The Saints ultimately appear to locate a complete-time KR/PR. Marcus Sherels and Deonte Harris are your qualifiers.
It is been a even though given that the Saints had a truly excellent return man, a person handling the duties of returning punts and kickoffs. Not too long ago Alvin Kamara has been the ideal at it but you do not want your star operating back returning punts and kicks. Tommylee Lewis, Ted Ginn Jr. and Taysom Hill have all contributed to a really mixed bag. For coaching camp this year the Saints have Marcus Sherels, Deonte Harris and Martez Carter all hunting to get their shot at handling return duties in the future.
*** UPDATE *** Martez Carter is no longer on the roster so this will come down to a two-man battle. We’ll attempt to locate out why he was scratched and report on that at a later date.
It truly is about time that the Saints attempted to locate an answer for return man on particular teams. The final excellent, devoted return man the Saints had was Courtney Roby who was with the group from 2008-2012. That is as well massive a gap. Credit the Saints although. They attempted a couple of occasions. Tommylee Lewis was when noticed as an answer but that didn’t operate out and he’s in Detroit now.
There was the try to get former Philadelphia wide receiver/return man Josh Huff but it seemed like he was under no circumstances truly in town or on the roster. He was final noticed playing for the Arizona Hotshots of the now defunct Alliance of American Football.
Truly, the Saints did have a decent punt returner in Marcus Murphy. Taken by the Saints in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft, the operating back had the final punt returned for a touchdown by the Saints in a Week three loss to the Panthers in that year. But he didn’t make it previous 2016 in New Orleans.
It seems the Saints are really serious about performing one thing with the return game this year and the battle for the job will be a single of the additional exciting ones to watch in the course of the preseason. Your 3 contestants are Marcus Sherels, Deonte Harris and Martez Carter.
Marcus Sherels has been the return man, mostly on punts, for the Minnesota Vikings given that 2011. He joined the club in 2010 as an undrafted rookie absolutely free agent out of the University of Minnesota. Right after eight seasons there, the Saints brought him in in the course of the very first wave of absolutely free agency this year. It looked like the return job was going to go to him by default.
At five-foot-10 and 175-pounds, Sherels ran a four.37 40 at his Pro Day in 2010 and is nonetheless a speedy and shifty runner. In his profession with the Vikings, he returned 5 punts for touchdowns. Final year, in Minnesota, Sherels returned 23 punts for 276 yards. That is a 12. yards per return typical and that was sixth in the NFL in 2018.
Deonte Harris, the undrafted rookie absolutely free agent out of Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts, is in his very first rookie minicamp with the Saints. Only five-foot-six and 171-pounds, Harris is slower than Marcus Sherels, on paper at least and it is not 2010 any longer as far as Sherels is concerned, he was clocked this spring at Harvard’s Pro Day operating a four.47 40.
Deonte Harris holds the all-time, all-division NCAA record for most profession combined returns for touchdowns, which means kickoffs and punts with a combined 14. For Harris, there’s practically nothing he can do but wait for preseason to get underway and show his stuff there. It can be replicated to a degree in practice, but it is just additional in an NFL standard season game, additional aggressive, more rapidly, just additional.
There’s a lot of highlight video of Deonte Harris on YouTube and you will see. If you grew up in the South, your higher college football group in all probability had ten occasions the attendance of an Assumption College game. It is a compact college with Division II players. The players are smaller sized, slower. Deonte Harris is obtaining his shot, but it is going to be a entire diverse issue in the NFL.
You are in all probability not familiar with Martez “Mr. Excitement” Carter unless you comply with Grambling or SWAC football. 1 of a family members of 11 kids out of Monroe, Louisiana, Carter shined brightly in his time at Grambling. He does not have the practical experience of Sherels or the speed of Harris, but he’s got moves. Only placing up a four.56 40 at his Pro Day along with a 36-inch vertical, by way of 4 years at Grambling Carter posted 396 carries for two,628 yards, six.six yards/carry and 29 touchdowns along with 74 receptions for 961 yards and nine TDs.
In these 4 years handling punt and kick return duties he had 26 punt returns for 253 yards, and 92 kick returns for two,066 yards, a 22.five yards/return typical, for 4 TDs. What Martez Carter brings to the table is he’s also a fairly excellent operating back, a excellent pass catching back. But that is not going to adjust the want for a return man if he cannot enhance on the numbers from final year’s return game then the Saints can use that roster spot on a player who’ll contribute quickly. Carter was on the Saints practice squad final year although so he does have a year of pro practical experience below his belt.
Marcus Sherels came to the Saints as a veteran absolutely free agent with a contract for $1,020,000. It would look he’d have the job. But with the addition of Deonte Harris and with word that Martez Carter is in the mix as nicely, all that just got a lot additional intriguing.
The issue about Marcus Sherels is that he truly only returns punts. His company cards also say cornerback but he hasn’t played on defense in a lengthy time, truly given that 2013. Martez Carter can be referred to as up to play operating back in case of injury so there’s a bonus. Possibly the largest beneficiary right here below the “what else ya got” heading, is Deonte Harris who is a genuine receiver and could pull off all these Tommylee Lewis gadget plays.
It will come down to preseason although. It will narrow down to the two ideal really immediately and then, ideal man wins. And it is going to be a blast to watch. I do not consider Marcus Sherels was expecting the competitors so we’ll get to see how he responds.
You have to really feel that the edge is going to Deonte Harris right here but no one has noticed him against NFL caliber competitors. It is going to be a exciting summer time.