It will be interesting to see who lines up as kickoff returner for the Jets against the New England Patriots next Sunday. Brad Smith is the regular guy. He returned kicks for an average of 28.6 along with a pair of touchdowns during the regular season. That was good for second in the league.
He might have some competition for that spot, though. Antonio Cromartie filled in for him last night and looked absolutely electric with a pair of 40+ yard returns, including the 47 yarder that set up the Jets in field position that gave them a realistic chance to get into field goal range in the final minute. While Smith is deceptively fast, Cromartie looks like a world class sprinter once he gets a head of steam.
Deciding which fantastic return man to use is a nice problem to have. My feeling is the Jets should stick with Smith in most situations as long as he is healthy. My only rationale is that he is a part time player, while Cromartie is a full time player. The Jets lean on Cro more in other areas of the game so an injury to him returning kicks would hurt more. If either guy is going to do a good job, opt for the guy who is more expendable and keep the other guy from getting injured.
What do you think?