Jacksonville Jaguars punt returner Rashad Greene has given the team a weapon they haven’t had in years.
It took the Jacksonville Jaguars season after season to find someone to return punts, but Rashad Greene definitely seems to be the guy going forward.
As noted by JaguarGator9 on the Jaguars subreddit, “Definitely better than Mike “I’ll never fair catch anything” Thomas, Jordan “Fair catch everything” Shipley and Ace “Let’s run horizontally on every return and see what happens” Sanders.”
Greene finished the 2015 season with the highest yards per return average in the NFL among punt returners. His 16.7 yards returned per punt were the best in the league for the season, finally providing a weapon for the Jags. In fact, it was a respectable 21st in the NFL among the best in the NFL from any season.
Punt returner may not be a position that is often seen as a building block, but for a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars, any weapon can be incredibly important. For every whiff in the draft like second-round wide receiver Marqise ‘Albino Tiger’ Lee, it’s important to hit on someone like the fifth-round Greene.
Special teams has been an afterthought for the Jaguars for years and the turnstile at punt returner is a strong indicator of that. Nobody was making an impact until Greene burst onto the scene and literally won a game for the Jags. The front office should feel comfortable knowing that they can now worry about finding better return players to put around Greene and can trust he will threaten the opposition each time the ball gets in his hands.
It’s finally nice as a fan to get excited about the oft-forgotten third phase of the game.
Credit to Greene for finding his niche and leading the league in an important statistic. GM Dave Caldwell should also be credited with stocking the team well and getting Greene when he was available this last draft.