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Having been demoted from starting cornerback to nickel back, <!--Default NodeId For Jerry Azumah is 722148,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:722148]>Jerry Azumah</A> played a lesser role on defense, but he had kickoff returns added to his to-do list.

It gave the former college running back a chance to get his hands on the ball again and to make an immediate impact. He averaged 25.2 yards on five returns, an improvement over the team average of 19.0 the first three games. R.W. McQuarters went 54 yards on one of his 2 punt returns, as the return teams got a shot of adrenaline.

"Now you have the chance to break the game open in one pop," Azumah said. "That's what special teams is all about, making big plays. Everybody's excited right now and that's a good thing because we need that."

Only two players in the NFC have better kickoff-return averages than Azumah.

"Our return game was big for us," coach Dick Jauron said. "You come out of the halftime after playing the first half like we did, and we needed a charge, and we got it off our (31-yard) kickoff return. When 'Zoom' took it out to near the 50-yard line, he bounced up off the ball and sprinted back across the field. That's what we needed. We needed to get something going and that really picked us up."

Azumah had numerous kickoff returns for touchdowns at New Hampshire. And in high school, "It got ridiculous," he said. "It was like (the Chiefs') Dante Hall.

"I'm not a stranger to having the football in my hands," Azumah said. "I like it. It's been in my hands for years."

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