You know the old saw “if you have two starting quarterbacks, you don’t have one“? Well, after reading this Seth Emerson article and this in particular…
The unresolved issues around the team revolve around who will return punts and kicks. It will be a rotation of three or four names at both spots, with Malcolm Mitchell involved in both. Tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have been mentioned for kickoffs, the question there is whether the team will pull the trigger on that intriguing possibility.
… I’m wondering if the same applies to returners.
I’m not trying to be too snarky here, although, Lord knows, Richt’s recent approach to the punt return game certainly invites sarcasm. I simply wonder what deploying three or four returners says about Georgia’s special teams options. Is it a case of too much depth, or not having a guy who can take charge of the position? Are they looking for a primary guy who gets a little help now and then? Is Richt still committed to finding a Logan Gray successor come hell or high water?
I can see the benefit of spreading the wealth with regard to spreading the injury risk. On the other hand, you would think that if chemistry and timing is supposed to develop between a return man and his blockers, using multiple returners would inhibit those.
For what it’s worth, of the top ten punt returners last season, seven handled at least 70% of their team’s returns and none handled less than half. (Georgia didn’t have anyone ranked in the top 75.) It was different for kickoff returns, as there weren’t nearly as many among the top ten who handled a high percentage of those. The average appears to be about half. (Malcolm Mitchell, who had 50% of Georgia’s kickoff returns, finished 66th nationally.)
Any ideas about what we may find in store for Georgia’s return games this season?