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McWeagle
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What do you guys think about special teams this year? I'm gonna tip my hat to Jay Boulware. I feel like there's been some pretty significant improvement. Byrum had a rough night Saturday, but I'd be surprised if it goes beyond that. We've had 1 muffed punt, but that's a heck of a lot better than last year. Our kickoffs and punts aren't terribly long, but the coverage has been pretty exceptional in my opinion. Sanders and McNeal are really helping us out in that regard.

So far, I don't think our special teams are great, but they've been consistent and they're not putting us in bad spots. I can live with that. What do y'all think?

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Kickoff coverage has been loads better this year. We finally started fielding the ball as well. I don't feel the urge to get sick every time they line up to punt.

I'm not at all concerned about Wes' short miss. That was a tough angle; he just didn't have room to push it through. I fault the o-line for even putting us in that position. Should've been six. Wes will rebound from that one easily.

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What do you guys think about special teams this year? I'm gonna tip my hat to Jay Boulware. I feel like there's been some pretty significant improvement. Byrum had a rough night Saturday, but I'd be surprised if it goes beyond that. We've had 1 muffed punt, but that's a heck of a lot better than last year. Our kickoffs and punts aren't terribly long, but the coverage has been pretty exceptional in my opinion. Sanders and McNeal are really helping us out in that regard.

So far, I don't think our special teams are great, but they've been consistent and they're not putting us in bad spots. I can live with that. What do y'all think?

I completely agree, except I would like to see some kickoffs into the endzone, more often than not. But with the coverage the way it has been, it is kinda fun to see McNeil and Sanders laying the BOOM!

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yep, the stats are better. I hope for more from AU special teams than just sighing when we don't hit the upright on a chip shot field goal, muff a punt @ an important point in the game, etc., which has not been the case any game this year so far. Still, better than last year...

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I think the biggest glaring difference is kick coverage. We're doing a fantastic job with that. I think a big part of that is we've got some really talented freshmen getting after it. We don't have to use a bunch of walkons. Sanders and McNeal were relentless in their pursuit of the kick returner on Sat. If we could get someone to kick it into the endzone, the other team may never get the ball past the 20.

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yep, the stats are better. I hope for more from AU special teams than just sighing when we don't hit the upright on a chip shot field goal, muff a punt @ an important point in the game, etc., which has not been the case any game this year so far. Still, better than last year...

There was a horrible 10 yrd punt in the Clemson game in the 4th quarter.

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Very happy with the improvement and coverage. One rant, why did we not try to draw USCe offside and take a penalty if needed to give Byrum a better angle? No reason to kick it there.

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I wouldn't mind seeing that either. Carr seems very hesitant to return any punts even when there is a ton of open field in front of him (which I don't really blame him for, he's probably concentrating on making a clean catch). I think Demond makes some very good decisions, and it seems like a few times every game it looks like he could take it to the house if he could get just a few blocks.

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I wouldn't mind seeing that either. Carr seems very hesitant to return any punts even when there is a ton of open field in front of him (which I don't really blame him for, he's probably concentrating on making a clean catch). I think Demond makes some very good decisions, and it seems like a few times every game it looks like he could take it to the house if he could get just a few blocks.

I'm willing to bet that Taylor gives Carr the red or green light (much like a batter) before he goes out to field punts. I'm fine with this because it allows Carr to concentrate fielding the ball in key situations rather than looking at coverage teams then fielding. I think they tried Washington at punt returns but weren't comfortable with him fielding punts.

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One muffed punt this year compared to one per game last year. Kick off coverage is much better. Byrum is a great kicker. Wish we could put some in the end zone. Shoemaker needs to be more consistant. Overall much better.

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I wouldn't mind seeing that either. Carr seems very hesitant to return any punts even when there is a ton of open field in front of him (which I don't really blame him for, he's probably concentrating on making a clean catch). I think Demond makes some very good decisions, and it seems like a few times every game it looks like he could take it to the house if he could get just a few blocks.

