Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

Zorn: Randle El Still Primary Punt Returner


Turns out that Antwaan Randle El is still the Redskins' first option at punt returner.

Jim Zorn clarified his comments this week on the team's punt return situation. He said that Randle El will be the team's primary punt returner but added that Santana Moss and DeAngelo Hall will return one or two punts per game.

On Tuesday, Zorn had said on his ESPN 980 radio show that he wanted to start to "interject other guys" in the punt return rotation alongside Randle El.

Zorn said he wanted Hall to get "more and more involved" in punt returns.

Hall served as a punt returner for one play in the Oct. 26 game against Philadelphia, but the punt sailed out of bounds and he did not get his hands on the ball.

"Yeah, [Hall is] going to be involved more," Zorn said. "And if he's involved more, it'll be one or two reps, exactly right. It's not necessarily a change. It's just an addition to get him more involved. He was [involved] last game.

"Antwaan Randle El is our punt returner. You're going to see Santana Moss, which you have, and you're going to see DeAngelo Hall, who you saw last game. And we'll see what happens."

Randle El is slated to field the first punt of the game, Zorn added.

This year, Randle El has returned 11 punts for a 5.2-yard average, among the worst in the league. He also has 11 fair catches, second-most in the league.

Earlier on Wednesday, Randle El acknowledged that he needed to be more productive on punt returns.

Said Randle El: "I have to go out and be more productive, but it's not always one guy...When you get an opportunity, you go out and play, be thankful for it, and make the best of it."

Hall has not returned a punt since the 2007 season, when he had five returns for an 8.1-yard average. For his career, he has 13 returns for a 9.5-yard average and a long of 27.

At Virginia Tech, Hall was a prolific kick returner with a 15.1-yard average and five touchdowns.

As for Moss, Zorn has said he wants to get him at least "one or two punt returns in every game."

Moss is accomplished as a punt returner in the NFL, even though he just a 3.8-yard average on four returns this season. He has a career 11.7-yard punt return average and three touchdowns in his career, and he had an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown last year in Detroit.

Zorn is wary of using Hall and Moss on punt returns because he does not want to risk an injury.

"The risk involved in putting Santana out there or even DeAngelo, my starting cornerback, it can be very volatile to have your punt returner get in there and then get nicked up," Zorn said. "We still want a spark and we still want to create field position. And yet there's risk involved as well."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.