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Offline wpr  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, August 21, 2013 6:11:39 AM(UTC)
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Jason Wilde said:
GREEN BAY — Jeremy Ross remains in the mix for the Green Bay Packers' return jobs, but the coaches want to take a look at some of their other options since they know what Ross can do.

Of course, that also opens up the possibility that Ross, who has been up-and-down as a receiver in camp, might end up on the outside looking in when roster decisions are made.

The Packers saw enough from rookie cornerback Micah Hyde on his one punt return for 13 yards against St. Louis that he got the first rep in practice Tuesday and will again get a chance to return punts in Friday night's game against Seattle. Rookie running back Johnathan Franklin was first up on kickoff returns Tuesday and will get to return kickoffs again, too.

"Jeremy's a very solid returner. He's a strong runner with the football. He's a good catcher. He's very much in the plan," special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum said after practice. "Well, what we've done is we want to see some of these other guys in the most competitive situation we can, which is the games."

Hyde, who returned punts in college at Iowa as a junior and senior, had seen very limited action in practice but has now become a viable option. The Packers are looking to get No. 1 wide receiver Randall Cobb off returns if they can find a suitable replacement.

"He's smooth catching the ball. He's pretty sure handed. I thought his punt return the other night, he got off the spot really quickly," Slocum said of Hyde. "We looked at him right when he first got here after the draft and knew that he could catch punts. Things have a chance to change at all times, so it's part of the evolution of building our football team."

One thing appeared clear against the Rams: Franklin, who'd never returned punts before, just isn't ready for the job. He has been shaky catching the ball in practice and failed to make the "Peter" call to alert teammates to get away from the ball on a punt that hit cornerback Brandon Smith and was recovered by St. Louis.

"First of all, he should have fielded it," Slocum said of Franklin's failure to catch the ball. "He's got the right to field it and the gunner has to give him room so he doesn't interfere. At the point when the returner decides not to field it, then he's got to alert everybody else he's not going to. Our corner should have gotten off the field. That's unacceptable. We can't do that.

"Johnathan's learning a lot right now. He's in a growth period. That's part of the process of learning how to do it."
Offline DoddPower  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, August 21, 2013 9:58:34 AM(UTC)
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If Hyde becomes the Packers punt returner, it will likely mean very few electric or big punt returns. I'm OK with that though. This offense doesn't really need a dynamic returner. All the returner needs to do is secure the catch, and get however many yards are available. I'm definitely OK with that, as opposed to the occasional exciting return, but also the occasional game changing fumble.
Offline wpr  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, August 21, 2013 10:55:18 AM(UTC)
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I mentioned a few weeks ago that the difference between the top returners and middle of the pack returner is only abut 5 yards a return. I would rather see a guy catch every ball kicked his way that to have someone get a few big returns and miff a few others.

Add to that I would rather see a guy catch the ball at the 15 than let it bounce down to the 3 and have the kicking team down it there.

Then there are the knuckleheads who fair catch the ball at the 6,7 8 yard line when there is still time for them to let the ball bounce into the end zone.
Offline PackerTraxx  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:19:12 AM(UTC)
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Hyde would seem to be a more than adequate returner. He seems very confident back there and has good football sense. He may not break any big ones, but I think he would be sure handed and gain positive yards. Also, he thinks quick enough and with his past experience as a returner, he would have most likely called Peter and cleared everyone so there would have been no turnover against the Rams.
Offline nerdmann  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, August 21, 2013 8:44:34 PM(UTC)
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DoddPower said: Go to Quoted Post
If Hyde becomes the Packers punt returner, it will likely mean very few electric or big punt returns. I'm OK with that though. This offense doesn't really need a dynamic returner. All the returner needs to do is secure the catch, and get however many yards are available. I'm definitely OK with that, as opposed to the occasional exciting return, but also the occasional game changing fumble.


Why can't hide break long returns?

He seemed like a pretty north-south kind of guy to me.
Offline Zero2Cool  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, August 21, 2013 9:18:34 PM(UTC)
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Punt Returns during Super Bowl XXXI were very helpful.
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nerdmann on 8/21/2013(UTC)
Offline buckeyepackfan  
#7 Posted : Thursday, August 22, 2013 4:59:19 AM(UTC)
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I think if you watch, there are not that many "truly great" punt returners.

The Packers have one in Cobb, but I'm pretty sure most don't want to see him out there.

The difference in many returns, is the return team itself and the ability to execute a plan and give the returner some room to free himself.

Just might be me, but I think if you watch most of the big returns on punts you will see that the returner is barely touched because of good blocking.

The ability to make that 1st guy miss is the main objective of the returner, if Hyde shows he can do that, and most importantly just catch the ball, he may have found himself another reason to be on the final 53.
Offline nerdmann  
#8 Posted : Thursday, August 22, 2013 11:00:12 AM(UTC)
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buckeyepackfan said: Go to Quoted Post
I think if you watch, there are not that many "truly great" punt returners.

The Packers have one in Cobb, but I'm pretty sure most don't want to see him out there.

The difference in many returns, is the return team itself and the ability to execute a plan and give the returner some room to free himself.

Just might be me, but I think if you watch most of the big returns on punts you will see that the returner is barely touched because of good blocking.

The ability to make that 1st guy miss is the main objective of the returner, if Hyde shows he can do that, and most importantly just catch the ball, he may have found himself another reason to be on the final 53.


Yeah, make that first guy miss, don't dance, and don't go sideline to sideline. Take it straight up the gut or wherever your blocking leads you.

Cobb can change direction on a dime, and that's rare. However unlike Devin Hester, he's actually a weapon on offense.

Hyde himself doesn't have top end speed, but he takes it up the gut. Or he did on that one PR so far.
Offline PackerTraxx  
#9 Posted : Thursday, August 22, 2013 11:46:24 AM(UTC)
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In the one article I read Hyde made a comment to the effect of, "catch the ball, get north and south as soon as possible and try to make the first man miss". I like that kind of thinking and action.
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nerdmann on 8/22/2013(UTC)
Offline DoddPower  
#10 Posted : Thursday, August 22, 2013 12:59:12 PM(UTC)
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nerdmann said: Go to Quoted Post
Why can't hide break long returns?

He seemed like a pretty north-south kind of guy to me.


Because he's just doesn't have top end speed, quickness, or the ability to change direction like someone like Cobb does. That's not to say he can't break some long ones occasionally. The Packers have even seen an offensive linemen almost return a kickoff for a touchdown. But I don't think it will happen very often with Hyde. Being a "north-south kind of a guy" doesn't mean a big play returner, like a Patrick Peterson, for example. From what I've seen of Hyde in college, he isn't shifty enough, or fast enough to break away from the pack often.

That's OK though. As I said earlier, just catch the ball and get whatever yards are there. The offense can do the rest.
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