Arizona Cardinals must improve special teams in 2017


It doesn’t look like the special teams coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals is going anywhere so the personnel better improve

Amos Jones, the head of the Arizona Cardinals’ special teams, may be the luckiest man in the NFL. Despite his group being one of the worst in the league this past year, it seems as if his job is safe. In the eyes of his boss, Bruce Arians, the players were to blame for the failures.

If that’s true, then the front office needs to find players who can help the special teams improve. Thankfully, there will be free agents available in March who can do just that. The following are a few who should be targeted.

Eric Weems- Weems is perhaps the best all-around special teamer scheduled for free agency. He averaged 23.0-yards per kickoff return and 11.4-yards on punts. Besides his return skills, he added 15 special teams tackles.

Britton Colquitt- With as poor as the Cleveland Browns offense was in 2016, Colquitt got alot of opportunities to show off his punting skills. He averaged a more than respectable 45.3-yards a punt. He comes from a family of punters; his father Craig was an NFL punter, as was his brother Dustin.

Robbie Gould- Gould has been an excellent placekicker for 12 seasons. Signed in mid-season by the New York Giants, he was a perfect 10 for 10 on field goal attempts. He did fail on three extra-point attempts, but that’s still one less than current Cardinals’ kicker Chandler Catanzaro.

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Zak DeOssie- Long-snapping gave Arizona nightmares this past season. The organization was spoiled for years with the services of long-snappers such as Trey Junkin and Mike Leach. Signing DeOssie, one of the best at the position over the last decade, would allow both Arians and Jones to sleep better at night.

Cordarrelle Patterson- Patterson has been one of the most dynamic kick-returners since entering the league in 2013. He has five career return touchdowns, and led the NFL this past season with a 31.7-yards per kick return average.

Phil Dawson- Dawson has been as dependable a placekicker as they come throughout an amazing 18-year career. He’s been good on 404 of 478 field goal attempts as a pro, a sparkling 84.5% success rate. He was good on 18 of 21 field goals and 33 of 34 extra points in 2016.

Devin Hester- Reportedly, Hester told his wife that 2016 would be “pretty much my last year” in the NFL. But after his playoff performance as a Seattle Seahawk, maybe he should reconsider. He returned five kickoffs for 194-yards in the game (including a 78-yarder), and also had an 80-yard punt return wiped out by a penalty.