Falcons Will Audition Punt, Kick Returners

Falcons Will Audition Punt, Kick Returners

Jay Adams

Published March 14, 2012 at 11:18 AM

News broke Wednesday morning that Pro Bowl kick and punt returner Eric Weems had agreed to terms with the Chicago Bears on a three-year deal, leaving a hole in the Falcons’ special teams personnel.

Weems was a cog on special teams, and not just as a returner. Weems was always near the top of the team in special teams tackles during his time with the Falcons.

The Falcons will now turn to filling that role and there are two candidates already on the roster that could get a long look: CB Dominique Franks and WR Harry Douglas.

Franks was a punt returner in college with Oklahoma and found some steady success there, returning 29 kicks for 346 yards at an 11.9 yards-per-return average. A speedy, dangerous player in the open field, Franks has gotten some work at the return positions during the preseason since his NFL career began two seasons ago.

Douglas is also versed in the return game and was saw time as the Falcons’ kick and punt returner during his rookie season. His 61-yard punt return for a touchdown that year was the first punt return for a touchdown for the Falcons since 2004 when Allen Rossum last completed the feat. Douglas earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors for that game.

UPDATE: Fans have added on Twitter that running back Jacquizz Rodgers also spent some time as a returner in college with Oregon State.

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