In this review of the Lions special teams I plan to look at the performance of our Punt Return unit.
Logan fair catching a punt [just going to a knee] via prod.static.lions.clubs.nfl.com
This was the best picture I could find that summed up the Lions punt returning the last two years. Yes, Logan [and the Lions] led the NFL in fair catches the last two years. Although there was a significant difference in his performance the last two years as shown by;
2010 - 12.1 YPR [T5th], 1TD, and 1 fumble.
2011 - 7.9 YPR [26th], 0 TD, and 5 fumbles.
FootballOutsiders.com had the Lions and Logan 10th in 2010 and dropped them to 27th in 2011. ProFootballFocus had Logan ranked as the 17th best punt returner both years. Go figure.
I would be interested to know whether all the fair catches are by Logan's decision or whether he is instructed to fair catch as often as he does by Coach Crossman. I look at fair catches as punt returns for zero yardage. In other words, a failure. I am also bothered by the number of fumbles he had last year. Five is far too many fumbles based on 65 punt touches. This is one area where I would love to see another returner in his place, but the two candidates mentioned [Titus and Broyles] are too valuable to risk returning punts. I would love to see Nate Burleson back there and try his hand at it.....again. Nate is a very slippery and quick runner who is excellent at getting yards after the catch.
Again, I will admit that I am a terrible judge of the blocking on punts. I really have a hard time saying that the Lions do a good or poor job blocking. Although in Logan's possible defence, poor blocking could be leading to all those fair catches.
So once again, please feel free to put your thoughts out there as to how we can improve our punt returning.