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Not So Special

May 29, 2010

Do you remember the last time a Green Bay Packer returned a kickoff for a touchdown? According to Mike Vandermause of the Green Bay Press-Gazette it’s been nearly a decade.

The Green Bay Packers haven’t returned a kickoff for a touchdown in almost a decade. Since Allen Rossum’s 92-yard runback for a score at Lambeau Field on Nov. 19, 2000, helped beat the Indianapolis Colts, 26-24, the Packers’ kickoff return game has gone dark.

Has it really been that long? I realize the Packers’ kick return teams have been bad, but almost ten years of a special teams unit not executing its sole function? That’s simply unacceptable.

As I read Vandermause’s column, I couldn’t help but remember a conversation I had with my father earlier this year. My father asked me if I remembered what Bill Parcells said when he was asked about who made the difference in Super Bowl XXXI. Parcells’ answer? Desmond Howard. Oh, what Ted Thompson would do for a player of Howard’s caliber. Actually, Thompson would probably cut him before the season even started in favor of an extra fullback. (I’m just kidding…I think.)

I’m not the first to say it, but the Packers need a player who can take one to the house. They need a game-changer; they need that special player that opposing coaches scheme against. Maybe that player is already on the roster; maybe it’s Will Blackmon or the speedy rookie, Sam Shields. Whether it’s one of the aforementioned players or someone else, the fact remains that the kick-return game has to improve. After all, can it get any worse?

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