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Old 08-21-2004   #1
BornOrange
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Default The Return Game

It seems that the only spot up for grabs right now is the return specialist. The main competitors for the spot appear to be JJ Moses and Vontez Duff. There are others who might make a run, but right now the smart money is on either Moses or Duff.

I have some questions about this situation.

1. Can Vontez Duff eventually make a contribution as a corner or safety?
One of the reasons Moses is fighting for his job is because he can only make a contribution as a return specialist. If Moses were also able to contribute anything as a WR on offense, his job would be more secure. Can Duff contribute anything on defense?

2. Should the Texans even have a return specialist?
Carlton Thompson had an article in Friday's Chronicle about the return game and he made the point (that has been mentioned here in the past) that someone who is a return specialist should be one of the best in the league if that is his only role on the team. If the Texans don't have an above average return man on the roster, they should just find someone who would be on the team anyway to be their return man and use the extra roster spot on someone who can contribute on offense or defense as well as special teams.
Thompson's article

3. Could the Texans split the return responsibilities?
Another possibility is for the return responsibilities to be split among several players. The most likely combination would be Gaffney on punts and Hollings on kickoffs, since they have both filled in for the Texans at those spots. Although I don't have time at the moment to research it, I know that there are a few teams in the NFL that take this route.
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