Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. #1
    Prophet Guest

    Vikings auditioning kick returners


    http://www.twincities.com/mld/twinci...s/15309613.htm
    Vikings auditioning kick returners
    Several players getting opportunity to replace Robinson
    BY MARCUS R. FULLER
    Pioneer Press
    Vikings receiver Travis Taylor had not returned kicks since his sophomore season at Florida. Even then, he didn't get many repetitions.

    So you could imagine how out of place he felt standing next to rookie Jason Carter during a Vikings special-teams practice at training camp Wednesday.

    A punt from Chris Kluwe shifted in the wind and fell through his hands — not once, but twice. Taylor showed his frustration by pounding his fists into the grass. He eventually got it, though.

    "It's a learning process," Taylor said. "It's something different. I saw Jermaine Lewis do it for four years in Baltimore. The guy was one of the best I've ever seen. I learned a lot from him. But at the same time, I never thought I would do it much myself."

    The loss of Koren Robinson, who was charged with six criminal counts Wednesday, immediately had an impact on the Vikings' receiving corps. It also left a hole in their return game.

    Injuries to running back Mewelde Moore (knee) and receiver Kevin Kasper (ankle) made the situation even worse. Several players have been asked to fill in, but none has proven to be a great fit.

    Before Troy Williamson replaced Robinson as the No. 1 receiver, he was supposed to take Robinson's spot as a kick returner. But Williamson fumbled the opening kickoff in the Vikings' first exhibition game Monday night against the Oakland Raiders and was replaced by Kasper.

    Kasper, who has played five seasons in the NFL as a return specialist, finished with 142 yards and a 35.5-yard average on four returns. But Kasper, still fighting for a roster spot, will not play in tonight's exhibition game at Pittsburgh because of a high ankle sprain.

    "I think I have a knack for (kick returns), because it's something I've done for a long time," said Kasper, who won a Super Bowl with New England in 2004. "Hopefully, I can do for it for this team in the future."

    Until Moore and Kasper return, the Vikings are left relying on players with almost no NFL experience as returners.

    Receivers Taylor, Carter and Josh Davis and running backs Ciatrick Fason and Wendell Mathis all spent time with the return team this week. But Taylor and Fason are the only players in the group likely to be on the regular-season roster.

    Fason, currently the backup for starting running back Chester Taylor, hasn't returned kicks since high school. It was apparent when the first kickoff he tried to handle in practice Wednesday bounced off his chest.

    "It kind of feels like this is my first time doing it," said Fason, who returned two kicks last season for 4 yards. "But I just want to help out any way I can."

    Last season, Robinson used his great hands and breakaway speed to thrive as a kick returner, earning Pro Bowl honors (the first time for a Vikings return man) while averaging an NFC-best 26 yards a return for 1,221 yards, including an 86-yard touchdown against the New York Giants.

    With Robinson's season up in the air, Moore was supposed to be the next-best thing.

    It seemed to be a natural fit after he took over for former Vikings and Seattle Seahawks receiver Nate Burleson on punt returns a year ago.

    "It's something I really didn't do until I got to the league," Moore said. "The key to it is catching and running as hard as you can. Once you secure the ball, you just run where your eyes take you."

    Moore reached the end zone on a 71-yard punt return against the Giants last season and finished with the highest average (11.7) for a Viking in six years.

    He was listed second behind Robinson on kickoff return duty most of training camp. But Moore didn't return any kickoffs Monday against Oakland and had only one punt return for 11 yards.

    Durability has been an issue for Moore, who will miss tonight's game against the Steelers because of a sore left knee. There's a risk of Moore injuring himself on special teams, especially if he has to be the main return man this season.

    But Vikings special-teams coordinator Paul Ferraro said he doesn't want to rely on one player.

    "That's why you see us working so many guys," Ferraro said. "You can't ever count on just one. You have to have three returners at each spot ready to go, because in a snap you're down to your second, and if you don't have a third, then you can be in a real bind."

    Marcus R. Fuller can be reached at [email protected]


  2. #2
    jdvike's Avatar
    jdvike is offline Hall of Famer
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    1,440

    Re: Vikings auditioning kick returners

    Robinson did well for us last year.. no doubt....but....where did he get the "great hands"?...Robinson was famous for all his drops in Seattle.
    He has never been a sure handed receiver.

  3. #3
    Rastak's Avatar
    Rastak is offline Rookie
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    148

    Re: Vikings auditioning kick returners

    "jdvike" wrote:
    Robinson did well for us last year.. no doubt....but....where did he get the "great hands"?...Robinson was famous for all his drops in Seattle.
    He has never been a sure handed receiver.
    That was when he was drunk...which of course means he would have been dropping them again this year also......

  4. #4
    mr.woo's Avatar
    mr.woo is offline Team Alumni
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    3,213

    Re: Vikings auditioning kick returners

    dang... another hit to our special tems....
    woo out
    just two corn cobs shy of a bushel

  5. #5
    BadlandsVikings's Avatar
    BadlandsVikings is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    26,570

    Re: Vikings auditioning kick returners

    Hopefully one of these guys can be a kick retuner, might even have to give them some glue to hold onto the catch.

  6. #6
    gregair13's Avatar
    gregair13 is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Edmonton, AB
    Posts
    14,579

    Re: Vikings auditioning kick returners

    i vote for memo to be taking kicks back
    We're bringing purple back.

  7. #7
    Ltrey33 is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    8,618

    Re: Vikings auditioning kick returners

    I really hope Kasper gets healthy. I think he could do a fine job for us returning kicks.

  8. #8
    Vikes_King's Avatar
    Vikes_King is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    7,104

    Re: Vikings auditioning kick returners

    memo punts & kasper/memo back to return kicks would be idle imo, but its kind of sad that they're both injured atm.

    i hope jones or carter can fill in for the time being


    http://vikesking.blogspot.com/

    "We’ll win our own Super Bowl, with our own players. Real Vikings. Something Brett Favre can never be."

    - Dan Calabrese

  9. #9
    magicci's Avatar
    magicci is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    oxnard, ca
    Posts
    5,440

    Re: Vikings auditioning kick returners

    I wish we had burleson still! He would have been great for our offense and an awesome punt returner. Why doesn't Ryan Hoag take a shot at returning kicks?

  10. #10
    i_bleed_purple's Avatar
    i_bleed_purple is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Canadialand
    Posts
    16,777
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: Vikings auditioning kick returners

    they should try to get az-zahir hakim if possible.
    he's a decent punt returner, with some experience with kickoffs.
    plus he can provide a bit of depth at reciever.
    he averages about 4-500 yards per season, and he even has a 158.3 passer rating

    IMO he would be a good pickup

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Many returners on the team
    By cogitans in forum Vikings Offseason/Draft/FA Forum
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 05-01-2009, 12:49 PM
  2. Vikings kick returner - Curse or Coincidence?
    By singersp in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 07-18-2007, 12:49 PM
  3. Vikings Host Punt ,Pass & Kick Clinic
    By singersp in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-06-2007, 08:43 PM
  4. Moore tops list of punt returners
    By singersp in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-04-2006, 12:38 PM
  5. Kick azz Vikings statement!
    By enlvikeman in forum Vikings Fan Forum
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-19-2005, 09:30 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •