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Old 08-12-2004   #1
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Default Kickoff returns

JJ's job appears to be safe at the moment although Jason Anderson and Rober' Freeman have been impressive in the three practices I've attended. Both have shown good speed and elusiveness. The least impressive to me has been Vontez Duff who appears to be strictly a straight ahead guy with average speed at best. As far as hands, all have been good.

I would expect Jason Anderson and Rober' to be back there a lot on Saturday - and maybe even Albert Johnson who's small and shifty like Moses, and maybe even a bit faster.
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Old 08-12-2004   #2
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Default Re: Kickoff returns

I remember hearing on the radio that Sloan Thomas wasn't being looked at as a return man, although he did a pretty good job returning kickoffs at UT. I don't recall him ever returning any punts.
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Old 08-12-2004   #3
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Default Re: Kickoff returns

I didn't say JJ's job is secure, I said his job appears to be safe at the moment. We haven't played a preseason game yet. I expected Duff to challenge more than he has so far but he hasn't impressed me all that much. Jason Anderson may be his biggest challenger at the moment. We'll find out over the next 2-3 weeks if JJ will stick. I haven't seen Sloan back there at all. We've got some pretty talented receivers in camp (I'm starting to really like Jermaine Lewis) and if Anderson is able to beat out Moses, that means someone like Lewis could make the roster as a legit receiver. Albert Johnson (#15) has also shown some nifty moves and quickness If they keep 6 WRs, Moses could make it regardless.

Last edited by aj.; 08-12-2004 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 08-12-2004   #4
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Default Re: Kickoff returns

I'm not very sure but i think there's a very good chance that jason anderson gets the job b/c first of all the texans will keep only 5 WRs on their roster. AJ, gaffney, bradford, and armstrong are locks. sloan thomas. sloan thomas has had a better camp than starling or moses or any other lower tier WRs. They aren't good enough to beat out thomas. We will very probably have 4 RBs b/c i'm very skeptical of DD going through the whole season without being injured. As a matter of fact he's injured right now and is sitting out during practices. We are not sure of how Hollings will do at RB. We can't have enough backs b/c DD and hollings are small and not very durable. They will get injured very likely sometime in the seaon and so we will need Wells as a third stringer and Anderson as the fourth.
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Old 08-12-2004   #5
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Default Re: Kickoff returns

I've watched Sloan at a few practices and at the scrimmage. I don't think he's done anything to set himself apart from anyone yet. We really need to see them all perform in game conditions. The fact that he's not on return teams could hurt his chances. Of the six receivers (other than Moses) fighting for a spot, I'd say I've been most impressed by Jermaine Lewis and Andrae Thurman. Albert Johnson is fast but he's tiny (and he can return kicks). Taylor and Thomas have been unspectacular and I really haven't noticed Starling other than in drills.
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Old 08-13-2004   #6
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Default Re: Kickoff returns

Wondering who will be KR and PR during tomorrow's game. Since they've seen Moses last year, will they be trying the new guys out?

Not too surprised at Vontez performance. Looking at his stats, if I remember right, he was outstanding in '01, less good in '02, and less good than that in '03. Also, would you rather have a guy like JJ as WR, but not able to get open (hypothetically), or a guy like Vontez, who may not be as good of a DB, getting beat? (theoretically).

To me, if we keep Duff, we've still got a one-position player. I don't think we can risk him as a DBack. Any comments from someone who's watched practice?
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Old 08-13-2004   #7
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Default Re: Kickoff returns

Vontez will get the longest look in the return game tomorrow if I am not mistaken.
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Old 08-13-2004   #8
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Default Re: Kickoff returns

Look for: 37 Anderson, 34 Duff, 20 Freeman, 15 Albert Johnson.

Duff looks more like a safety than a corner to me. He might work out as a cover two kind of guy, but I'm not real bullish on his man cover ability.

Last edited by aj.; 08-13-2004 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 08-13-2004   #9
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Default Re: Kickoff returns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny
Vontez will get the longest look in the return game tomorrow if I am not mistaken.
Quote:
The battle for the kickoff and punt return duties figures to be one of the most closely watched of the preseason. Up first: rookie Vontez Duff.

"You'll see a lot of Vontez Duff," coach Dom Capers said. "We want to see how Vontez fares in game conditions."
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/sports/2733859
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