Yesterday the Jets hired Brant Boyer to be their new special teams coach and they wasted no time getting the first-time head special teams coach a new shiny toy to work with. The Jets struggled mightily in both kick and punt returns last season, the only time the returns weren't terrible was when Antonio Cromartie returned kicks, and Todd Bowles has continually talked about the need to add the dimension of speed at the position.
Well, they have now certainly acquired the speed, even if that speed has yet to translate to tangible success as a returner, by signing Dri Archer to a reserve-future contract. Archer was drafted in the third-round of the 2014 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, he was a running back at Kent State University in college but the Steelers drafted him so high because of his speed and hoped to turn him into a kick return specialist.
Archer ran a blazing fast 4.26 40 at the NFL combine before being drafted by the Steelers, that was the second fastest 40 time ever recorded at the combine behind only Chris Johnson who ran a 4.24. Archer's incredible speed was never able to be enough to turn him into the playmaker the Steelers had hoped they were drafting and they ultimately decided to release him on Nov. 5 last year.
The Jets considered signing Archer after he was cut by the Steelers to address their need for a kick returner but ultimately decided against it, most likely due to the injuries they were dealing and the shuffling of the roster they had to deal with. But now they will have Archer on the roster for training camp and if they like what they see they will have their kick returner and an exceptionally fast one at that.
Chris Nimbley is the Editor-in-Chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)null