Best guesses on who handles returns?

Submitted by jimmyshi03 on January 10th, 2017 at 5:20 PM

Obviously we will miss Peppers on defense and on special teams, but we also lose a couple of his primary backups/co-returners, like Chesson and Jourdan Lewis. Who would you like to see back there in the spring and against Florida? Is there an open competition or do you think there's a favorite?

I'd love to see Evans, Isaac, McDoom and a couple of the freshmen at least get a look in spring. 



January 10th, 2017 at 5:55 PM ^

Both good guesses. Ambry Thomas prob gets a shot too. Punt return more important than kicks in my opinion (though very different) - catching kicks isn't for everyone, it's tough to bat near perfect and make right calls and still break some. Peppers made great decisions and was supremely confident back there, it'll be tough to match - of all he did on the field, he prob made fielding punts look the easiest.
It's huge to have guys capable of housing kicks but it's just as key they're great decision makers and consistently safely field kicks to help win field position. Not sure who else had experience in high school but maybe people-jones, Nate Johnson, etc

Crisler 71

January 11th, 2017 at 11:55 AM ^

Relatively speaking, how tired were they from the game up to this point.  If DPJ was running a lot of long routes he could have been very more tired.  Also, it is easier, psychologically, to catch someone than it is to hold a lead, even in track.  

I understand there are other factors that make "football fast" different from "track fast" but they are mostly in the ability to accelerate, start stop start, and change direction.  There is also the ability to run carrying (wearing) the extra weight of footbal gear.  But not fast in track should never equal fast in football.


January 11th, 2017 at 2:43 PM ^

I mean, look, we're never going to answer that first question. How tired were they? That seems like a poor attempt at making an excuse. If we're taking guesses, Thomas played both ways for King, while Peoples-Jones just played safety occasionally for Cass Tech. Based on that, I would guess Thomas was more tired. But maybe he didn't get much sleep last night. Maybe Peoples-Jones drank more Gatorade and still got caught.

Bottom line: We have video of Donovan Peoples-Jones getting caught from behind by Ambry Thomas, and Thomas started off several yards behind.


January 10th, 2017 at 6:02 PM ^

Don't think they are comparable at all. The Florida game is gonna to be a tight one, probably. You play the best players. You don't throw a guy you're less confident in out on a PR so that some kids in another state might see it.

At no time was Peppers playing at Rutgers a situation where Harbaugh wasn't fielding his best players.

If McDoom wins the job, he'I'll play. If not, he won't.


January 10th, 2017 at 5:35 PM ^

Hated the use in 2015 of Lewis as a returner.  Always thought any upside was not worth the wear and tear and potential injury to an all-american corner.


January 10th, 2017 at 6:28 PM ^

I agree, but only because of the thought that Jourdan wasn't a dynamic playmaker on special teams like Peppers. His upside as a returner wasn't worth the risk as other guys wouldn't have been much of a step down from him.

Man I'm going to miss Peppers. His abilities were worth the risk of injury in every fashion. Not just because he was fun to watch, but because he was excellent at saving field position even on fair catches.