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Offline MintBaconDrivel  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, September 24, 2013 5:21:10 AM(UTC)
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Jason Wilde said:
GREEN BAY — With Jeremy Ross no longer gainfully employed by the club — although, oddly enough, coach Mike McCarthy isn't ruling out him rejoining the team — and Randall Cobb clearly a vital part of the offense, the Green Bay Packers aren't exactly overflowing with options on kickoff and punt returns.

As of Monday, when the team released Ross following his muffed kickoff that helped put the team in a 14-0 hole less than six minutes into Sunday's 34-30 loss at Cincinnati, McCarthy and special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum hadn't decided what they'd do to replace him. The Packers are off this week for their bye and return to action Oct. 5 against Detroit.

"I don't know that," Slocum replied when asked if Ross' replacement is on the roster or would come from outside. "We'll have more discussions on that as we go through today and this next week. Fortunately, we've got a bye week and then we'll get into our game plan for Detroit."

Ross had some big moments late last season — a 58-yard punt return in the Packers' Dec. 23 victory over Tennessee, and a 44-yard kickoff return and a 32-yard punt return against Minnesota in the regular-season finale on Dec. 30 — before his costly fumble against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. He had an up-and-down training camp but the Packers kept him at the final cutdown, and on six kickoff returns this season, he was averaging a horrendous 12.5 yards per return. On punts, Ross averaged 10 yards on two returns, with two fair catches.

In the opener against the 49ers, Ross hesitated on a ball kicked into the end zone and, combined with a penalty, left the Packers starting a series inside their own 10-yard line. Then came Sunday's gaffe.

"We haven't given up on Jeremy. He's had some opportunities, he's done some good things for us. But there's some things we may have to shift as we move forward from a roster standpoint/ He's obviously not with us right now but I'd have no problem working with him again," McCarthy said. "We always have an idea (about a replacement) but as far as how we prepare, and really with the game plan, and as we go into the game with Detroit will determine which direction we go."

The Packers did use Cobb sparingly on returns during the first three games, but he leads the team in receiving with 21 catches for 290 yards. Rookie running back Johnathan Franklin could be an option on kickoff returns, while rookie cornerback Micah Hyde could handle punt returns. Both saw action in those roles in preseason.

"We'll put someone out there that can function and do the job the right way," Slocum said. "I think going back to last spring until this point, any time I've been asked a question or our head coach about who our returner was, Randall's always been part of the mix. That hasn't changed.

As for Ross, the mistakes simply piled up, from the lost fumble against the 49ers in the playoffs to the hesitation in the opener to Sunday's turnover.

"We had a big play yesterday and that's two in the last four games. Ball security's the No. 1 thing we do in the return game and we've got to play better than that," Slocum said. "I feel bad for Jeremy. He was a good pro when he was here but, at the same time, this is professional football and everyone has a job to do at a high level.

"I don't think he got off to a very good start on kickoff return with what happened in San Francisco this year. He was doing fine on punt returns. Yesterday, that was a bad play."
Offline sschind  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, September 24, 2013 1:21:05 PM(UTC)
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It seemed to me that McCarthy kind of made up his mind after the muffed KO that Ted Thompson would cut Ross loose and it looked like he really tried to give him chances to redeem himself. It was like he was saying OK Jeremy, you probably just lost your job but if I can I'll try to help you keep it if you can show us something. He threw several passes his way, kept him on returns, put him in the backfield (not like there was much of a choice) and overall he didn't do poorly. he had the nice catch and run for a first down it just wasn't enough.

You wonder it they will look to bring in someone who will just be a return man or someone who they can realistically use on offense or defense as well. It seems like a waste just to have a return man but when you look at the best ones they make minimal contributions on offense or defense at best. Now if we could find someone like Hester in his prime no problem, you don't get on the field unless the other team is kicking the ball but if he is not going to be stellar is it that much more important he be a contributor elsewhere?
Online nerdmann  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, September 24, 2013 2:31:13 PM(UTC)
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sschind said: Go to Quoted Post
It seemed to me that McCarthy kind of made up his mind after the muffed KO that Ted Thompson would cut Ross loose and it looked like he really tried to give him chances to redeem himself. It was like he was saying OK Jeremy, you probably just lost your job but if I can I'll try to help you keep it if you can show us something. He threw several passes his way, kept him on returns, put him in the backfield (not like there was much of a choice) and overall he didn't do poorly. he had the nice catch and run for a first down it just wasn't enough.

