In 2015, the New York Jets had one of the worst special teams unit in the NFL. This time around, wide receiver Jalin Marshall will finally fix their special team woes.
Last year, the special teams unit of the New York Jets didn’t get the job done by any stretch of the imagination. Their primary kickoff returner was cornerback Antonio Cromartie and their main punt returner was wide receiver Jeremy Kerley.
Needless to say, both did an abysmal job in handling their respective duties. Cromartie totaled 377 kickoff return yards and Kerley had 19 fair catches. The special teams unit of the Jets were unable to stop the opposition from gaining major field positioning and even allowed opponents a few returns back for touchdowns.
Unfortunately for the special teams unit of the Jets, they didn’t even score a single touchdown from either a kickoff or punt return. Special teams coordinator Bobby April was relieved of his duties this offseason as the Jets replaced him with Brant Boyer.
Of course with any new coach, talent must also be acquired to revitalize a unit. Undrafted wide receiver Jalin Marshall was brought in by the Jets to hopefully compete for the vacant starting kickoff/punt returner spot.
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It makes sense for the Jets to continue working with Marshall all throughout this summer to see if he can use that blazing speed of his that made him stand out at Ohio State and translate that in the pros.
It won’t be easy as he has a lot of competition that awaits him but he has the skill-set to really address this issue once and for all with the Jets.
In his final year of college, Marshall averaged a 13.5 yard punt return average that compared to Kerley’s 8.6 average last year, will be a welcomed sight to see on the Jets’ special teams.
As the Jets ended 10-6 last season, if they had a better special teams unit, they probably would have won another game or two thanks to much better field positioning.
In a game of inches, positioning on the field is one of the most important factors in the final outcome of football games. If Marshall sticks around when all is said and done entering the regular season, he should be quite the difference-maker on the Jets.
Overall, he’ll have to prove his worth all summer long and especially in preseason football if he’s to impress the coaching staff to warrant a roster spot. If he could also prove his worth on offensive drills as well, perhaps he can double up what he brings to the table as quality depth at wide receiver as well as a speedy kickoff/punt returner.