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Quotes: Tom Quinn on returns competition

Posted Jun 13, 2013

Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn talks competition for returns

Special Teams Coordinator Tom Quinn

Q: It looks like an open competition at punt and kickoff return.
A: It’s an open competition. There’s two or three guys that we really like and which one will rise up and take the job is something… We’ve still got to see once we get into the preseason and get live reps at it. So we’ll see.

Q: Is David Wilson still a guy who’s going to be considered at kickoff return with the probability of an increased role in the offense?
A: I think you’d have to. We’ll see how that all plays out. Obviously, he would like to do it. He’s done it very well, but we’ll have to see how it all comes down with where he is on the depth chart and what he’s doing on offense. It might be maybe for one or two or you don’t need him for one or two, but we’ve got other guys that we feel good about. They feel good about the scheme and the system that’s in place.

Q: Who else are you looking at besides Wilson?
A: Rueben Randle is another guy that we’re excited about and then Jerrel Jernigan is another guy. So there’s a bunch of guys that can do the job if it’s not David.

Q: When you have a change in kicker, does that change how you might do kickoffs or is it pretty much the same regardless of who is the kicker?
A: Not necessarily. I mean they’re both similar with the kickoffs. The biggest thing is the operation between the snap, the hold and kick. You really want to work on it in the spring and we’re getting better with that.

Q: How difficult is it to get enough reps for the candidates who are vying for the punt and kickoff return duties?
A: We get a lot of practice reps. So whether it’s against our own punt team or if it’s with our punt return team or kickoff return, we’ll get the reps throughout training camp in practice and then from there we’ll see who deserves it in the preseason games.

Q: So practice becomes even more important.
A: Yeah, very much so.

Q: Between David Buehler and Josh Brown, has anyone stood out?
A: They’re competing right now. They’ve both shown some good things. We’re looking for consistency out of that position. Lawrence was consistent and did a nice job, so we’re looking for that and how well they kick off after that is a big factor.

Q: Do you think it’s going to be too much for David Wilson to handle kickoff return duties and running back?
A: I don’t think it’s too much to do both, but I’m not making all the decisions. I think it all depends on the game. There’s other guys that have done both, whether it was as a punt returner and a starter or a kickoff returner and a starter. It’s just how it all plays out. You have someone who is just as good and the blocking is just as good and they can hit the whole, then that would be the guy.

Q: So someone would be just as good as he was?
A: Yeah. Very good. It was a good unit last year. It was a good team effort, too.

Q: Does Aaron Ross get thrown into that mix?
A: With punt returns? Yeah. He’s someone that’s probably one of the cleanest at catching the ball so there is a lot of faith with him back there, but that’s something we need to create more field position for our offense with our punt return unit and it’s something that we’ve lagged the last couple of years. When Domenik was doing it earlier in ’08 and ’09 we were more productive, but we’ve got to get more production out of that punt return unit. That was a big focus for us all the way across the board with the scheme and the technique and also the returner.

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