Baltimore Ravens FS Tom Zbikowski will have much on his plate as he will likely be filling in for the injured Ed Reed at the start of the season. The free safety position is a demanding position, as it requires the player to “quarterback” the secondary.
But to add even more on his shoulders, Zbikowski may have to start returning punts. It was reported that he was one of few players, including Mark Clayton and Chris Carr, that fielded punts during training camp. Zbikowski is a team player and as described by Ken Murray of the Ravens Insider, “Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski wants to return punts this season.“
Zbikowski may be in the best shape of his career. In Murray”s article, “Zbikowski poised to take next steps for Ravens,” he pointed out how the former Notre Dame safety and punt returner worked casino online bonus hard in the off-season to improve his elusiveness, leaping ability, and overall speed. In addition, “he wanted to strengthen his neck and improve his durability in case he had to return punts this season.”
Is It Too Risky?
Zbikowski could be an impact player on returns, but the thought of him fielding punts during the regular season may cause some fans to feel uneasy. Special teams is a fast and hard-hitting part of the game. When he”s a returner, Zbikowski would be receiving the hits as opposed to delivering them when he”s a safety.
While you have to admire Zbikowski’s heart and determination, the secondary is too thin on players for him to risk getting injured on punt returns. Of course any player could get injured on any play, even on the practice field. And while normally it wouldn’t be a second thought to put Zbikowski out there, the circumstance of a depleted secondary may call for coaches to put a hold on Zbikowski”s punt-returning duties. The same could be said for Chris Carr, since he is one of the few healthy cornerbacks remaining.
What do you think?