I'm willing to bet that Taylor gives Carr the red or green light (much like a batter) before he goes out to field punts. I'm fine with this because it allows Carr to concentrate fielding the ball in key situations rather than looking at coverage teams then fielding. I think they tried Washington at punt returns but weren't comfortable with him fielding punts.

We still do not seem to have a true punt returner. Carr is fast, but he is not shifty and he does not seem to have the vision to see the hole developing in order to turn it on and burst through. Punt returning is an art. Very few guys have that talent. We have had guys in the past do a good job and not be the fastest guy on the team. A punt returner has to have the mentality of an adrenaline freak. HE has to know that he is only allowed one lateral movement and then he MUST move up the field.

I know they are few and far between, but watching a guy like Devin Hester with eh Bears Monday night, it reminded me of what a punt returner should be. I would love to have a guy with that type of mentality.

One the other hand, OM should never receive a kickoff again. KO return guys have to be able to brave it up the middle where the blocking is. OM does his best to run straight to the sideline and get out before anyone can hit him. With that mentality, he will not have any consistency. And eh will probably NEVER lay a block on anyone. So why is he back there?

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I wouldn't mind seeing that either. Carr seems very hesitant to return any punts even when there is a ton of open field in front of him (which I don't really blame him for, he's probably concentrating on making a clean catch). I think Demond makes some very good decisions, and it seems like a few times every game it looks like he could take it to the house if he could get just a few blocks.

I'm willing to bet that Taylor gives Carr the red or green light (much like a batter) before he goes out to field punts. I'm fine with this because it allows Carr to concentrate fielding the ball in key situations rather than looking at coverage teams then fielding. I think they tried Washington at punt returns but weren't comfortable with him fielding punts.

Love DW's decisiveness (and fearlessness) on KO returns, but KO returns and punt returns are very different animals. To me, punt returns are, FIRST, about making good decisions (i.e., whether to catch the ball, or let it drop) and securing the ball, THEN about making people miss. (And even #2 has less to do with speed than elusiveness - see Caddillac Williams.) With one very regrettable exception (which I suspect has been a great learning tool for him), Carr hasn't done anything to put us in a hole, and, especially given our recent history, I'm content with that.

As to DW, you don't really hear the coaches bring him up in regard to punt returns. Like Valley, all I can infer is that Coach Troop (or CGC) isn't comfortable with DW's ability to secure the ball and/or make proper decisions on punts.

I wonder whether we might see Trovon Reed back there, though, at some point . . . Haven't we already burned his redshirt?

Edited by JB33
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I wouldn't mind seeing that either. Carr seems very hesitant to return any punts even when there is a ton of open field in front of him (which I don't really blame him for, he's probably concentrating on making a clean catch). I think Demond makes some very good decisions, and it seems like a few times every game it looks like he could take it to the house if he could get just a few blocks.

I'm willing to bet that Taylor gives Carr the red or green light (much like a batter) before he goes out to field punts. I'm fine with this because it allows Carr to concentrate fielding the ball in key situations rather than looking at coverage teams then fielding. I think they tried Washington at punt returns but weren't comfortable with him fielding punts.

We still do not seem to have a true punt returner. Carr is fast, but he is not shifty and he does not seem to have the vision to see the hole developing in order to turn it on and burst through. Punt returning is an art. Very few guys have that talent. We have had guys in the past do a good job and not be the fastest guy on the team. A punt returner has to have the mentality of an adrenaline freak. HE has to know that he is only allowed one lateral movement and then he MUST move up the field.

I know they are few and far between, but watching a guy like Devin Hester with eh Bears Monday night, it reminded me of what a punt returner should be. I would love to have a guy with that type of mentality.

One the other hand, OM should never receive a kickoff again. KO return guys have to be able to brave it up the middle where the blocking is. OM does his best to run straight to the sideline and get out before anyone can hit him. With that mentality, he will not have any consistency. And eh will probably NEVER lay a block on anyone. So why is he back there?

We might not have a true punt returner, but we have a punt catcher, and that's a big step up. Miles yet to go, no doubt, but miles already covered IMO.

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