Tyler Ervin, the fast, gadget, Swiss army knife, return man. I believe he has a role on this team that is bigger than just the return guy. And what we hear out of packers camp is that he could have an expanded role. Let me tell you how he is going to be the weapon the Packers need.
Ervin made his Packers debut in Week 13 of last year against Washington. The main reason that they brought him in was they needed help in the return game, and that’s what he delivered on; he had four punt returns that went for 51 yards.
He immediately impacted the packers during the last four games having 11 kick returns for 160 yards and 16 punt returns for 106 yards.
The packers were having a historically bad year with returns, but Ervin redeemed it.
But there was an exciting development going on while we focused on his return game skills. He started to get offensive snaps. Which seemed impossible for some newer guys in Coach Matt Lafleur’s offensive system.
Guys like Ryan Grant, Darrius Shepard, and Dexter Williams never really had a shot at getting on the field, but Ervin did as early as his third game with the Packers, who gave him seven snaps on offense.
In Week 17, he had 17 snaps on offense, and Aaron Rodgers just missed him on a wheel route that would have been a touchdown.
He even had two excellent runs in the Packers divisional-round game against Seattle.
This offseason, the Packers resigned him and showed that they wanted to use him in an expanded way this coming season. (Check out this excellent article on his re-signing here.)
Breakout Season On The Horizon:
Fast forward to now, we are less than two weeks away from the start of the season, and we have reporters not able to say much about who is lining up with the one’s and two’s. But you have to think Tyler is getting some time with the top unit.
Early in camp, there was a report that he was running with the wide receivers in individual drills. Could he be a legit pass-catching threat? Could he become a slot receiver and running back like Ty Montgomery was? Or could he be a player the packers use to confuse the defense and run on Jet sweeps?
The answer is yes.
I think the Packers will use him in a lot of roles and situations.
The Packers do not have many speed guys in their wide receiver room, and Tyler Ervin showed he could be a real pass-catching threat. He would give them almost an extra guy to throw to in the slot to exploit mismatches.
Ervin’s versatility is what makes me so excited for him and his growth in year two with the Packers. In addition, I am excited for the development I think we will see in Matt Lafleur’s offense this year.
Using every pass-catchers strength is key to having an effective offense, in my opinion, using Ervin as your Swiss army knife, having Marquez Valdes-Scantling as the deep-threat, putting Equanimeous St. Brown in the slot. Those changes will help this offense take the next step.
The last point before I end this love letter to Tyler Ervin, is having him returning all season would be a big help to the offense, in general.
The Packers offense, for most of the year, was not giving any help by the return game, but after Week 13 they could take advantage of some short-field opportunities.
All that to say expect big things from Tyler Ervin this season, I am genuinely so excited to see him this season!
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