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How do we improve the return game?

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Duff Man, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    We were above average at times with Scott and Lockridge returning kickoffs. Others made spot appearances as well, including Sumler. Now, Scott and Sumler are gone. Lockridge is one of just two RBs with major experience. Can we afford to risk injury to Lockridge? Which players are other options?

    The punt return situation was pretty bleak last season. Espinoza was the primary returner, while McKnight had spot duty as well when Espinoza was out with a thumb injury. In the end, neither was particularly effective as we finished dead last in the Big 12 in punt return average. Neither is a good option for 2010 IMO, so who can we turn to for a spark? Jefferson? Simmons?

    Normally, I would not be all worried about the return game, but with our prolonged offensive struggles, we need every advantage we can get.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. dio

    dio Admin Club Member Junta Member

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    Quentin Hildreth should help back there
     
  3. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

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    I am comfortable with leaving Lockridge on KR duty.

    We need to solve the PR issue though, maybe give Lock a shot back there or Simmons.
     
  4. dply

    dply Doble hoja Club Member

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    Doesn't Jeremy Bloom have some eligibility left?
     
  5. buffs04

    buffs04 Well-Known Member

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    I am fairly confident that we will find a good reason to put average-at-best athletes back there in the return game this year again. We've done it every other year, and it didn't work, so I think we will stay the course.
     
  6. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

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    I hate to agree with you but at some point the PR plan needs to evolve beyond "do drop it."
     
  7. SBG

    SBG Formerly known as EFNMB Club Member Junta Member

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    Get rid of Riddle.
     
  8. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    I know people get all worked up about walk ons these days, but sometimes they can contribute. Especially on special teams.

    Quick should get a long look as our punt return man.

    Jaffee will be in the mix as our kickoff return man. He actually averaged a bit more than B-Lock on the 6 KO returns he had last year.

    Our blocking was actually pretty good last year, especially on kickoff returns. No reason that shouldn't be as good or better, though it may hurt some that we lost all those tight ends.
     
  9. Unleash Hell

    Unleash Hell Well-Known Member

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    yep, there wont be any imorovement in the return game bacause of this
     
  10. chipwich

    chipwich Administrator Club Member Junta Member

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    :yeahthat:
     
  11. CUwhit21

    CUwhit21 Club Member Club Member

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    Our kick return team was ranked in the top 25 in the nation last year. Keep Lockridge back there. Jaffee does not have the game breaking speed that Lockridge has and Lockridge has a knack for finding the endzone. We need a home run threat back there like what we had with Josh Smith. Maybe you put someone like Codray Clark back there if he's ready to play? He could fill into that lead blocker role that Sumler has held the past couple seasons. It may be worth giving Polk a shot back there to give us two returners instead of a one returner/one lead blocker.

    As for punt return, we just need to find a guy that can field the punt AND make a defender miss. Hopefully Hildreth can step into this role. Maybe Simmons?
     
  12. GoBuffs08

    GoBuffs08 Well-Known Member

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    It should be not problem increasing our PR yards. We averaged about 3 yards a return last year with a guy that was 5' tall catching the ball and falling down. Maybe we can find someone like 6'4" to do the same thing. That should translate into around a 20% increase in return yards.
     
    bombay likes this.
  13. Duff Man

    Duff Man Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    I guess I can be all right with Lockridge as KR, at least it gets him in the game.

    Buffnik's point about walk-on contributors is important. We should not immediately dismiss them as possible options just because Espinoza was ineffective. Chase McBride was effective as PR in 2007 (including two big returns late in the CSU and OU games) and no one would say he was a great athlete or anything. As others have said, the coaches have to move beyond the "he catches the punts so it is all good" mentality.
     
  14. buffaholic

    buffaholic Club Member Club Member

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    I got to believe they tried everyone at PR last year. The "he catches the punts so it is all good" is a better poison than he "sometimes catches the punts, but boy can he run with it" scenario. Riddle isn't that stupid folks.

    I look for Q to get a lot of chances this spring at PR. In the fall, I'd expect one of the Jones boys, and Duncan to get some reps in practice. I know 1 offensive coach thinks Duncan has some bigtime potential as a playmaker.
     
  15. El Gringo

    El Gringo Pura Vida Club Member

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    I present to you Exhibit A that Riddle IS, in fact, that stupid...

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Liver

    Liver modded mod Club Member Junta Member

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    special teams have cost the Buffs AT LEAST 9 games, by my count, in the 4 years that this staff has been here. nine. i know it is somewhat subjective, but go back and look if you think i am way off on this. and, who has been in charge of special teams for these 4 miserable years? the riddler. we have sucked at every single aspect of special teams. every one. kicking, punting, returns, all of it... that's coaching, pure and simple. i honestly believe that hawkins would not be in the position he is in (a lame duck coach, walking the green mile) if he would have hired a competent special teams coach.
     
  17. buffaholic

    buffaholic Club Member Club Member

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    I'm not saying Riddle can coach. I do think that even HE can see that our return guys lacked any ability to break one. When he put Scotty back there, he was deperate to have someone catch the ball. I'd expect to see a full try out this spring.
     
  18. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    I forgot to mention Parker Orms. He has good speed and the type of fearlessness that could make him a great punt returner.

    Parker should also be a gunner on kickoff and punt coverage teams this year. Sleeper candidate for special teams POY next season.
     
  19. LaserDeathHawk

    LaserDeathHawk Club Member Club Member

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    only answer to this question is firing the coaches and see what develops for now. We have no idea what talent we have today.
     
  20. sweaty teets

    sweaty teets Club Member Club Member

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    i was going to say orms as well. ****, terrel smith might take the job, he knows how to catch it, we know that much.
     
  21. buffsyko

    buffsyko Club Member Club Member

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    Two things, fire the riddler and stop playing walk-ons and have talented player who can hit that burst of speed give you an advantage.
     
  22. NashBuff

    NashBuff CSU Knob-Slobberer

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    What happened to having some kickers that could actually kick the ball between the goalposts?
     
  23. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    That's just crazy talk.
     
  24. LongHaulBuff

    LongHaulBuff Club Member Club Member

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    I like Lock and Polk at KR. Hildreth at PR.
     
  25. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

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    As a point of contradiction the Riddler was going to start ESPY over Josh smith until he broke his clavicle and missed that season. I am really not sure that Kent thinks about much besides catching the ball, a point that i understand if you have a steam-roller of an offense but we dont, he needs to take more risks.
     
  26. BuffsRising

    BuffsRising Well-Known Member

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    I'd settle for the punt returners not trying to catch line drive punts over their shoulder when they are inside the five yard line. That would be a step up.
     
  27. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    How bout going for returns every now and again instead of always going for a block and NEVER GETTING IT?
     
  28. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    All things being equal, the most important job of the punt returner is to catch everything. The yards lost by letting some bounce really mount up.

    That said, getting 3 yards per punt return is completely unacceptable. Is it too much to ask that we have someone who fields everything and can average about 8 yards a return on the ones he doesn't fair catch?

    Espinoza was last in the NCAAs in 2009, and it wasn't even close: http://www.ncaa.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/ncaa-m-footbl-fbs-ind-punt-returns.html
     
  29. White_Rabbit

    White_Rabbit Club Member Club Member

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    Espy will be the punt returner I have almost no doubt about that. The coaches love him and seemingly have no faith in anyone else to catch the ball. At least we have some options at kick returner, I'm fine with either Lockridge or Jaffee doing it, they both had some nice returns last year. Maybe I'll be wrong and they'll let Canty have a go at PR, that would be nice.
     
  30. Hugegroove

    Hugegroove Club Member Club Member

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    [/QUOTE]Espinoza was last in the NCAAs in 2009, and it wasn't even close: http://www.ncaa.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/ncaa-m-footbl-fbs-ind-punt-returns.html[/QUOTE]

    Espinoza muffed several punts last year and took some chances in the way he tried to field the ball. I remember he was forced to sit for a while because of those mistakes.

    Where's Ben Kelly when you need him?
     

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