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With rookie Brandon Boykin being largely underwhelming as a return man this year, Bobby April decided to take a look at Bryce Brown in the role last week and plans to give him another shot against the Giants.
"He did okay. He just did okay," said April. "We could have blocked for him better and he would have looked a lot better. You know, you generally have to make somebody miss and his speed can pull away from guys. He'll have to learn to force guys to miss in the hole just like he does as a runner. It's a little bit foreign to him, but he is a good runner and, with practice, I think he can be really good."
April was also asked whether he thinks Brown has a career as a return man ahead of him or whether these couple weeks are just an experiment?
"I guess experimenting. I wouldn't use that word, but in a thesaurus, you might be able to use it. We're giving him a try and seeing what he can do because he can run with the ball and he is really fast and he goes north and south. That's all the ingredients you pretty much need to play that. But there is a pattern that's different for him, because everything's so expanded. It's like running the ball, yet you've got to run a little bit of a ways to get to the [tacklers]. So that's a little bit off for him. I think he could be. I think he could be because he's shown he can run with the ball."
Brown was set to split snaps with LeSean McCoy last week, but according to Marty Mornhinweg Shady was "feeling good" and ended up playing a lot more snaps than originally planned. He ended up touching the ball 22 times to Brown's 4.
So while I do like the idea of getting the ball in Brown's hands whenever possible in games that are only useful for evaluation... However, I would think that kick returns are probably not the place for a guy with serious ball security issues.
Then again, if the games mean nothing outside of evaluation... maybe kick returns are perfect for Bryce.