them.

Be more aggressive

Like I have mentioned in my previous special teams article, the Green Bay Packers need to be more aggressive on kickoffs and punt returns. Instead of letting punts go and having them be downed within the 20-yard line, the Packers should try to field the punts with a fair catch instead.

Last week against the Bears, Amari Rodgers was doing this and muffed a punt, but it was called back due to a penalty.

Invest in a different punt/kick returner

Let’s be honest here, Amari Rodgers has not been a good returner in the NFL. It is only his rookie season so if he continues to develop he could become a good returner in the future, but for now, the Packers should eat some cap space and pick up a veteran returner for the rest of the season.

Or, they could stay with Rodgers and then pick up a specialist in the offseason.

Get a more reliable long snapper and holder

There has been some issue in the past with timing and holding on field goals and punts. Most times, Corey Bojorquez has to punt from a low-snap position and in the Kansas City Chiefs game in Week 11, the laces of the football were off Mason Crosby’s preferred position causing a missed field goal.

Maybe Jordan Love should be out there holding the ball for Crosby, or they should invest in a better long snapper than the one they picked up earlier in the season.