Even with having long-standing kicker Mason Crosby be entrenched for the Green Bay Packers for over 10 seasons, the special teams unit certainly has been a letdown for this team lately.
Crosby has been the lone pillar that has been there practically every season, continuing his strong and accurate play. But it is the other elements of punting and the return game that has been the biggest issues.
Alabama punter JK Scott was drafted, which is a rarity for a specialist, in the 5th round of the 2018 draft, and he has been nothing but average and unspectacular. Consistently failing to pin teams deep and produce enough hang time for the coverage units to get down the field, Scott certainly should be on thin ice heading into this season.
For the return game, both punt and kick returns have failed to flip the field when needed to, constantly resulting in the offense setting up shop at or around their 25. Headlined by rookie WR Amari Rodgers, there is a crop of new options that could play themselves into this facet of the game, hopefully and finally helping this unit become at least average.
Under the direction of Maurice Drayton, the team’s ST coordinator in his first season, this unit has to improve upon their dismal last few seasons. Relying solely on both the offense and defense to produce and carry their weight is not how this works – the game of football is a three-part game, something that has not evenly been distributed for a long time.
While not having the biggest impact every Sunday, special teams can easily win or lose you a game. And while terrible performances do happen from time to time, the regularity that it has occurred with this unit must change.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23