That headline might be a bit misleading, actually. Based on Zorn’s press conference on Monday (which I got around to listening to yesterday evening), it seems that Santana Man will be handling some, but not all, of the punt returning duties, based on the situation. When asked specifically if Moss will be returning punts, here’s what Zorn said:
Absolutely. In fact, one of the things that we tried to do is get him a punt return this past game. In the couple spots that we were, it was a spot where we actually went for a block. Since Antwaan had been back there so much, you know, that particularly situation was one where we didn’t get [Moss] in, ‘cause we went to try to get the punter, so it didn’t work out. But we’re gonna do that. We are gonna do that.
So clearly, the fans aren’t the only ones frustrated by ARE’s 6.8 yards per return. Some, including me, have suggested throwing Rock back there because he runs straight, a concept ARE doesn’t seem to grasp. But with the current injury issues, that may not be the best solution right now. Jamie threw Thrash’s name into the hat, which seems like a decent idea as well. His lifetime punt return average is 10 yards per and if he gets hurt, it’s no huge loss.
But throwing Moss back there … well, I’m not so sure how comfortable I am with that. He’s the number one playmaker on this team, which would obviously be the argument for having him return kicks, but it’s also the argument against. If he gets hurt, we’re doomed.