In our last installment we look at a unit that I viewed as largely pretty deficient in 2013 and held together only by an upper echelon quality punter. Oddly Thomas Morstead had a miserable playoff run, though, so he'll have some bouncing back of his own to do too. Some upgrades will be necessary in the offseason. Here's how special teams fared on Pro Football Focus:
Best Graded Player: No surprise it's Thomas Morstead. I lied yesterday when I said Cam Jordan was graded highest on the team, because Morstead has that distinction (+58.5). Interesting to note that the highest rated gunner was Will Herring.
Worst Graded Player: It's a tie between two undrafted rookie free agents in Josh Hill and Rod Sweeting. Hill's grade was mostly due to blocking on kickoffs, and Sweeting's was due to struggles with the punt unit.
Other interesting notes:
- The highest graded gunners were Herring, Kevin Reddick and Ramon Humber. All linebackers. The worst were Sweeting, Corey White and Jabari Greer, all corners.
- Morstead graded as the 4th best punter of 41.
- Garrett Hartley graded 38th of 54 kickers.
- Darren Sproles was 7th in the league in number of fair catches.
- Herring graded as the 9th best gunner out of over 1,000 graded players.
- Morstead graded as 5th best on kickoffs out of 53. 38.4% of his kickoffs were returned which is 9th best.
- Garrett Hartley had the worst percentage of makes in the entire league at 73.3%.