The Green Bay Packers have had one of the most woeful special teams units in recent memory. In fact, it can be argued that the Packers special teams has not been bearable to watch since 1996. In the Packers’ Divisional Round loss to the San Francisco 49ers, special teams received much criticism for the team’s loss, and rightly so. Former coordinator Maurice Drayton was fired and replaced with Rich Bisaccia. Bisaccia was the special teams coordinator and interim head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders last season. Ironically, Maurice Drayton has been hired as a special teams assistant on the Raiders this season.
Friday marked the beginning of practice for the Green Bay Packers’ rookies and others who were invited to try out for the team. While there was a lot of focus on offense and defense, ESPN’s Rob Demovsky noted an interesting drill Rich Bisaccia had for perspective special teams hopefuls:
Instead of catching 🏈 ST coach Rich Bisaccia has the returners catching 🎾
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) May 6, 2022
The purpose of this drill is clear. If a returner can make a clean catch of a tennis ball, it stands to reason he could make a clean catch of a football. In addition, tracking a smaller tennis ball takes a great deal of concentration. It could be argued that concentration was lacking by Packers returners in the past. This drill will help improve that aspect of the Packers’ unit.
Who Will Be the Packers Returner?
Last season, the Green Bay Packers experimented with a few players at the return positions. Amari Rodgers was underwhelming and Malik Taylor was ineffective. As Peter Bukowski points out, though, the Packers may have fixed their return problem with their wide receiver draft picks:
Fun #Packers rookie WR factoid.
In 2018, Romeo Doubs returned just SIX punts, but one was for a touchdown.
In 2020, Christian Watson scored twice on just TEN kick returns.
In 16 total returns, Watson and Doubs combined for 3 TDs. Explosiveness with the ball.
— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) May 6, 2022
Now, of course, this is a very small sample size. However, it is hard not to get excited about the kind of success rate that Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs have had as returners. Even if they do not bring any returns into the opponents’ end zone in 2022, a positive net rating would be nice.
For More Great Wisconsin Sports Content
Follow me on Twitter at @theotherRobin19 and follow us @WiSportsHeroics for more great content. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here! Also, check out our merch store for some amazing WSH merchandise!