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Eric Weems Leaves Falcons For Bears, So Who Returns Kicks Now?

Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl return man Eric Weems has left for the Chicago Bears, where he'll catch all the kicks Devin Hester drops and hand them to Devin Hester. That's probably not true. For the Falcons, this raises the question of what to do about all of the kicks, since somebody's going to need to catch them and ideally run them somewhere.

Here's the list of players who've returned kicks or punts for the Birds before:

  • Harry Douglas
  • Dominique Franks
  • Thomas DeCoud
  • Ovie Mughelli

That's it! Douglas brought back a few punts his rookie year, and the other three each scooped up a squib kick or something along the way. Ovie Mughelli! Enormous kick returner!

However, players like Jacquizz Rodgers could handle return duties, and Franks, Brent Grimes, and Julio Jones have some kick return experience. The latter two cost a lot of money, so let's say the competition comes down to Franks and Rodgers for the time being.

Franks handled 37 returns in his three years at Oklahoma, and his ball skills are evident in his two interception return touchdowns. Rodgers didn't take on returns at Oregon State, but he's got the movement ability and the hands to give it a shot.

I wouldn't worry too much about special teams here. Ovie's got it all under control anyway.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.