Dream No. 4: Bengals find an ELITE Punt Returner
The Bengals have been inconsistent at returning punts since the days of Adam Jones refusing to fair-catch. In fact, the Bengals haven’t returned a punt for a touchdown since Jones did it against the Browns in 2012.
It’s been over 3,500 days since this play.
Darius Phillips only averaged 7.1 yds/return (33rd) in 2021 and contributed to a loss to the 49ers by fumbling two punts. This led to an unsustainable combination of Tyler Boyd and Trent Taylor returning.
Before Phillips, the Bengals had ole reliable Alex Erickson. He provided little touchdown threat but did average 10.1 yds/return (10th) in 2020, it was Erickson’s only finish in the top 10 in his five years as the primary returner. He finished with 8.9yds/return (16th) this season in Carolina.
Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons has always preferred reliability over explosiveness in his returners. But finding some combination of both would be a dream for the Bengals. Maybe UDFA Kwamie Lassiter II out of Kansas?
We miss punt returns for TDs, it’s been too long.