Texans' return game sputtered in 2010

Posted Feb. 06, 2011 @ 7:26 p.m.
Posted By Mike Wilkening

Its struggles may have been lost in a season defined by some draining losses and subpar defensive play, but the Texans' return game was far from a strength in 2010. The Texans averaged a paltry 19.8 yards on kickoff returns, worst in team history, and just 6.7 yards on punt returns, second-worst in team history. During the season, head coach Gary Kubiak pointed to personnel changes on the return units, notably the loss of S Dominique Barber to a season-ending knee injury and LB Kevin Bentley's promotion to the starting lineup on defense, as one of the reasons the Texans couldn't get much going on kickoffs or punts. The Texans' special-teams units have generally been a strength since they began NFL play, and Houston has been able to break some big plays in the return game. Jacoby Jones, who has three career return TDs, could be the punt and kickoff returner next season if he re-signs with the team, the way we hear it. The free-agent-to-be averaged just 21.5 yards on kickoffs and 7.0 yards on punts. Steve Slaton was ineffective returning kickoffs, averaging just 19.7 yards.