We can all agree that Banks wasn't getting the job done anymore but neither is Aultman. On pretty much every punt return Aultman gets 4 or 5 yards and that's it. It's hard to tell whether it's just poor blocking schemes or the returners are just not good enough.
We got used to guys like Thiggy, Williams and Banks taking these kicks all the way on a regular basis but it would be nice if we could at least rip off a 30-40 yard return once a game or so to get a boost in field position. We always seem to be starting at our own 15.
Look at Calgary. They always seem to find these guys like Finch that really shorten the field for Bo Levi.
I don't have the answers. We had a great run of returners for six or seven years, led by the guys you mentioned. At any time from 2010 to 2016, we could make a case for having the best or second best returner in the league. Not sure why we should be jealous of Calgary or any other team in the context of their returners over the past few years.
But I do have some advice. Before you post your perception of a guy's stats, at least have the decency to look them up. Aultman has been our main punt returner for exactly four games. His average return yardage in those games has been 11.4, 10.6, 13.3, and 6.2. Last night was his lowest average, but it was still above the 4 or 5 yards you think he gets every time.
On that basis, I have nothing else to say about your topic.
I did look up Aultman's stats as well as everybody else in the CFL. My perception is that he ain't going very far. Whether it's 5 yards or 10. The point is nobody is holding their breath this year to see a 50 yard return. Most times that the offence trots out onto the field they are looking at 80 or 90 yards in front of them. A guy who gets ten yards on every return and nothing else doesn't help the offence much. Yet if he can break one or two of those and at least get you into field goal range every once in a while it could be game changer.
Fielding the ball cleanly is job one, big returns are the exception and usually a bonus. Don't know the stats on TD returns but they are still rare enough that Safeway offers $25,000 for one kick-off return and a million dollars if there are two, and it has been a safe bet so far. Punt returns for the TD are still rare enough to light up the fans and fire up a team, so it is not just Banks, Saunders and Aultman.
Some of the kickers can boot it 50+ yards, so an occassional 15-20 yard return is still leaves a good net average for the punter.
In the 2014 eastern final, Banks had 3 returns for touchdowns (one was called back). In the proceding Grey cup, he produced yet another. And there were other occasions through the season, where he provided great field position.
If you have a talented returner and blockers, along with good coaching, the results will come.
In 2014, Banks was our main returner, and got a couple of TDs. When he was injured, Madu came in and ran one back. And when he was injured, McDuffie came in and ran one back.
Yes, all three of these guys are fast and shifty. But the fact that all three had TD returns in limited time that yearsays a lot about our blocking schemes too. As does the string of successful returners we've had the last ten years or so.
I have thought since the Banks called back TD in the GC that the blockers and runners have almost given up. Why put out the effort if some zebra is going to spot someone for a minor infraction away from the play and negate what has been a great play.
This thread is from last October. We had an entire off-season to fix it and now it's probably even worse. Our offence can't be expected to consistently produce points when they are starting most drivesunder their own goalposts.Cats need to find a shifty returner who can get you up around mid-field occasionally. So then the offence only needs a couple of 1st downs to get into field goal range.
What is the concensus here? Does the problem lie with STC McKnight's blocking schemes or with Tillman not finding the talent?
Maybe we simply do not have the blockers, it appeared to me when we were effective in returns we could easily plug and play the returner with pretty good results.
(Not taking anything away from Banks return ability)