Falcons coach defends rookie return man

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Atlanta Falcons special teams coach Maurice Williams has several weapons at his disposal, including cornerback Avery Williams, who was a return specialist at Boise State last year.

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Williams was asked if he thought it was a rookie mistake when Avery Williams let the ball bounce inside the ten-yard line on a return. Williams was quick to defend the decision based on the location of the punt.

“Once the opponents come around the logo area,” said Smith, “they’re trying to block our team. We have a rule, we have a certain yard line that we line up our returns with, and we just want ‘They are backing up. We don’t want them to catch the ball in a certain yard line. ”

“I thought Avery made a great decision because if you see where that ball bounced around it bounces inside the five to eight yard line. It took a good bounce. Give Philadelphia credit. [Arryn] Siposs for making two good punts inside the ten-yard line. ”

“I thought Avery made some good decisions about it. Sometimes you’ve got guys going back and catching that ball in the five, and now we’re in a situation where we’re going to put our offense in a bad position. (or worse).”

“Now if that ball hit around the 12-yard line, the 15-yard line and didn’t catch it, and then come back inside the five, that’s the hidden distance that we lost as a unit of return. ”

“So I thought Avery last weekend, those two punters especially when he didn’t line them up, he made some great decisions on those opportunities. They just had a good rebound. . So give Philly credit for it. ”

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Williams has a lot of experience in the rematch, and that’s the main reason he was selected by the Falcons in the fifth round of the NFL Draft in April.

Williams was an All-American consensus in 2020, just the 16th Mountain West player to earn the honor. Williams led the nation with four special teams touchdowns, scoring on a pair of kickoff returns and two punt returns. He is the only player to have placed in the top 20 nationally in both punt returns (third, 15.3 yards) and kickoff returns (12th, 28.1 yards).

He’s a dynamic punt and kick returner and his coach is happy with his decision making after his first game in the NFL.

Williams will have another chance to show off his punt return skills on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kick-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. in Tampa.


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