Thursday, August 28, 2008

Season Preview Day 4 Part 2: Special Teams

It's time for the final position preview getting you ready for the game on Saturday. Tomorrow I will give my predictions for the game and then look for our review of the game coming this weekend. Now to the special teams.

At kicker we have a Groza Award candidate in Conor Lee. He has been an extremely consistent kicker and from 45 yards in he is almost a guarantee. Finding a guy who can kick at Heinz Field is always hard and Lee has done a great job over the last few seasons. The problem with Lee is that he doesn't have a big leg for kicking the ball off. Hopefully, this season he can get it down to at least inside the five and let the coverage team make the play. We have a freshman kicker with a big leg in Kevin Harper but all indications are pointing to a redshirt for him.

We return a starter at punter in Dave Brytus who had an up and down season last year. Brytus has a relatively good leg and can bang off some extreme good punts, his problem is that he is very inconsistent as to the distance of his kicks. If he can reign in some of the bad kicks Brytus could be a top level punter. In terms of kickoffs I can't see Brytus having that duty again due to all his problems keeping the ball in bounds last year.

Our kickoff returners could be an explosive unit this year with LaRod Stephens Howling and Aundre Wright back there. Stephens Howling has proven in the past to be a solid kickoff returner with the ability to break it big if a seam develops. Aundre Wright is one of the fastest guys on the team and has big play potential every time he touches the ball. I wouldn't be suprised at all if there was a kickoff return for a touchdown or two.

Aaron Berry returns as the punt returner this year and he is a solid option. He has the speed and vision to break it deep but he is also an extremely smart player who protects the ball. My only worry is such an important starter returning punts there could be an injury but Berry didn't have any problems last year.

I wish I could preview the coverage teams but as always we will have to wait and see what they look like. With all the talent we have on defense behind the 2 deep I would imagine that we will some extremely talented players playing special teams.

Ok be back later for the predictions and maybe another column.

1 comment:

dugdogmaster said...

I would suspect those talented, yet inexperienced, back-up linebackers will be on those coverage units.