The Philadelphia Eagles have tried a lot of people at punt returner this offseason, but no one really has been able to impress the coaches enough to make them a full-time returner. However, we have seen what Damaris Johnson could do last season and he proved it again on Friday night against the New England Patriots.
Johnson was able to take a punt back for 62 yards, but was unfortunately dragged down before he was able to score a touchdown. Johnson is a small, speedy player that has DeSean Jackson-like playmaking ability. He can turn a five-yard hitch route into a 50-yard touchdown in the blink of an eye. This proves that Johnson can handle being a full-time punt returner and not a part-time returner like he was last season.
There has been talks of Chip Kelly wanting Jackson to return punts this year, but Jackson’s value to the team has skyrocketed since Jeremy Maclin went down with an ACL tear a few weeks ago. So not only may he see return duty, but time on offense as well.
Johnson is an explosive guy that can easily have two punt returns for touchdowns this season and can change a game on one snap. The quickness Johnson displays is incredible and his agility can make anyone in the NFL miss. If Johnson can have another good preseason game returning punts, then Kelly should already make the decision to have him be the full-time punt returner and let Jackson take a rest.
With Johnson proving his playmaking ability, the Eagles should have another guy who can take it to the house on almost any play. Johnson is getting better everyday, and this should be his opportunity to prove to the NFL he is one of the most dynamic players in the league despite his size.
Sonny Bryan is a Philadelphia Eagles writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SonnyBryan50