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Who were the best return team blockers on the Jets?

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NFL: Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The great Bent recently wrote an article discussing the value of the various pieces that made up the dominant 2018 Jets special teams unit.

This inspired me to go back through the film and answer a particular question about special teams that observers rarely have an answer to - who were the best blockers on the return team?

Andre Roberts returned five punts for 15+ yards and twelve kickoffs for 30+ yards. I decided to look back at all of those “big” returns and chart which blockers were throwing the most key blocks on big plays.

Here is what I found.

Kick return assists

Eric Tomlinson - 8

Jordan Leggett - 7

Frankie Luvu - 6

Chris Herndon - 6

Brandon Copeland - 5

Neville Hewitt - 3

Charone Peake - 2

Anthony Wint - 1

Tarell Basham - 1

Rontez Miles - 1

Neal Sterling - 1

Punt return assists

Terrence Brooks - 3

Charone Peake - 2

Darryl Roberts - 2

Parry Nickerson - 2

Trenton Cannon - 1

Chris Herndon - 1

Brandon Copeland - 1

Frankie Luvu - 1

Total return assists

Eric Tomlinson - 8

Frankie Luvu - 7

Chris Herndon - 7

Jordan Leggett - 7

Brandon Copeland - 6

Charone Peake - 4

Neville Hewitt - 3

Terrence Brooks - 3

Parry Nickerson - 2

Neal Sterling - 1

Tarell Basham - 1

Rontez Miles - 1

Anthony Wint - 1

Trenton Cannon - 1


A few players in particular stood out to me: Tomlinson, Leggett, Luvu, and Copeland. Tomlinson and Leggett often had to take on blocking assignments alone, and they frequently threw very important blocks on big returns. Both tight ends were fundamentally sound hitting their spots. Tomlinson in particular threw some noticeably strong blocks.

Luvu and Copeland often worked double team blocks, and excelled with them. They each did a nice job sealing off the backside.

I noticed Luvu constantly making his presence felt in the return game. He clearly took a lot of pride in his special teams play, frequently peppering some nastiness into his blocks.

Though Chris Herndon ranked near the top of the list, I thought he was making some frequent mistakes in this phase. Regardless, with the amount of success he had at his natural position on offense, we likely won’t be seeing much of Herndon on special teams in the future.

What did you think of the unheralded special teams players in 2018?

Poll

What did you think of the blocking performance of Jets special teams players in the return game?

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    Very good
    (136 votes)
  • 33%
    Solid
    (72 votes)
  • 1%
    Decent
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    Meh
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Bad
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Very bad
    (0 votes)
214 votes total Vote Now