Monday, September 8, 2014

Marrone: Despite miscue, Jackson will still return punts


The Buffalo Bills running backs have taken on added roles on special teams this year, from C.J. Spiller returning kickoffs to Fred Jackson back lining up for punt returns.

Both were in action Sunday, with Spiller tallying a 29-yard return early in the first quarter and Jackson out for a punt with less than six minutes to go in the second. Jackson's opportunity didn't go as smoothly as Spiller's, however, as the veteran muffed the catch but ultimately recovered the ball.

According to coach Doug Marrone, Jackson's minor slip-up won't affect his future on the punt squad.

"You go through all training camp and we had Fred back there and felt that if we need the catch, we’ll put Fred back there," he said via "That one I have not seen. I haven’t seen that out of him all camp."

Jackson was more than solid in his primary role in the team's 23-20 win in Chicago, however, tallying 74 all-purpose yards and breaking off a huge run during Buffalo's overtime drive that eventually sealed the victory. Spiller amassed 64 total yards and a touchdown, as well.

As far as the other new additions to the special teams unit, namely specialty kicker Jordan Gay and punter Colton Schmidt, Marrone had nothing but praise for the two young legs.

"We have basically almost all of our players cross the 20 when he (Senorise Perry) brought it out and we wound up keeping him in there for 13 yards," Marrone said of Chicago's lone return. "Our specialists, both young guys, we’re outstanding. Even Colton [Schmidt] for the first punt, Marcus Easley made a play on it, but after that he had four out of five going inside the 20. 

"That’s pretty improved for a guy that’s a rookie."

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