New faces getting a look at punt returner

Florida state has consistently struggled at punt returner this season, and will continue to give others a look until it is fixed. Who might you see this week?

One obstacle Florida State has been unable to overcome this season is finding a consistent punt returner.

Both Rashad Greene and Tyler Hunter have shown the ability to be a big play threat, but they've also shown poor decision making which heavily outweighs the former.

Each time Hunter went to field a punt against Virginia Tech on Thursday, he was very hesitant. After he fumbled one, it got even worse.

On multiple occasions following the fumble, Hunter convinced him self it was going to bounce out of bounds in fear of making another costly mistake. Each time he took that approach, the ball took a VT bounce, and would cost FSU up to 25 yards of field position. That's something that itches at coach Fisher, and he simply cannot tolerate.

"That was very disappointing, and not just the fumble," Fisher said during his weekly press conference. "You go back to the drive when we gave up the safety; he let a ball hit the ground and roll 25 yards because he thinks it going out of bounds. It's decision making, not just catching it. He just made a poor decision. That was very disappointing."

And from the looks of the FSU practice fields this week, it could get even more complicated.

WIth the recent struggles from Rashad Greene and Tyler Hunter over the last three weeks, Fisher has no choice but to take a 'next man up' approach. After all, with the depth of elite talent Fisher has brought to Tallahassee over the last few years, you would think someone would be able to step up.

The new face getting some looks this week is wide receiver Kenny Shaw. Shaw does have experience at the position as he was the full-time returner in high school while attending Dr. Phillips.

In addition to Shaw, freshman Ronald Darby is also taking reps, and has been for some time. Fisher did say Monday in addition to making the changes in personnel, they've also made adjustments in the way they coach the guys in practice in an attempt to simulate pressure.

"It's not just a battle, we've got to consistently teach it better and find out who's going to be the most consistent," Fisher said. "You have to put as much simulated pressure as you can because that's one thing you can't simulate from practice to a game, is pressure. That's why a lot of times you see me get as tough as I do, because I want to see if I can break them down and see how they handle it."


Nole Digest Top Stories