Titus Young adding return duties to his repertoire

Posted Jun 15, 2012

Ever since receiver Titus Young returned to practice in late May it seems he’s made at least one great play every practice that's caught the eye of coaches and reporters.

Tuesday, during the team’s first minicamp practice, Young went up and caught a touchdown pass with cornerback Aaron Berry draped all over him in a goal line drill.

“He’s had a good run since he’s been back with the team,” Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said of Young. “He’s made big plays in just about every practice. He’s worked hard, he’s been a good teammate and he’s probably looked the best that I’ve ever seen him look in this couple week span. “We just need to keep him on that track, because he’s been outstanding the last couple weeks. You weren’t seeing ghosts out there, you were seeing the same things that we’ve been seeing.”

Young, a second-round pick out of Boise State last year, has also added punt and kickoff return duties to his repertoire.

“Returning punts is more of a challenge and it’s more of a chance to create your space a little bit more,” Young said. “Punt return is really where my heart is. Ever since I was younger that's where I really got noticed, just catching the ball and just making a lot of people miss. I’d definitely love to do (it)."

Young only returned 11 punts at Boise State for 76 yards (6.91 average), though. He said coaches at Boise State had a zero-tolerance policy when it came to muffing punts and a couple dropped balls cost Young a chance to be the full-time punt returner. He's been getting a lot of work there for the Lions over the last couple weeks.

Young did, however, return 56 kickoffs for 1,449 yards with three touchdowns.

“Yet to be seen,” Schwartz said when asked if Young is in the mix to be the Lions’ returner next season. “He can do it. He’s a good player with the football in his hands and he’s got good hands back there, but we’ll see. We have a lot of good guys that ‘ll be in the mix, including a veteran player like Stefan Logan who’s made a lot of good plays for us. It’ll shake out over the course of training camp and preseason games.”

Young, Logan and undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver Patrick Edwards will all be in the mix to win the job in training camp.