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Training Camp Battle: Special Teams

Competition Will Heat Up

Training camp is just around the corner, the temperature and the competition will be heating up.  Here’s a look at some key positions battles on Special Teams:

Special Teams – Needs

Jerry Rosburg, Special Teams Coach, will need to find consistent kicker who can make the pressure kicks.  He will also be looking for that player who is a threat on punt returns and kick returns.

KICKER

Shane Graham: Recently signed and has had more success in his career; he is the 4th most accurate kicker in the NFL.  His only negative is that he missed two field goals in the playoffs as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals last season.

Billy Cundiff:  As a Raven Cundiff has connected on 12 of 17 on FGAs last year and was 3 for 3 in the playoffs. Career 66 of his 89 FGAs, including 100% from under 30 yards or less.

Edge: Graham, as he has been the more consistent kicking career. 

KICKOFF RETURNER

Jalen Parmele took over the duties after Lardarius Webb’s injury and performed well.   Parmele took over with good results.  His natural position is running back, providing speed and power; he provides ball security.  Interesting statistic, the Ravens ranked first in the NFL in kickoff return average last year (26.22 yards).

In the Mix:  An article about Mark Clayton surfaced as a returner; we’ll know more in training camp.  http://blogs.baltimoreravens.com/  Keep a look out for rookie receiver David Reed, he fielded 25 returns as a junior and 8 as a senior.

Edge: This will be an open competition, with the slight edge going to Parmele.  In 9 kickoff returns he averaged 31.4 yards and two of those returns were over 40 yards.  David Reed, rookie WR will be under consideration.  As my colleague Matt Jergensen states, “Reed seems to be a popular choice and suddenly seems like a lock to make the team.”  If Reed makes an impact as a returner, that would make him a lock.

PUNT RETURNER

The team is looking for speed. Chris Carr provided ball security as a returner last year, though he may have more responsibilities in the secondary this year. There was a report that Donte’ Stallworth fielded a few punts in practice. That would be a surprise, the team wants to keep Stallworth healthy.

In the Mix: There are a few rookies to consider: CB Prince Miller (undrafted free agent) and rookie draft pick WR David Reed.

Edge: David Reed and Prince Miller. Will be interesting to see who else may be in the mix? Chris Car would be the pick if the competition fails to bring forward a front runner. 

PUNTER

Decided: Sam Koch, who had the NFL’s fifth-best net punting average (39.9) is a lock again. Its hard to remember Koch having any bad game or bad punt for that matter.

ROOKIE IMPACT:

Terrance Cody: blocked a few field goals in his college career. Look for him to get involved in that capacity. 

 “Terrence Cody  will be used on the line for field goal coverage and likely field goal attempts as an interior blocker. The massive defensive tackle swatted a pair of field goal against Tennessee last season, including one as time expired, to preserve a 12-0 Alabama win.”

Sergio Kindle: College special team experience, could add a spark to coverage.            

“Rosburg said Kindle should be on every special teams unit, including kickoff coverage, kickoff return and punt return. During his freshman and sophomore years at Texas, Kindle recorded 14 tackles (9 solo) on special teams. He blocked a kick as a junior.” www.baltimoreravens.com

David Reed: Will get a chance at being a returner.

 “(Jerry) Rosburg said fifth-round choice David Reed will get a look at kick returner. Reed fielded 25 kickoffs during his junior year at Utah, averaging 25.4 yards per attempt. He returned just eight kicks as a senior as his role as a wide receiver grew.”  http://www.baltimoreravens.com/News/Articles/2010/04/

 

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One Response to “Training Camp Battle: Special Teams”

  1. Kate says:

    I thought this blog looked exciting, but then you spelled Shayne Graham’s name wrong. If you want to be respected as a blog, spelling names correctly is essential.

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