Our special teams play is dismal and puts a lot of extra pressure on the defense. We give up way too many return yards and get zero in return. What can we do? I fear if we don't do something it will be our achilles heal down the stretch.
We had the best special teams average on kick return coverage in the league earlier in the year. Sure, Logan and Smart managed to have good games. The main problem we have is that our best kick returner (Dressler) is our ONLY reciever. We choose not to tire him out with returns right before he has to run deep routes. I like using the DBs, Kornegay and Johnson. Walker is OK too. We've also lost some of our better special teams tacklers (Lynch / Hughes).
Once we get some recievers back, we'll see Dressler making guys miss on returns. Hughes should add some strength to the cover team this week, now that he's back in the lineup.
Once we get some guys back I think we'll be fine. As for using DB I don't agree, for one they are not that use to catching balls and second the run after players not run from players .
If you have the DBs taking reps in practice at return, they get more comfortable having the ball in their hands (which, of course, is a good thing). The fact that after they have a return, they sit on the sidelines (unless they're Kornegay), rather than go in and play on offence is also something you have to consider. Although arguing that getting a guy in there, letting him get hit, and get fired up to play on offence, is also valid.
I'd just rather see DBs going in there in the 2nd half, especially the 4th quarter. Depends on the last play. If they just had a knockdown on a crossing route, it's one thing, they're fired up and eager to drive it down the opponent's throat. If they had to cover a deep route, then you have to look at the guy covering the crossing route.
It's also good to have choice. I've never liked the return specialist.
One word...INJURIES!!! Missing 19 impact players does affect our ability on special teams. Once players return, things will improve!