News that DeAngelo Hall could be reprising his role as a punt returner as reached Blacksburg.
Thanks to colleague Darryl Slater of the Richmond Times-Dispatch for asking coach Frank Beamer – who also coaches the Virginia Tech special teams – about Hall’s punt return ability.
Hall averaged 15.0 yards on 56 career returns with the Hokies and scored five touchdowns, including a school record two TDs against Syracuse. The average is second in school history.
“DeAngelo could do it,” Beamer said today. “He’s got great athletic ability. He’s daring. He likes it. I think a punt returner has got to like being a punt returner. I think it’s the hardest thing to do in football. DeAngelo’s got the perfect personality and outlook to be a great punt returner.”
Since Beamer returned to Tech as head coach in 1987, the Hokies have scored 44 special teams touchdowns, including 17 on punt returns. Hall is the Beamer Era leader in non-offensive touchdowns with seven.
After Hall departed, Centreville native Eddie Royal handled the return duties for four seasons, averaging 11.7 yards on 111 returns.
Two things to consider with this Hall experiment.
1. Hall has played all but two defensive snaps this year and has played every snap in the last six games. He may be gassed after a drive and that would eliminate him from punt return duty.
2. He hasn’t done it that much in the NFL (13 returns, none since 2007). It might take him a game or two to get used to the Redskins’ blocking and whatnot. That said, it’s worth experimenting. The Redskins simply haven’t gotten enough production from the punt return game this year.
— Ryan O’Halloran