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Special Teams a Glaring Weakness

  • irief
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 193
Everyone's talking about how we need to address DL or the Secondary this off season as a weakness (which I agree with), but I think we've forgotten about Special Teams. Our Special Teams went from being a true strength in 2011 to an out right weakness in 2012. We never recovered from the loss of Blake Costanzo. Akers' piss poor play further compounded the issue.

I don't wanna get into should've, could've, would've, but as we saw in the Superbowl, ST's alone could've made the difference. Front office needs to focus on improving our coverage unit, return unit, and kicker. On a side note, props to Andy Lee for being a true stud year in and year out.
[ Edited by irief on Mar 1, 2013 at 7:07 AM ]
Originally posted by irief:
Everyone's talking about how we need to address DL or the Secondary this off season as a weakness (which I agree with), but I think we've forgotten about Special Teams. Our Special Teams went from being a true strength in 2011 to an out right weakness in 2012. We never recovered from the loss of Blake Costanzo. Akers' piss poor play further compounded the issue.

I don't wanna get into should've, could've, would've, but as we saw in the Superbowl, ST's alone could've made the difference. Front office needs to focus on improving our coverage unit, return unit, and kicker. On a side note, props to Andy Lee for being a true stud year in and year out.

Baalke generally looks for ST help in the late rounds.
Losing Costanzo hurt a lot. Trading Jones away further hurt the ST unit. I wouldn't be surprised to see the team draft a couple ST headhunter types in the late rounds.
I was more surprised by the total lack of creativity on ST last year...previous years we were running creative TD's to Crabs, Akers with onsides kicks, etc. Nothing this year at all.
lorenzo alexander a pro bowl sopecial teamer for the skins is a free agent
  • irief
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 193
Originally posted by OKC49erFan:
Baalke generally looks for ST help in the late rounds.
Losing Costanzo hurt a lot. Trading Jones away further hurt the ST unit. I wouldn't be surprised to see the team draft a couple ST headhunter types in the late rounds.

Agreed. Losing Costanzo was probably the biggest mistake of last off season.
this is where having 15 picks comes into play. they wont use all of them, but when you have an excess your ST unit usually gets a good infusion of talent.
  • Disp
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 1,485
Originally posted by NCommand:
I was more surprised by the total lack of creativity on ST last year...previous years we were running creative TD's to Crabs, Akers with onsides kicks, etc. Nothing this year at all.

Fake punt vs. the Patriots?
Colin Jones was the hit that hurt us the most. Carolina had a top 7 kick return defense last season while the Niners were no where close to the front of the pack. I'm not saying Colin Jones is the whole special teams unit but he is a playmaker in those situations. Bears, on the other hand, were also at the front of the pack in kick return defense and punt return defense.
Originally posted by irief:
Agreed. Losing Costanzo was probably the biggest mistake of last off season.


Him along with Jones...and to think they spent (wasted) some of that money on Brandon Jacobs.
I think the additional st piece we need to find in the draft is a double duty wr/returner to replace ginn.
Costanzo and Jones made a huge impact. Can't believe we let them walk. You could argue it cost us the superbowl trophy.
  • cciowa
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 24,156
fake punt twice vs the rams
not ready for the fake punt safety in end zone
giving up big returns and missing tackles all year long and esp on the kickoff return in the super bowl
kickoff returns a bit better due to hunter and james.
akers , enough said and the coaches should have taken action after the first rams game and signed kaeding
terrible punt returns all year and no i give ginn no bone for a long punt return vs the falcons to set up a game winner. he should have been doing that all year long
the special ed teams were terrible all year long and this is the one area the coaches were either unable or unwilling to fix during the season, there is no excuse for not fixing things in the off season. i think we are ok with kickoff returns but all areas including f**king tackling need to be addressed for gods sake.
when they deemed jacobs was a poor fit , they have signed someone like rock cartwright for special teams, dixon stepped up his play as the season went but this area is woefully inadequate
Originally posted by crabman82:
this is where having 15 picks comes into play. they wont use all of them, but when you have an excess your ST unit usually gets a good infusion of talent.

I sure hope so. It's crazy how we went from suffocating ST's coverage in 2011 to swiss cheese in 2012. Lets hope we get that fixed up.
  • irief
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 193
Originally posted by ChazBoner:
Costanzo and Jones made a huge impact. Can't believe we let them walk. You could argue it cost us the superbowl trophy.

Agreed. You can definitely make an argument for this. Having Constanzo and Jones on the field would have probable prevented the TD, and also would've backed up the Ravens on most punts/kickoff return attempts.
Well on the bright side we won't have to worry about KO returns or coverage if Sheriff Roger & The Nanny Brigade get kickoffs eliminated like they want to.