When the Seahawks drafted Paul Richardson in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, his skill-set was recognized as having the potential to replace Golden Tate as the team’s punt return specialist.
Tate was the team’s main punt return specialist last season, returning 51 for 585 yards, an average of 11.5 yards per return.
Those numbers were second-best in the league behind only Kansas City’s Dexter McCluster.
Needless to say, with Tate’s departure, big shoes need to be filled for the Seahawks to be as successful on special teams.
Richardson said he is the Seahawks guy in an interview with SB Nation’s Paul Rubenstein, which was released earlier this week:
“My role is just to come in, do what I can in special teams,” Richardson said. “I’m going to be a punt returner, so I look forward to doing that — making an impact and changing the game when I can from punt returns.”
Richardson only had one punt return in his college career at Colorado. That came in 2011 and was returned for four yards.
But Richardson certainly has the speed and agility to be a successful punt returner. Many have compared his athleticism to the likes of DeSean Jackson and even Richardson’s own teammate, Percy Harvin.
I like the idea of allowing Richardson to return punts if he is comfortable doing it.
The rookie is ridiculously talented with a 4.33 40-yard dash under his belt and the ability to make some big plays.
He might have limited time at receiver at the start of the season since the Seahawks are so deep at that position, so why not allow him the opportunity to make a big play on fourth downs?
The vacant punt return position is open for applicants. Hopefully, Richardson lands the job.