Help Wanted: Special Teams Need a Boost

Laura looks at the Packers issues in kick coverage

The Packers have battled through rough spots this season, redeeming themselves when they stumble on defense or redoubling their efforts to hang on to the ball.

One area which is still in dire need of an upswing is punt/kick coverage.

The Bears' Jerry Azumah returned a kick 99 yards for a touchdown, capping a day in which he averaged 31.2 yards on six returns. That was right at his league-leading average, and the Packers looked in no position to slow down that pace.

"Even if you take off the disappointment of a kickoff return for a touchdown, we have not done well in the second half of the season as we did in the first half of the season," Sherman said.

He's right. Through 13 games, Packer opponents are averaging 20.8 yards per kickoff return, with Azumah's effort the longest of the season. At the half-way point, the Packers were allowing about 18 yards per kick return, even including a date with KC's Dante Hall in Week 6.

"It seems like in every game we have given up a pretty good return that has put our opponent in positive field position and points many times have resulted from that positive field position," Sherman said.

Sherman has shown his willingness to try new combinations and even go out and get a free agent to shore up a weak spot. This area is no exception, he said.

"Yes, that's something I am looking at very much to make sure we have the right guys on there doing the right thing," he said. "We have to do a better job."


Packer Report Top Stories