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In a season of terrific positives there remains

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  • In a season of terrific positives there remains

    …an opportunity for massive improvement. I am talking about special teams.

    The chargers made a lot of moves to improve ST and I was a big believer in Swinton. Really liked what he was selling. But the fact is, after 5 games out special teams still suck. Now we are not having 10 men on the field, fumbles on punt returns, returns for TD by our opponents, blocked punts etc. But our coverage is poor, our return game is awful and our kicker is, we’ll you know.

    Staley is so awesome. And he can’t fix everything at once. But I am disappointed in special teams.

    Like, how am I a traitor? Your team are traitors.

  • #2
    It seems to me kick coverage has improved recently. Do we have any numbers?
    Last edited by Bolt-O; 10-12-2021, 02:47 PM. Reason: Had to fix spelling.


    • #3
      Here is what I found…..

      Kickoff returns rated 31 of 32
      Punt returns rated 21
      Net Punting rated 22
      Opponent KOR rated 23 of 32

      So pretty much bottom quartile on everything and really bad on KOR. Looking at the numbers, I actually am surprised it is not worse.

      Like, how am I a traitor? Your team are traitors.


      • #4
        Remember when our STs were 32nd only because there wasn't a lower rating - last year? We're better and truthfully I believe we may finish the year closer to average. Ryan Smith played his 1st LAC ST game vs Clev and did well. He'll help the coverage units. Swinton / the Chargers didn't have many decent ST vets to start this year. It's been mostly build from scratch.
        Go Bolts!


        • #5
          And the first couple weeks were really bad so that's weighing the last couple weeks down.

          ST DVOA has climbed from 32nd to 29th. So we have that going for us.


          • #6
            Kickoff coverage I feel has improved, and would be even better if the first guy brought down the returner more often. Seems like we usually have someone make contact around the 15-20 yard line but they rarely actually bring them down. Punt returns I feel like have greatly improved and Long hasn’t really outkicked the coverage the last few weeks. Punt returns, we’ve had a few 5-10 yard returns but nothing overly exciting. Of course we don’t really have a dynamic return man either. Kick returns and the kicking game are definitely the biggest issues right now. I feel like our returners think they are a lot more explosive than they actually are. Did we even have a kick return past the 20 last week? Viz…. Well we already have a few threads talking about him so no need to go over that again. 5 weeks in there’s been definite improvement over last year and with Smith returning I think that continues. Not being in the bottom 10 at seasons end would be drastic improvement for us.


            • #7
              Special teams were so bad last year that we could end the season ranked 32nd and still be better than last year. Last year was historically bad. Like, we were trying to throw games bad.

              But there is still significant room for improvement.


              • #8
                How about the FG blocking unit? Since we're talking about special teams, don't forget about that part. Blocked field goals or influencing the opponent's kicks to be missed helps in games too.


                • #9
                  FG blocking, punt blocking and KOR blocking all still have work.

                  Coverage teams have been...decent. I almost want to day KO coverage was good vs CLE.


                  • #10
                    KJ Hill has been sure-handed fielding punts. He hasn't fumbled or almost fumbled once. I think he did make a fair catch just inside the 10 once, but that is the only fault I remember seeing in his decision-making. So let's be happy we have developed a sure-handed (knock on wood) guy who can safely field punts. That said, he is never going to give you a return. The times he has fielded a punt with room to run, it looks like he's unsure what do. His longest return so far this season - I can't remember if it was v. the Raiders or the Browns - he had space up the middle as soon as he caught the ball. It seemed like he hesitated for a second, unsure what to do next. He trotted forward a few yards, danced around a little, then was tackled. He doesn't have the moves or quickness to make a move as soon as the ball is in his hands and make people miss. But, we should be happy that he's got good hands, secures the ball well, and seems to make good decisions.

                    The Ravens' 6-7 Calais Campbell blocked a punt against the Colts last night, coming through the middle and using his long reach to get his mitt on the ball. Can't let something like that happen this Sunday.