Pro Football weekly

Comment | Print |

Patriots looking for answers on kickoff returns

About the Author

Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain

Dolphins snag former Ravens LB Ellerbe

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 5:59 p.m.

Broncos sign former Chargers OG Vasquez

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 5:20 p.m.

Dolphins land WR Wallace

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 5:13 p.m.

Bills release QB Fitzpatrick

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 4:48 p.m.

Eagles release CB Asomugha

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 3:58 p.m.

Related Stories

Bills bring back McKelvin

Posted March 09, 2013 @ 1:45 p.m.

New England Patriots: 2013 team needs

Posted March 08, 2013 @ 5:58 p.m.

With Brady deal, Pats again a step ahead

Posted Feb. 26, 2013 @ 11:38 a.m.

Patriots sign Brady to extension through 2017

Posted Feb. 26, 2013 @ 10:42 a.m.

Report: Patriots OT Vollmer has knee scope

Posted Feb. 22, 2013 @ 10:09 a.m.

Patriots sign former CFL DL Vega

Posted Feb. 19, 2013 @ 11:07 a.m.

Redskins sign DT Brace

Posted Feb. 14, 2013 @ 10:54 a.m.

Former QB Paulus has high praise for Bills' Marrone

Posted Jan. 30, 2013 @ 5:20 p.m.

Insider: Time is catching up to Brady

Posted Jan. 27, 2013 @ 11:46 a.m.
Posted Nov. 10, 2011 @ 9:46 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

Updated 2:55 p.m. ET, Sunday, Nov. 13

One of the Patriots' staples — their special-teams units — has not had a banner year, especially on kickoff returns. Entering Week 10, New England is 30th in the league in kickoff-return average and has struggled to find a consistent return man. Four different players returned kickoffs in last Sunday's loss to the Giants, and the longest return by a Patriot this season is 37 yards (Julian Edelman).

And it's not as if the Patriots haven't had opportunities on kickoff returns. They lead the league with 29 returns (20.8-yard average).

The way we hear it, the ineffectiveness on kickoff returns is a sign of the team's lack of depth on special teams, as opposed to missing last year's return man, Brandon Tate, who had two kickoff-return TDs in 2010. "He was among the worst kick returners at the end of the season," said one daily team observer.

The Patriots signed WR Tiquan Underwood to be a kickoff returner and bring stability to that role, but he was cut on Nov. 12.

Comments ()