COORDINATOR CUT-UP

COORDINATOR CUT-UP: Have the Lions found their return man of future in Ross?

Posted Dec 24, 2013

Jeremy Ross is an exclusive rights free agent this offseason, which means if the Lions want him back, they can have him

It was a numbers game with the active 46-man roster that ultimately got Jeremy Ross a chance at the Detroit Lions return duties.

It’s been Ross’ playmaking ability, however, that’s earned him the job over the second half of the season and just might earn him a job in Detroit again next season.

Ross is averaging 29.5 yards per kickoff return and 18.1 yards per punt return this season. He has at least one 40-yard return in four of his six games as the team’s primary return man.

“I’d say right now he’s got the inside lane with probably a five-second head start on everyone else,” special team’s coordinator John Bonamego said when asked if the Lions have found their return man.

“I’m really glad that we have him. I think our guys have blocked well for him, too.”

Ross is an Exclusive Rights Free Agent this offseason, which means he’s a player who is not under contract, but has only two years of NFL experience. If the Lions make him an offer at the three-year veteran minimum salary, then he has to take it or leave the NFL.

Ross has certainly shown his playmaking ability over the last month and a half and it seems logical the Lions would try and keep him around.

Bonamego also touched on a couple other subjects.

David AkersK David Akers (Photo: Gavin Smith)

On David Akers handing kick-off duties the last two weeks: "Sam (Martin) has done a very good job in that role, but David had to get healthy just to kick field goals coming off the surgery. If you remember he did handle some of the kickoffs in the last preseason game in Buffalo, but it isn’t something he’s had to work on a lot because of Sam.

"That’s one of the benefits of having a veteran like David because that’s always been a big part of his repertoire. When he came into the league that’s one of the things he was known for."

On allowing a 56-yard kickoff return to start overtime: "Very disappointing. We fit it correctly. We just weren’t aggressive enough at the point of attack. When you’re not aggressive with your hands it causes you to be a little slow, slower than you’d like coming off blocks, so it still comes down to blocking and tackling and getting off blocks and we didn’t do it well on that play."