With all the attention on the offensive line and the rookie free safety and the middle linebacker situation, there has not been a lot of talk this week about special teams.
DeSean Jackson will be the punt returner and Ellis Hobbs and Quintin Demps both could potentially see time returning kicks, although Hobbs seems like the likely favorite.
Here are some of the comments from special teams coordinator Ted Daisher earlier this week:
On whether WR DeSean Jackson is ready to step in as a punt returner despite not returning punts during the preseason: “I think so, he’s a very talented guy. [He’s] very comfortable catching the ball. [He has] very good ball skills, obviously as a receiver and as a returner. I don’t have any problem with him at all going back there on Sunday.”
On how S Macho Harris starting on defense will affect his role on special teams: “It will have something to do with it, obviously. It’s his first game and he’s going to be starting on defense so you have to limit, to some extent, what he does on [special] teams, but I expect him to play well when he is out there.”
On whether CB Ellis Hobbs or S Quintin Demps will be the primary kick returner: “Both Ellis Hobbs and Demps will be available to return kicks during the game. Again, as their role during the course of the game plays out, you could see either one back there depending upon how much either one is playing.”
On why he choose to use Hobbs as the primary kick returner over Demps: “If you look back and I really like Quintin Demps I think he’s an excellent returner and he did a good job a year ago. I don’t have the statistics right in front of me, but I believe over the last four or five years Ellis Hobbs might be as good as a statistical returner as there is in the NFL. I believe his average is around 28 yards and that’s very good. They are both good returners. I am very comfortable with either one.”
On how P Sav Rocca can work on his consistency: “We just have to get him back on track. When you kick or punt it’s a matter of rhythm and being comfortable. We just have to get him back into a rhythm this week. I though he had done fairly well. He’s been progressing as a directional punter. [He] did not have a good night against the Jets and he needs to get that squared away by Sunday.”
On where he sees K David Akers and his preparation for the season: “David knows what he needs to do. He knows how much work he needs. He’s been through this a few times so he has a good feel about what he needs to do to get himself prepared. I’ve kind of left that to him. You always monitor and make sure he’s taking care of the things he needs to do, but David knows what he needs to do to get ready.”
On whether trying to mix the young players with the veteran players is the biggest challenge for the coverage teams: “That’s exactly what it is. You’re trying to get the new guys to understand exactly where they belong, where they fit, where they need to be and that they bring that enthusiasm and effort that they are going to bring to the game. You have to be in the right spot doing the right thing. That’s the whole thing about the coverage. You have one guy out of his lane and you get a big play against you and that’s what we’ve got to eliminate.”