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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Detroit Lions — Five top return candidates

Special teams was an area of concern in 2014. That certainly included the kick and punt returns mostly performed by Jeremy Ross. It wasn’t all on his shoulders, there were blocking and personnel issues too. Ross is likely to get chances in training camp.

With a new special teams coordinator in Joe Marciano, look for special teams to improve overall and that includes the possibility of a new return specialist.

Here are five other candidates:

  1. Wide receiver Lance Moore has returned kicks and punts in his 10-year NFL career. He was lining up with the other candidates regularly during organized team activities and minicamp. He’s got a great shot to make the 53-man roster, if he could return it would help his cause.

  2. Ryan Broyles returned punts for four years at Oklahoma and kickoffs for two seasons. He’s got the experience and he’s been getting looks in the offseason. The wide receiver is on the bubble for the roster and, like the others, it would enhance his chances to keep a job if he can handle the return work.

  3. Rookie running back Ameer Abdullah returned punts and kicks at Nebraska which could be one reason the Lions drafted him in the second round. He got his chances in OTAs and minicamp. Expect that to continue in training camp and preseason games.

  4. TJ Jones started to turn heads in the three-day minicamp. At that time the wide receiver was in the rotation working on returns. He returned punts as a senior at Notre Dame so he has experience although it’s limited.

  5. Golden Tate is always available. He’d love to do it but the fact that he’s the No. 2 wide receiver doesn’t help his cause. He did return punts and kicks at Notre Dame but that was a while ago. He returned 51 punts, averaging 11.5 yards, in 2013 with the Seattle Seahawks.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Pre-order her new book “Game of My Life Detroit Lions” which will be be published in October on Also order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here.)


Blogger John Leach said...

Geez, when I read your headline about five top return candidates, I thought maybe you were talking about the upcoming Presidential primaries. Then I discovered it was only about a few Lions wannabes willing to play kamikaze. Bummer. JK and LOL.

2:18 AM 
Blogger deafcone said...

Ross needs to go. Lance more and Broyles IMO make the team. Abdullah is too valuable at RB to risk injury as returner, same with Tate as WR .Jones gets cut, Ross gets cut.

4:03 PM 

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