Although training camp is still a couple months away, I'm already looking forward to seeing what happens at kick/punt returner. For the past two seasons, Stefan Logan has been the Detroit Lions' returner, and he's done a pretty good job on special teams in general. However, with the kickoff rule being changed last season, Logan's role on the team was limited, which Jim Schwartz admitted earlier in the offseason. Because of this, there has been speculation that the Lions may opt to give the returner job to somebody who contributes at wide receiver, effectively freeing up a roster spot.
Back in March, the speculation revolved around Titus Young, but now there's a lot of talk about rookie Ryan Broyles getting a chance to return kicks once he's cleared from his ACL injury. While the fact that he is coming back from an ACL injury might make you think the coaches will have him focus only on catching passes, Schwartz says that's not the case.
"I think once it's healed, you just let him go," Schwartz said. "You don't worry so much about what he's doing on the field. If he's cleared to catch passes, he's cleared to return kicks, also."
To me, the battle for the returner job could end up being one of the more interesting storylines during training camp. On the one hand, Logan is very good at what he does, but was his production last season enough to justify keeping a spot on the team open for somebody who generally only plays special teams? With guys like Broyles and perhaps Young being in the mix to return kicks, there could be more value in freeing up a roster spot by parting ways with Logan.