You wonder it they will look to bring in someone who will just be a return man or someone who they can realistically use on offense or defense as well. It seems like a waste just to have a return man but when you look at the best ones they make minimal contributions on offense or defense at best. Now if we could find someone like Hester in his prime no problem, you don't get on the field unless the other team is kicking the ball but if he is not going to be stellar is it that much more important he be a contributor elsewhere?


What's Chastin West up to these days?

Mike's trying to say it's just normal churning of the bottom of the roster, and that they might even bring Ross back. Personally, I don't see it.
Offline John252  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, September 24, 2013 3:39:32 PM(UTC)
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It'd sure be neat to have former ECU wide receiver Dwayne Harris returning punts. He's doing a pretty good job in Dallas, and I still think he's a bit underrated as a receiver. Not saying it has any chance of happening, but a man can dream.
Offline Mucky Tundra  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, September 24, 2013 5:26:47 PM(UTC)
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Maybe Hyde will get some looks at returning once Hayward comes back to takeover slot CB?
Offline play2win  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, September 25, 2013 4:58:30 AM(UTC)
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The guy was very clearly untrustworthy as a KR/PR. You could tell he lacked confidence and seemed, too often, to be unsure.

"Sure," is the word we are looking for to describe the returner we all want back there for GB. I think we have that with 3 players already on this roster in Cobb, Hyde and Franklin. We'll be OK.

I'll say this, if McCarthy was using Ross late, and going to him with pass plays just to help him save his job, rather than going to the best player options to win last week's game, then there is a problem. It looked forced to me. I couldn't believe they were throwing to Ross looking to make plays.
Offline steveishere  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, September 25, 2013 6:11:39 AM(UTC)
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play2win said: Go to Quoted Post
The guy was very clearly untrustworthy as a KR/PR. You could tell he lacked confidence and seemed, too often, to be unsure.

"Sure," is the word we are looking for to describe the returner we all want back there for GB. I think we have that with 3 players already on this roster in Cobb, Hyde and Franklin. We'll be OK.

I'll say this, if McCarthy was using Ross late, and going to him with pass plays just to help him save his job, rather than going to the best player options to win last week's game, then there is a problem. It looked forced to me. I couldn't believe they were throwing to Ross looking to make plays.


I don't think it's any of that. I think one of the top 3 was probably exhausted so they put some fresh legs in there.
Online nerdmann  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, September 25, 2013 8:21:51 AM(UTC)
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play2win said: Go to Quoted Post
The guy was very clearly untrustworthy as a KR/PR. You could tell he lacked confidence and seemed, too often, to be unsure.

"Sure," is the word we are looking for to describe the returner we all want back there for GB. I think we have that with 3 players already on this roster in Cobb, Hyde and Franklin. We'll be OK.

I'll say this, if McCarthy was using Ross late, and going to him with pass plays just to help him save his job, rather than going to the best player options to win last week's game, then there is a problem. It looked forced to me. I couldn't believe they were throwing to Ross looking to make plays.


At the time, I thought that was why Aaron was pissed off at Mike.

We were on the goal line, iirc and Aaron was rolling out to the right. Ross was the guy in front of him, and Aaron didn't want to throw it to him, because Ross is a disaster. So Rodgers tried to run it, unsuccessfully.

Then he went to the sidelines and told Mike how he felt about Ross being his option there. LOL
Offline sschind  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, September 25, 2013 8:31:07 AM(UTC)
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steveishere said: Go to Quoted Post
I don't think it's any of that. I think one of the top 3 was probably exhausted so they put some fresh legs in there.



Probably but it sure seemed like it. I don't think Ross has had that much offensive action in hie entire career.

Offline sschind  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, September 25, 2013 8:40:48 AM(UTC)
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play2win said: Go to Quoted Post
The guy was very clearly untrustworthy as a KR/PR. You could tell he lacked confidence and seemed, too often, to be unsure.

"Sure," is the word we are looking for to describe the returner we all want back there for GB. I think we have that with 3 players already on this roster in Cobb, Hyde and Franklin. We'll be OK.

I'll say this, if McCarthy was using Ross late, and going to him with pass plays just to help him save his job, rather than going to the best player options to win last week's game, then there is a problem. It looked forced to me. I couldn't believe they were throwing to Ross looking to make plays.


I wouldn't say he was using him instead of the best option, after all Ross is supposed to be a professional, just that it seemed like he was calling his number a lot. Like Steveishere said it was probably just coincidence. I'm not sure Mike McCarthy would have wanted to keep Ross around anyway, he generally isn't the kind of guy who takes fumbling issues lightly. He certainly benched him quickly after the playoff fumble.
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