Bills land kick re­turn spe­cial­ist Roberts

Led league in kick­off and punt re­turn yards

The Buffalo News - - NFL - By Jay Skurski

The Buf­falo Bills made a big move Wed­nes­day night to give their spe­cial teams a boost.

The team has signed wide re­ceiver/kick re­turner An­dre Roberts, ac­cord­ing to a re­port from ESPN’s Dianna Russini.

Pro Bowl re­turner An­dre Roberts is sign­ing with the Buf­falo Bills per sources. He was se­lected for both the All-Pro and Pro Bowl teams in recog­ni­tion of his work as a kick re­turner last sea­son with the Jets

Roberts made the Pro Bowl and was a first-team All-Pro last sea­son as a re­turn man for the New York Jets, lead­ing the NFL in kick­off re­turn yardage. He had 40 re­turns for 1,174 yards (29.4 yards per re­turn), in­clud­ing a 99-yard touch­down. Roberts dou­bles as an elite punt re­turner, as well, aver­ag­ing 14.1 yards per re­turn in 2018 to tie for the NFL lead. He also had a 78-yard punt re­turn for a touch­down. Dur­ing his ca­reer, Roberts has just three muffed punts on 196 re­turn at­tempts.

“I don’t know too many re­turn­ers in this league that are dual re­turn­ers that have done what he’s done this year,” Jets spe­cial teams coach Brant Boyer told the New York Daily News late in the 2018 sea­son. “You have some guys that are slightly bet­ter on kick re­turn or what­ever. But if you look at the dual stats and what he’s done this year, I don’t think there’s a bet­ter re­turner in the game.”

The Bills never could fig­ure out their re­turn game last year, rank­ing 21st in the NFL in punt-re­turn av­er­age and 24th in kick­off re­turns.

Against the Bills in De­cem­ber, Roberts had 176 kick­off-re­turn yards on five at­tempts, in­clud­ing an 86yard re­turn. Ac­cord­ing to NFL’s NextGen Stats, Roberts reached 20plus miles per hour on 9.3 per­cent of his touches in 2018, the third-high­est per­cent­age in the league.

Roberts, 31, has bounced around the NFL. The Bills will be his fifth team in the past five sea­sons, and sixth over­all since be­ing a thir­dround draft pick of the Ari­zona Car­di­nals in 2010. Roberts is the third wide re­ceiver signed in free agency by the Bills, join­ing John Brown and Cole Beasley in what has quickly be­come a crowded room.

Getty Im­ages

An­dre Roberts, then with the Jets, runs in for a touch­down on a punt re­turn against the Detroit Li­ons in the 2018 sea­son opener.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.