The Redskins have a “help wanted” sign hanging on both their kick and punt returner jobs and Andre Roberts is applying to take both of them.
The wide receiver, who was signed as a free agent in March, is pretty sure that he will be doing one or the other. Special teams coach Ben Kotwica has kept him busy during the special teams portion of OTAs.
“He has me doing punts and kicks right now,” said Roberts after Wednesday’s OTA session. “I would like to be the kick returner and the punt returner but, you know, everybody doesn’t get what they want. Preferably, probably kick returner.”
He has NFL experience with both.
“My rookie year I started my whole year punt return and did some backup work for [kickoff returner] LaRod Stephens-Howling,” he said. “I’ve done both, I’m used to both. Just different schemes and reading blocks, that’s all it is.”
In his four NFL seasons Roberts has returned 35 punts for an average of 6.9 yards and 16 kickoffs for a 22.4-yard average. Those aren’t eye-popping numbers by any stretch but he’s confident that he can make a difference.
“I feel like I’m one of those players who when he gets the ball in his hands he can make some big plays,” he said. “That’s what I want to bring to this team as well, not just as a receiver but also on special teams.”
Roberts became a starter in his second season in Arizona and so his opportunities as a returner became few and far between.
“I never really had the opportunity to get in there and do it like I wanted to,” he said. “Being here and having an opportunity is big and I would love to do it.”
Roberts may end up doing some returning but the Redskins didn’t give him a four-year, $16 million contract to do just that. He was asked about how he is fitting in to his primary role as a wide receiver.
“We’re looking as good as we can out there after three weeks, four weeks,” he said. “We still have a lot to work on in this new offense. Like i said before, by training camp and season time comes we should be just fine.”