At the University of Oregon, James was one of the most explosive players in the nation. In the past two games for the 49ers, we're beginning to see that level of explosiveness James exhibited while at Oregon.
With such a crowed backfield, James can get overshadowed. I'm sure many remember his play during the postseason last year after filling in for the then-injured Hunter.
No one questions his ability; rather, many of our questions are directed at this 49ers coaching staff. The most important question is why was James not used as a punt/kick returner earlier in the season?
When James finally became healthy, the return job should have instantly went to him. Instead, 49ers fans were forced to watch the lifeless play Kyle Williams, hoping under their breath that he wouldn't fumble.
Williams wasn't bad, but he wasn't good either. On the other hand, James has already proved his worth as a returner, dating back to last season as proof.
Regardless, Williams was cut, and the job was handed to James. And it couldn't come at a better time for the 49ers.
As we saw against the Washington Redskins, James is a sensational talent when it comes to making guys miss, especially in space.
"We've got a return game, and it was good to remind that to everyone and ourselves," Harbaugh said, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News.
Simply put, James is a field changer on special teams. More importantly, his play as a returner gives the rest of the team that extra spark.
Watch out for James this week. We may very well see a return touchdown or two.