Special Teams Coach Tom Quinn, 09.02.12

Q: Any idea who the punt returner will be?

A: There’s a collection of guys that we’re looking at. We have four guys who we feel good with, and can decide who’s up, and who’s the best for that game.

Q: So the competition will continue into the regular season?

A: Yeah, I mean different guys got hurt at different times that really affected the competition. Rueben got a fair share at it, Hosley got a share, and Jernigan did. They all had different things that happened to them in the preseason, so we couldn’t just make it one vs. the other.

Q: Thoughts on Da’Rel Scott’s punt block, and the excitement he brings to the unit:

A: It’s good, that’s something that we’ve focused on and Larry Izzo has done a good job teaching that and training that, and gets all of our guys to do it, and we just wish they would do it more. There are some times when we could take advantage of it and we don’t, but it’s nice to see.

Q: Thoughts on Ramses Barden’s role on special teams?

A: He’s got a couple jobs on special teams. We have him on two or three teams right now, and we’re comfortable with him. We’ve been training him for four years, I believe, getting him right on that. Now he’s just matured as a player, as a special teams player, where he understands it, it’s not new, he can play at a higher level, and he’s got a good skill set with his height, weight, and speed.

Q: What’s the first priority with punt return?

A: Protecting the ball. When the defense stops them we need to get it back to our offense. That’s the number one goal, and we need to create more field position when we do have the opportunity. We can’t turn it over; we need to be secure with the ball.

Q: Does that mean Domenik Hixon would be the most likely?

A: They’ve all caught it. The first game, we had two very poor judgments, but after that, they’ve been cleaner with it. It’s a good lesson to learn in the preseason, but it can’t happen.

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