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Overdue for a Kickoff return?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by PackOne, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

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    http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/app ... ocated=RSS

    You can count on one hand the number of Packers who were here the last time the Green and Gold returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Many of this year’s rookies were freshmen in high school when it happened.


    In the last seven years, every NFL team except for the Packers has returned at least one kickoff for a touchdown. The New York Jets have done it 10 times.

    Even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got into the act. Wide receiver Micheal Spurlock was the first in team history to take one back, going 90 yards for a touchdown in a 37-3 win over the Falcons last year.

    But this column isn’t as much about ending the drought as it is about the need to find someone who consistently can provide decent field position. Statistics suggest first-year starter Aaron Rodgers will have an easier go of it the closer his team starts to the opposition’s end zone.

    For the record, Allen Rossum was the last Packer to return a kickoff for a touchdown. His 92-yard effort helped Green Bay to a 26-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts at Lambeau Field on Nov. 19, 2000.

    Tackle Chad Clifton, guard Mark Tauscher and wide receiver Donald Driver took part in that game. Defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila was a game-day inactive.

    Those are the only holdovers from eight years ago. Green Bay has gone 117 games without a kickoff return for a touchdown. The team record is 130 from 1931 to 1942.

    Rossum played two years with the Packers before moving on to Atlanta and then Pittsburgh. His 459 career kickoff returns are second-most in NFL history behind the 607 of Brian Mitchell.

    Since Rossum departed, Green Bay has had dozens of players return kicks. Antonio Chatman was the most utilized (66 returns) and Najeh Davenport the most effective (24.1 yards per return).

    This vast and varied lineup has produced the second-lowest return average in the league (20.95 yards). Only Carolina (20.48) has been less effective since 2002.

    If the Packers can improve upon that average in 2008, better starting field position should follow. Better field position equates to more scoring based on data compiled since 1994, the year kickoffs were moved from the 35-yard line to the 30.

    From 1994 through 2007, Green Bay scored points on 63.6 percent of its drives when it returned kickoffs to the 50-yard line or beyond. The percentage dipped to 38.3 percent on returns that reached between the 40 and 49.

    The remaining percentages were even poorer: 32.1 percent (30-39), 27.2 percent (20-29) and 26.4 percent (1-19).

    This preseason, special teams coach Mike Stock sent six duos deep to return kicks. Individually, Jordy Nelson (37.6 average) and Pat Lee (29.2) were the most effective. Each had five returns.

    Nelson had the longest gains. The Packers’ second-round pick had returns of 58 and 56 yards in San Francisco. His 56-yard dash set up a 49-yard Mason Crosby field goal.

    The only other points set up by any of Green Bay’s 17 returns in the preseason came in the finale against the Titans. Nelson returned the opening kickoff 29 yards to the Packers’ 32-yard line. Rodgers then threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to receiver Greg Jennings.

    Nelson might be the best bet to end Green Bay’s streak without a touchdown. But the goal for whomever returns kicks this year should be to achieve the best field position for the team’s young QBs.


    I agree it's time.
     
  2. TheStone

    TheStone Cheesehead

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    Best time for this thing to happen would be our season-opener on Monday Night.

    Good to start a season with a 'W' and I think last year we saved our souls
    in our first game with good special teams play.

    Maybe? Again? AGAINST THE VIKES??????

    GO PACK GO!!!!

    :)
     
  3. PackOne

    PackOne Cheesehead

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    I would gladly change my ways for an opening coin toss win followed by a TD return by Nelson.
     
  4. TheEngineer

    TheEngineer Cheesehead

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    Forget black and forget red. Nelson is the one you should be bettin' on.
     
  5. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

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    I'm content with consistently good starting field position. No dancing, just go, fool!
     
  6. pack4life

    pack4life Cheesehead

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    Wow, i didn't realize the drought was that long....I feel pretty good about Nelson, he may not bring one back for a TD but he should be able to get us good field position consistently
     

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