Will Skins' WR Andre Roberts return punts and kickoffs?

Will Skins' WR Andre Roberts return punts and kickoffs?
March 15, 2014, 3:30 pm
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Newly acquired wide receiver Andre Roberts says he doesn’t know if he’ll be asked to return punts and/or kickoffs for the Redskins next season. But he’s willing and eager to fill that role if necessary.

In 2013, the Redskins never found a productive option at either return spot and wound up tied for last in kickoff return average (20.0 yards per) and 28th in punt return average (6.4).

“I may be doing that, you never know,” Roberts said recently on 106.7 The Fan. “ I don’t have a problem doing that at all. If they ask me to do it, I’ll definitely do it.”

As a rookie in 2010, Roberts was the Cardinals’ primary punt returner and averaged a ho-hum 7.5 yards per return on 35 attempts. He was also the second option on kickoffs and fielded 14 of them, averaging 23.3 yards per.

The following season, Roberts lost his punt return job to Patrick Peterson, who made the Pro Bowl after averaging 15.9 yards per return, second only to the Bears’ Devin Hester. Roberts also saw his kickoff return duty dwindle in 2011 as his responsibilities on offense grew. 

“I did it my rookie year and I did all in college, so I feel very comfortable catching kicks and punts,” Roberts said. “If they want to put me there, I’m willing and ready to go.”

The Redskins’ plans at punt returner remain unclear. Chris Thompson, Nick Williams, Santana Moss and Richard Crawford could get another shot. Meantime, the team’s plans at kickoff returner are even murkier.

But now you can add Roberts’ name to the mix of potential candidates.

“Yes, I do enjoy doing punt return [duty],” he said. “Patrick Peterson is definitely a phenomenal player. He made it to the Pro Bowl returning punts his first year. He kind of took that job over in Arizona, so I never go to do it again. But I did it all in practice and backed him up. I do like catching punts and returning punts and having the ball in my hands.”