Thursday, October 8, 2009

Detroit Lions Shake Up Special Teams

Well it seems as though Jim Schwartz has stayed true to his word and under performing players won't be playing for the Lions for very long. After a horrendous outing that ultimately cost them the game against the Chicago Bears, the Lions special teams have been under fire. Jim Schwartz has responded by awarding the kick return position to Derrick Williams. Also LB Darnell Bing was released to make room on the active roster for a preseason fan favorite for Lions fans, Zack Follet. Of course Williams and Follet both deserve the chance to prove themselves because after all thats why they drafted them. Follet could make a big impact on the special teams as could Williams however if Williams doesn't and drops the ball like he did during preseason the Lions could still be in the market for a good returner.

On Detroit's practice squad sits rookie RB Tristan Davis. The often injured Auburn RB returned 55 kicks for 1,455 yards with a 26.5 yard average and scored 2 touchdowns during his college days.

All Lions fans remember Eddie Drummond, he was one of the best returners in the league and the best Lions fan had seen since the likes of Mel Gray and Desmond Howard. That is until injuries slowed him down, Eddie is a free agent now and may still have some good years left in him. For his career thus far Drummond has returned 250 kicks for 5,811 yards with an average of 23.2 yards and 2 Tds. He has also returned 140 punts for 1,280 with a 9.1 yard average and 4 Tds.

Jim Schwartz has seen what free agent CB Adam "Pacman" Jones can do as a CB and as a returner. He does come with a reputation for making it rain.....bullets....."allegedly". I don't see a huge problem if Schwartz would want to take a look at him as long as the guy has the words "ZERO TOLERANCE" plastered all over his contract. He could probably play nickel corner or even start for us but thats not why he is on this list. As a returner Jones has returned 70 kick returns for 1,803 yards with a 25.8 yard average and 0 TDs. He has also returned 84 punts for 807 yards with a 9.6 yard average and 4 TDs.

Jerome Mathis has also had some legal problems and was signed to a CFL team the last I heard but playing for an NFL team usually trumps playing for a CFL team. As a return man Mathis has returned 72 kicks for 2054 yards with a 28.5 yard average and 3 TDs. With punts Mathis has only fielded 12 punts for 68 yards with a 5.7 yard average and 0 TDs.

Last but not least is the free agent WR and kick return specialist who at one time was just as good if not better than the Bears Devin Hester. Of course I'm talking about Dante Hall. Hall may still have something left, he may not but there is nothing wrong with looking especially if he can recapture even a fraction of his past return heroics. For his career Hall has returned 426 kicks for 10,136 yards with a 23.8 yard average and 6 tds. As a punt returner Hall has returned 216 punts for 2,261 yards with a 10.5 average and 6 Tds. For those keeping track that is an amazing 12 Tds combined!

I'm sure there are more good return men out there but these were the ones that stood out in my mind and it couldn't hurt just to see what if anything these guys have left in the tank.