Question for you, Shane Beamer.
McKenzie is the main punt returner, barring injury (and he’s had a few) or something else. The 5-foot-8 (in high tops) speedster is a threat to score every time he touches the ball, and owns four career punt return touchdowns. He also has a kick return touchdown, as a freshman, so why did he only return four kickoffs last year? And why isn’t he back there for every single punt return? It’s worth pointing out that Davis brought back a punt for a touchdown last year too, and averaged a not-too-shabby 23.2 yards per kick return. But his longest kickoff return was only 39 yards last year. It’ll be interesting to see where Smart and Beamer go here: Get McKenzie, their most dynamic return option, back there as much as possible? Or do they end up with the same worries the previous staff had about McKenzie’s decision-making and ball control?
Okay, questions. One of which I discount – if it’s a choice between Davis and McKenzie, decision-making and ball control is a wash.
Honestly, if coaching is all about getting your best players on the field, it’s hard to see how you can justify keeping a home run threat like McKenzie on the sidelines (assuming he’s healthy, of course). And I say that knowing there are others, like Godwin and Michel, who have potential, but potential ain’t the same thing as five career touchdown returns in two seasons.
Hell, if you’re trying to hedge your bets a little, use a twin-returner formation on kickoffs. But get Isaiah on the field.