Friday, October 21, 2011

McKnight emerges as NFL's top kick returner

New York Jets fans had wondered what second-year running back Joe McKnight’s true role would be in 2011, as he was slated for another third-string gig behind Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson.

Mike Westhoff had a job for him.

Westhoff, the Jets’ special teams coach, made McKnight his primary kick returner, and McKnight has responded. Though cornerback Antonio Cromartie excelled at the return spot early in the year, McKnight took over the top duties when Cromartie was limited to his defensive role a few weeks ago due to a minor injury.

McKnight is the NFL’s top kick returner through six weeks, having picked up 441 yards on 10 returns for a – yes, easy math – average of 44.1 yards a return.

The USC grad had a 107-yard return for a touchdown Week 4 against the Ravens and has the most kick returns over 40 yards (4).

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