holliday

New additions aim to make returns special again

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

One of better stories coming out of QDTC this spring will be the transformation of the Giants’ return game from an uphill struggle to a downhill stampede.

Last season, without a healthy David Wilson, the kickoff return game went from 7th (26.2 YPR) in 2012 to 27th overall (21.2 YPR). Michael Cox led the Giants in returns with 20, his longest going for 56 yards.

Punt returns remained a dormant exercise. The emphasis continued to be on ball security. There were 26 fair catches. Rueben Randle averaged 8.2 yards on 29 returns with a long of 32.

This year, the Giants will seek to capitalize on their revamped units. They are hoping that Wilson, who led the NFL in kickoff return yards in 2012, can make it back this season. If he doesn’t, the Giants have an alternate plan.

GM Jerry Reese signed free agent Quentin Demps, who was third overall in the league in KO return average (30.1 YPR) and Trindon Holliday , who finished fifth in the league wit a 27.7 average. Both players should make returns a more pleasurable watch for Giant fans this fall.

Holliday will likely be the team’s primary punt returner this season. He returned 32 punts for Denver last season for an average of 8.5 YPR, very similar to Randle, but Holliday took one to the house (an 81-yarder vs the Giants) while Randle has yet to break one.

Regardless, the specials have a more exciting look and feel to them as the Giants aim to better their field position this season.

In 2013, the Giants began their drives on the 27.3 yard line, which was 11th worst in the NFL. They haven’t had a punt returned for a TD since Domenik Hixon torched the Cowboys in 2007. It’s about time they invested in their special teams. 




6 comments
hashburry
hashburry

If the Giants are baking on the return game to enhance their offense, they are in big trouble.  The return game gets more obsolete every year.

mcfly
mcfly

If Wilson is healthy, he should go back to having return duties. He was a difference maker. Starting on the 35-45 yard line is a huge advantage.

Sadly, even if healthy I don't think he will be on special teams. He is still a former 1st round pick and I'm sure the FO wants to protect their investment.

Peter Sinapi
Peter Sinapi

I'm not armed with statistics but just from watching games over and over I can say this comfortably. Teams that start outside of their own 35 yardline (shorter distance to endzone), have a propensity to score more often than those starting inside their own 30.

You need a return game that can spark your offense by handing them field position. I can't remember the las time the GMen consistently did this.

jwill
jwill

This is one thing I'm very excited about. I dont know what management have been thinking, because the least of these kinds of guys can come really cheap. But I am excited to have some real kick returners on the team, some who are not staring CBs or WRs -_-

Skookaloop
Skookaloop

@Peter Sinapi  

2012, RB/KR David Wilson,

led the LEAGUE in Kick-Off Yardage,

57 attemps for 1.533yds.... and 1 TD....

Peter Sinapi
Peter Sinapi

The return game doesn't just include KR.