Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes....Just gonna have to be a different man...
That's right. This week is about changes. So far I've called for Brian Schwenke to take over for Rob Turner, for Kenny Britt to be buried deeply on the depth chart, and now for Darius Reynaud to make way for Damian Williams and Khalid Wooten.
Maybe I'm overreacting to a tough lose with a backup quarterback against an undefeated team. Maybe I'm just willing to improve the team's deficiencies where coaches may be reluctant to do so.
I get it. I really do. You have to have faith and trust in your players and them in you. If you bench a guy every time he makes a bad play or decision, every position would be a revolving door with no one playing good. In essence you would have what the Titans had last year at the safety position.
The coaching staff is fighting for their jobs this year and holding a united front in the locker room will go a long way towards doing that. I contest that not losing games due to special teams gaffes would do the same thing.
According to ESPN, Darius Reynaud currently sits at 14th in the league for kick return average with 23 yards/attempt. That doesn't sound too bad until you realize there are only 19 "qualified" players that have at least 1 return in each of the team's games. He ranks at 36th if you count everyone. Reynaud sits at 12th in punt returns among qualified players. His 8.5 average, however, is a lot further from the 16.7 yard average at the top of the list than it is from the 3.4 average at the bottom.
I'm not down on Reynaud because he necessarily lacks explosiveness or the big play making ability you want in your returner. I'm down on him because of his continuing indecisiveness. Players are going to make mistakes, but decision making is beyond crucial to a returners viability at the position. Between starting the season with a safety and repeatedly fielding punts inside the five, to NOT fielding the ball on the 25 yard line for no good reason, I can no longer respect the decision to keep him on the field.
Damian Williams can return punts, and Wooten showed himself reliable on kick offs during the preseason. Let Wooten contribute on special teams and take Reynauds active spot. What's the worst that could happen? Fumbles? Maybe. One thing Reynaud has done is take care of the ball. But right now I'm willing to take that chance.