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fordfixer
11-15-2009, 01:54 AM
Steelers get good return on Logan
By: Mike BiresBeaver County Times
Friday November 13, 2009 12:26 AM

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... logan.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1424/2009/november/13/steelers-get-good-return-on-logan.html)

PITTSBURGH — Already this season, 10 kickoffs have been returned for touchdowns in the National Football League.

Unfortunately for Stefan Logan, he’s yet to experience the thrill.

That’s not to say this 28-year-old rookie has been a bust.

Logan’s average of 26.1 yards is the highest for a Steelers’ primary kickoff returner since 1989 when Hall of Famer Rod Woodson averaged a league-leading 27.3.

“No way. Really? Even better than Randle El?” said backup linebacker Andre Frazier, one of the Steelers’ best special teams players. “Stefan has a better average than Randle El? I did not know that.”

Antwaan Randle El, a wide receiver now playing with the Washington Redskins, was an exciting return specialist when he played in Pittsburgh (2002-2005). He holds the team record for most TDs scored on kick returns but only one of those came on a kickoff (the other four were on punts).

Randle El’s best season as a kickoff returner was in ’04 when he averaged 25.1 yards.

“I’m doing all right, but I have to do a lot better,” said Logan, also a wide receiver.

“That (26.1 yard average) is not good enough. I want to be the league leader. I want to do a lot better. I want to average 30 to 35 yards a return. We’re capable of doing it. I’m doing the best I can. We just have to keep it up. One of these games, we’re going to take it to the house.”

When Logan arrived in the off-season, he was a long-shot to make the team. His only previous pro experience was in 2008 when he played running back for the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League. He didn’t even return kicks in the CFL.

During training camp, the 5-foot-6, 189-pound Logan made the most of his opportunity in electrifying fashion. He locked up a roster spot with an 80-yard punt return in the fourth preseason game.

Advertisement “I want to get positive yards every time I touch the ball,” Logan said. “I want to get the crowd on their feet and take one to the house. And even if I can’t take one to the house, I want to put the team in good field position.”

Though he has yet to score, Logan has been a solid returner. The Steelers rank sixth in the league in kickoff return average, a significant increase from last year when they were 21st. The Steelers rank 23rd in punt return average, but that’s better than last year when they were 30th.

“We keep saying that I’m always close to breaking one, but close isn’t good enough,” said Logan, who’s averaging 7.9 yards on punt returns. “I want to break one. I don’t want to be close.”

In the NFL this season, there have been only six TDs scored on punt returns. By comparison, there were 16 last year.

A year ago, there were only 13 kickoffs returned for TDs in the league. This year, there have been 10, two against the Steelers (98 yards by Cleveland’s Joshua Cribbs, 88 yards by Minnesota’s Percy Harvin).

Logan’s three longest returns have been 40 yards in the opener against Tennessee, 56 yards against Cincinnati and 51 against Detroit.

“Stefan is a valuable guy for us,” special teams coach Bob Ligashesky said. “He’s done well in the return game, but we’re searching for the ceiling.”

In this decade, only three Steelers have returned kickoffs for touchdowns (Allen Rossum in 2007, Randle El in 2002 and Will Blackwell in 2000). Logan wants to be the fourth.

“I wasn’t aware,” Logan said when told about the 10 kickoff returns for touchdowns. “I need to make it 11. We need to get us one here.”

Oviedo
11-15-2009, 10:00 AM
While I recognize that Logan is an improvement maybe I have an unrealistic expectation for a "specialist return guy" to be doing more. It just seems to me like his best returns have been early in the season and he just doesn't hit the returns with the same burst he showed in pre-season and early in the regular season.

Hopefully in the second half of the season he can break a few for TDs.

BURGH86STEEL
11-15-2009, 12:08 PM
While I recognize that Logan is an improvement maybe I have an unrealistic expectation for a "specialist return guy" to be doing more. It just seems to me like his best returns have been early in the season and he just doesn't hit the returns with the same burst he showed in pre-season and early in the regular season.

Hopefully in the second half of the season he can break a few for TDs.

I think the competition he is going up against now is different then he faced in the pre-season. Speed of the players now may be different then the speed of the players playing now. I am not certain but I don't think he ever returned kick offs before he came to the Steelers. I believe that is another factor. Is the blocking as good now? I am not making excuses for him but just a few things to consider among others.