Position Breakdown: Special Teams

This is the last of our position breakdowns. You can find the others here. While this isn’t really a position, Special Teams is still a very important group on the team. The Giants are great at two thirds of special teams–kicking and punting. After that, the return game is a big question mark. 

KICKER:

Lawrence Tynes: John Carney was great in Tynes’ absence last year. A Pro Bowler. Tynes is good. Not as consistent as Carney was, but still good. He will always be remembered for kicking the Giants into the Super Bowl, even if he did miss two kicks before that. Tynes is one of those ‘hold your breath, close your eyes’ type players. It’s never easy. But he gets the job done. His kickoffs are good as well. There are going to be times where he misses a chip shot, but then he’ll hit a 45 yarder. Tynes, after signing a long term deal, is the kicker. He’s good enough.

PUNTER:

Jeff Feagles: He is probably the best punter of our time. He’s consistent. He gets the job done. You can count on him. What else do you want in a punter? I fear for when he retires, because the Giants have been spoiled to have him. 

KICKOFF/PUNT COVERAGE

This is a hard thing to analyze player by player. Kickoff and punt coverage improved last year, although they are still prone to allowing the big runs. The Giants signed Lee Vickers, a special teams ace, and assuming David Tyree is still on the team,  he provides great coverage. Again, a hard thing to analyze player by player, but overall, this is a solid unit.

KICK/PUNT RETURNERS:

This is the one part of special teams where they struggle. After Domenik Hixon was put into the starting wideout role, there was no replacement who got the job done. I think Hixon should be the kick returner, regardless of his role on offense. That said, here are other guys capable of doing the job.

Aaron Ross: Someone mentioned this on our Twitter page. Ross was a tremendous kick and punt returner in college. He has not been tried in that role in the pros. I don’t know why. I would hope he would be this year, because he has the ability. 

Ahmad Bradshaw: He was tried in this role as well, with minimal results. Bradshaw has the ability, although with his increased role on offense, I doubt he does this often.

Mario Manningham/Sinorice Moss: Both are fast and elusive. They should both be tried.

Stoney Woodson: The draft pick returned in college, and is pretty fast. Again, should be tried.

I do think that Hixon should return kicks, and Ross should return punts. Hixon has proved in the NFL that he can break the long runs. Ross was dynamic in college. In preseason, you will see a lot of different people in this role.

The special teams unit as a whole is good. The kicking and punting part are great. The return game has talent, but needs a consistent starter.


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