I’ll admit this is frustrating, but I kind of see the point. We have an inexperienced return guy back there (not sure why since we’re not even trying to return it), and it is so incredibly difficult to get a combination of enough room to catch and run plus no holding or blocking in the back. When you have an offense as explosive as ours, I think the thought process is let’s make a clean catch and starting there is better than losing 10 yards.
On the other hand, it would seem like the only reason Bryson is back there is because they think he can make something special happen. If he thinks he can catch the ball with a 7-10 yard cushion between him and the nearest defender, try to make something happen. Otherwise, we should just put someone back there with better hands.
You make great points, especially going back to last year and pointing out explosive offenses that like to return kicks. But not sure I agree with the above statement unless you have time to go back and research everyone. But I do agree we are way too conservative in this regard and I’m 99.9% sure that’s a coaching issue.
Just for clarity, I’m assuming an attempt includes no gain, loss of yardage as well as penalties against the return team. My point is that I think (and I emphasize the word “think” because I don’t know) that our coaches have taken the view of “just because you can doesn’t mean you should” toward punt returns. I’m not saying I agree with that, but I can see the logic. I will say that if we’re going to stick a dynamic guy like Bryson or Marquez back there, we should try way more often than we do.