The Ravens kick return job remains very much up in the air after one preseason game that accomplished little in terms of evaluating candidates.
The Ravens are looking to find the heir to Jacoby Jones, but they could only watch as the Saints booted six kickoffs, all of which went for touchbacks. (Actually, DeAndre Carter attempted one return from 9 yards deep, but he bobbled and fumbled the return, then recovered in the end zone and took a knee for a touchback.)
Ravens special teams coach Jerry Rosburg made sure Justin Tucker did not kick touchbacks in order to evaluate the kickoff coverage units, and he was probably seething that the Saints didn't do the same. The Saints presumably have their own kickoff coverage unit to evaluate, so kicking all touchbacks in a preseason game seems puzzling to say the least.
"It’s hard to control the other team’s kicker," Rosburg said after practice on Monday. "So, we just do the best we can with it. We practice hard, we practice competitively, and we’ll evaluate that."
Asa Jackson had the first shot as the Ravens return man on both kickoffs and punt returns, and he averaged 8.5 yards on two punt returns. But he left with a knee injury, leaving his role -- and perhaps his roster spot -- very much in question. Michael Campanaro and Carter both also lined up with the return unit, and Campanaro had one 10-yard punt return.
"“I thought both (Asa) and Michael did what we asked them to do on the (punt) return ... get the ball north and get positive yards," Rosburg said.
Auditions will continue this week when the team holds joint practices with the Eagles.
"I think the opportunity to practice against Philadelphia will be very productive, as well," Rosburg said. "We’ll have opportunities to return balls in practice against them, even if we don’t have that chance in the game. We hope we get opportunities in the game, as well.”