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Slocum talks kickoff return improvements

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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The Packers may rank No. 4 in the NFL with a 28.4-yard kick return average and Randall Cobb may be No. 3 with a 32.5 average (among those with at least seven returns), but that doesn’t mean Shawn Slocum is thrilled with the last two games. Through the first four weeks, the Packers didn’t have a single kickoff return that was stopped within their own 20-yard line. The initial team rule, with the kickoff line moved up to the 35, was to take a knee on any kick deeper than five yards. But there has been several exceptions. “I think we’re getting more fine-tuned in exactly what we want to do based on the rule change,” Slocum said. “We need to block better in our kickoff return game. Prior to two weeks ago, we were the only team I believe that hadn’t been tackled inside the 20, and now we’ve got consecutive games getting tackled inside the 20. “We’re going to change that. We need to do a better job blocking.” The Packers had three drives start inside the 20 on kickoffs (14, 16, 18) against the Rams and another (7)  in the Rams victory. That has irked Slocum as much as anything. He does not want to put the offense in a hole by starting drives deep in their own territory. “We should get the ball at the 20-yard line with the rule change at minimum,” Slocum said. “We bring that ball out, it’s got to get outside the 20. And getting tackled inside the 20 is unacceptable and it doesn’t make sense. “We’ve got to put our guys out there at the 20-yard line at minimum.”

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