With DeSean Jackson likely to miss the Eagles' Week 7 matchup with the Tennessee Titans, and Ellis Hobbs lacking the big-play ability on kick returns, rookie defensive back Jorrick Calvin will handle all the return duties according to special teams coordinator Bobby April.
"Yeah, he'll be the punt returner and he's going to do the kick returning, too," April announced Thursday. "He'll do both. He did a good job [last week]. [He had a] nice return, and had some good blocks. He did a nice job and he did a nice job handling the ball. He’s been a good pick-up for us."
Jackson, usually an electric punt returner, is averaging only 7.6 yards per return this season with a long of 22 yards. Calvin, on the other hand, is averaging 15.4 yards per return with a long of 44.
Those numbers are a bit skewed since Jackson has double the return attempts Calvin has, but Calvin has been more explosive with the ball. There also seems to be a bit of a reluctance from Jackson to take the ball and head up the field as well. He seems eager to dance around and do all he can not to get hit rather than taking all the yardage he can get.
Hobbs, the usual kick returner, is a guy who has good field vision and rarely does anything to hurt the team on his returns, but he lacks the second gear that Calvin possesses.
It also doesn't hurt that now the starters can stay off special teams and the team doesn't have to take a step down in production.
Calvin could, in fact, prove to be an upgrade over both players—which is saying a lot considering the success Jackson has had as a punt returner.
I've been pretty hard on Andy Reid and Howie Roseman for some poor trades they made this season, but Charles Scott straight up for Calvin appears to have been one hell of a steal.
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