Sunday, July 13, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

DJohn vs. DJax

It's too soon to judge Damaris Johnson as a punt returner.

DJohn vs. DJax

For those clamoring for DeSean Jackson to return punts because of Damaris Johnson's dismal numbers so far, consider this:

Johnson, his bevy of fair catches notwithstanding, has gained more yards (32) in his first six career PRs than Jackson did in his first half dozen (19). And, yes, Johnson did fumble away a return that led to a Cardinals touchdown. It took Jackson only until his 14th career return to muff one.

Jackson's first six punt returns all came in his NFL debut against the Rams, as did his seventh (18 yards) and eighth (60), which were much more indicative of his PR potential.

And since Jackson didn't go to the house with a PR until his fifth game, we'd say give DJohn another game or two and a dozen or so returns ... and then let the clamoring begin.

Below are the first four games of Jackson's punt-returning career and the first three for Johnson:

 Gm.  No.   FC   Yds.  Avg.   LG 
 1  8   0   97   12.1   60 
 2  2   0   12   6.0   11 
 3  2   3   11   5.5   9 
 4  4   2   37   9.3   17 
 Totals     16   5   157   9.8   60 
 Gm  No.   FC   Yds.   Avg.   LG 
 1  1   3   6   6.0   6 
 2  3   1   10   3.3   4 
 3  2   3   16   8.0   12 
 Totals  6   7    32   5.3   12 
Bob Vetrone Jr.
About this blog

Boop – who goes by Bob Vetrone Jr. when he is undercover or paying bills – has been at the Daily News since 1982, after working for five years at the Philadelphia Bulletin up to its closing. Along with helping to build the sports scoreboards most nights, he has had great input into the papers’ special sports pullouts – March Madness, Broad Street Run, Record Breakers, Greatest Moments – as well as its day-to-day, award-winning event coverage.

A 1980 graduate of North Catholic, he took some evening college courses. Those lasted right up until the first conflict with a Big 5 doubleheader.

His favorite books growing up were the NBA Guide and the Baseball Encyclopedia, which was, for all intents and purposes, the Internet before there was an Internet.

He has been immersed in sports statistics since the early 70s, when his father (long-time sports writer, broadcaster and the Daily News’ Buck The Bartender), would take him into the Bulletin newsroom overnight in the summer and let him update the Phillies statistics in a little, black spiral notebook. But things have changed tremendously in the decades since … He now uses a big, black spiral notebook.

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Bob Vetrone Jr.
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