The Redskins signed Jerome Mathis Redskins Sign Mathis. The signing of Mathis could signal the end of the Rock era in the return game. Mathis provides a game breaking ability that Cartright lacks.
Although Rock may have held his own in the league from a statistical perspective, how many fans have grown tired of watching him return kicks. His average gains appear to be as a result of excellent coaching and blocking. In an area where special teams are supposed to be special, Cartright seems ordinary. Fans seem to have forgotten the likes of Mike Nelms, Darrel Green, and Brian Mitchell returning kicks. As soon as the ball hit their hands anything could happen. This is the role of a returner. More info: phantom of the opera tickets pantages.
Rock was a free agent this offseason looking for an increase, but there were no other takers. Sometimes stats can be deceiving. This could be why most teams weren't interested in Rock. Most of the yardage seemed to be the cushion from the catch to the back of Cartright's own wall. How many times have fans seen a hole to run through only to watch Rock plow into the back of his own wall?
There have been gains and even touchdowns, but could these have been as a result of tremendous blocking? A returner only has a chance to make a difference and add value to a team a few times a game. That's why most teams have a game breaker that anytime they touch the ball is capable of going the distance.
Imagine a game breaker with great speed and the ball in his hands behind a wall of great blocking? It would be a welcomed change. There are many areas that could be upgraded on the team, but when you have an opportunity to upgrade at any position you do it. The easiest positions to usually make changes are in the return game and the punters/kickers.
The signing could also mean Thrash could be on the way out too. He was supplanted by Rock in the return game and saw limited action at wr. With the additional late round compensatory draft picks maybe the Skins could use one on a kicker/punter to improve field position even more in the kicking game. Gibbs like most was loathe to use a pick on a kicker, but how many games did Chip Lohmiller win for the Skins when he was drafted.
With a change in philosophy this offseason in spending, the special teams have an opportunity to be special again in the return game.