Mandatory Credit: Photo by Darren Lee/CSM/Shutterstock (13436404bq) Green Bay Packers wide receiver Amari Rodgers (8) returning a kick during the NFL football game between the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin NFL Patriots vs Packers, Green Bay, USA – 02 Oct 2022
New Texans WR Rodgers “a challenge” for opponents on special teams
Houston Texans’ special teams coordinator Frank Ross believes newly acquired WR Amari Rodgers can make an impact on special teams.
Thursday, Frank Ross met with the media and discussed the acquisition of WR Amari Rodgers off waivers from the Green Bay Packers, amongst other things.
Rodgers has a reputation for being a good return man but has struggled with ball security this season.
Ross admitted Rodgers’ potential special teams impact is a primary reason they claimed him:
“Yeah. Roster improvement is going to be an everyday thing as Nick (Caserio), and Lovie (Smith) make decisions. Ever since coming out of Clemson, watching him at the Senior Bowl, being about to stop, start and shake, those are things you look at as far as a returner goes.”
“Just remember him, the ability to get in and out of his breaks with quickness and sudden movements. Played against him as well. He’s a challenge and hopefully brings that here.”
Ross discussed how they will approach a player in Rodgers who is talented but has had recent ball security issues:
“Any player that gets added to the roster is going to have strengths and weaknesses. No matter where they come from, they have different training history that they’ve used. Got to integrate everybody onto our roster and start, whether it’s fundamentals or schematically, getting him up to speed in our techniques and things we’re asking him to do. Trying to improve every single person on our roster, whatever it is. You’ve got to sweep the corners of your skillset and make whatever your strengths are stronger and your weaknesses, make sure those are cleaned up. Any challenges, whatever it is, we’ll find a way to make each player better as best we can.”
As far as the mental side of overcoming ball security issues, Ross related:
“I’m not a golfer, but I golf. The first tee, I’m probably slicing it right over there. You’ve just got to reset and go hit the next ball. At some point, this is the NFL. If you don’t have confidence, it’s not going to be a very long tenure for you. You flush that, whatever it is, and then it’s going to come back down to doing your keys, your techniques, and your fundamentals. If you trust those and you start with those, you’re going to have a chance to be successful. Allow whatever natural talents or instincts or savvy that can come out of your body. Any of those things, we can get those after we start with our fundamentals and our techniques.”
Rodgers is averaging 7.0 yards per return on punts and 20.3 yards per return on kickoffs this season.