I'm going to start calling all of our units special. Bad joke. On to the grades.
Nugent didn't miss a field goal! We can celebra......what? He didn't make any either? Gotcha. Generated zero touchbacks, and yes I will continue to mention this based on everyone and their "stronger leg" comments. For the record, Lindell had 2 touchbacks. Grade: Incomplete
Dirk had 6 punts for a Gross average of 43.0 yards and a net of 37.8 yards. He made some progress. Dropped two punts inside the 10 yard line (progress) and had a few punts that flew over 42 yards (progress). The other punts were the troubling kind. Short and line drives. Parrish had a few opportunities to return punts with no one within 5 yards of him. Better, still not great. Grade: C+
It's not often I hate being right. I wrote a column before I was lead guy on Buc Em that pointed out return men who make the Pro Bowl and how they fare int he next year. All but two (Hester, Hall) had drop offs in production. Clifton is seeing the same thing. It's been two games, but he isn't able to make guys miss. Of course, if his blocking sucks, he won't go far. We aren't getting stuck with bad field position because of him, but we aren't helping out chances. Grade: C I'm also against putting lead running backs back there (like Graham). They tend to run like you should on a running play. Take your time, read your blocks and react. Problem is, on a running play, 4 yards or more is a success, so patience helps. On returns, its controlled chaos. Pick a lane, hope the blocks develop and get upfield.
Tough to evaluate. No real production on Nugent's end, Dirk had a so so day with a few good punts and a few bad punts and the returns were largely average. Hence an average grade. Grade: C