With two preseason games left, the Ravens appear to have little clarity in their efforts to find a kick return specialist, and although Michael Campanaro had all three punt return chances against the Colts last weekend, the Ravens aren't ready yet to declare the job his.
Last year's leading returners — Kaelin Clay and Jeremy Ross — are no longer with the team.
RELATED: MAKING SENSE OF FLACCO VS. THE LIONS
Coach John Harbaugh, the former special teams coach that he is, blasted the Ravens special teams play against the Colts, both in kick returns and in kick coverage.
"We kicked the ball to them, and they kicked the ball to us, and we got our butts kicked," Harbaugh said after the game. "That's unacceptable."
Harbaugh seemed particularly agitated about the Ravens kickoff coverage; the Colts averaged 28.0 yards per kick return, nearly 10 yards better than the Ravens (18.8).
Earlier this week, Harbaugh declared, "We have not found our punt returner or our kick returner yet."
As for kick returns, three running backs — Kenneth Dixon, Terrance West and Stephen Houston — returned kicks at Indianapolis last week with unimpressive results. West had the longest return at 23 yards, and two returns left the Ravens inside their 20-yard line.
The Ravens are giving both West and Dixon a long look as kick returner — Houston is a longshot to make the team — with the idea that a fourth running back could also contribute in the return game. Rookie Tavon Young has also been given reps as a kick returner, though he missed the Colts game with a hamstring injury.
Campanaro headlines a group of punt return candidates that includes former Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds. Campanaro had all three punt return chances against the Colts, with one fair catch and one 21-yard return. Reynolds, who has had an inconsistent camp as a returner, served on the punt coverage team and had a tackle against the Colts but was not back as the return man at all.
Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said Campanaro "showed some real positive things" against the Colts, but Rosburg was not ready to hand him the job yet.
"Michael's out there trying to win the job," Rosburg said after practice on Wednesday. "It's really not his job, it's the returner. The job belongs to the team, and he's trying to get that job."
Expect the auditions for both jobs to continue Saturday night against the Lions.