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Special Teams 08 vs 07, or Danny Crossman II

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08 vs 07, we have improved in almost every category (blocked punts aside)

Compiled from different locations of nfl.com, along with my calculator. It's not just Rhys Lloyd that is making the difference, although he was a key piece in allowing us to maintain field position. No one thing other than the touchbacks is really that different, but it all adds up over the course of a game to a significant advantage IMO, especially when coupled with a ball control offense. It actually won a couple of games for us this time around, whereas last year.. not so much. It's pretty obvious that after improving the running game, our 2nd priority this offseason was to improve special teams all the way around. A telltale of this is how vigorously we pursued a returner after losing our first two and firing another couple. Curry was kept instead of Shaw (Curry was better that Shaw on ST, but Shaw could actually play linebacker in a pinch and was not that bad on ST). There are several other examples of this (Wesley,etc.) The right talent was brought in, kept and coached up to make this happen. I say we go ahead and take Crossman's head off the chopping block, as everything has improved.

Field Goals/PATs

2008 - 28 of 31 FGs, 46 of 46 PATs, 0 blocked

2007 - 24 of 28 FGs, 27 of 27 PATs, 0 blocked


2008 - 44.1 avg, 56% were returned for a 6.7 yd avg, 3 blocked, 1 ret for TD

2007 - 43.9 avg, 60% were returned for a 10.5 yd avg, 0 blocked, 1 ret for TD

It shold be noted here that without Kasay's 2 pooch punts, the 2007 return avg is 9.0, no TDs and the punting avg is over 44


2008 - 66.8 yd avg, 66% were returned for a 21.9 yd avg, 30 of 90 were touchbacks, 1 out of bounds (Kasay)

2007 - 61.2 yd avg, 94% were returned for a 23.8 yd avg, 4 of 66 were touchbacks, 6 out of bounds (Kasay 5, Baker 1)

Let me bottom line this one:

Avg yard line start from kickoffs: 2008 = 20.3, 2007 = 27.6

(note - I didn't go to the game logs and average every kickoff start position, I took the average landing point (-1.8 yd line for 08) and added in the return average to get a yard line for the returned kickoffs, then added in the OOBs and TBs starting yard lines and averaged the whole thing. I know it's not as accurate, but it should be pretty close)

Punt Returns

2008 - 53% were returned for a 10.8 yd avg, 20 of 80 FC, 0 fumbles

2007 - 42% were returned for an 8.4 yd avg 19 of 72 FC, 2 fumbles

Kickoff Returns

2008 - 22.9 yd avg, 0 fumbles

2007 - 19.1 yd avg, 1 fumble

It should also be noted that special teams had a some block/forced fumbles in both years, but those stats weren't readily available, so I didn't include them.

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You did a lot of good work and I commend you for it but, I don't believe Crossman had a thing to do with it. You take Rhys Lloyd out of the equation and our Special teams would have been not so special again. When you have 1/3 less returns on kickoffs you should have good numbers. Rhys Lloyd is the common denominator. He helped us win the field position game all year. My hats off to him.

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He's had some real big problems each year, if it isn't one thing it's something else

while he hasn't had the greatest personel, like gamble at PR, he really has done a bad job in at least one aspect of ST every year since his mentor left

I understand keeping him for this big year we had, but hopefully the success we have had this year gives john fox some security to find somebody better

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every stat is better? 3 blocks this year 0 last??? lloyd and jones have saved his ass, thats it.

At least things like that were fixed during the season, unlike in years past.

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