Updated:
Original:

Falcons Coach Defends Rookie Return Man

Falcons special team coach Marquice Williams comes to the defense of rookie punt returner Avery Williams

Atlanta Falcons special teams coach Marquice Williams has several weapons at his disposal including cornerback Avery Williams who was a return specialist at Boise State last year.

READ MORE: Falcons Coach Arthur Smith not Falling into Trap

Williams was asked if he thought it was a rookie mistake when Avery Williams let the ball bounce inside the ten yard line on a would be return. Williams was quick to defend the decision made based on the location of the punt.

"Once to the opponents get to around the logo area," said Smith, "they're trying to pin our team back. We have a rule, we have a certain yard line that we line up our returners, and we don't want them to drift back. We don't want them to catch the ball within a certain yard line."

"I thought Avery made a great decision, because if you see where that ball bounced, it bounces inside the five to eight yard line. It took a good bounce. Give credit to Philadelphia's [Arryn] Siposs for hitting two good punts inside the ten yard line."

"I thought Avery made great decision making when it comes to that. Sometimes you get guys that will drift back and catch that ball inside the five, and now we're in a situation where we're going to put our offense in bad field position (or worse)."

"Now if that ball were to hit around the 12 yard line, 15 yard line and he didn't catch it, and then it rolled back inside the five, that's hidden yardage that we lost as a return unit."

"So I thought Avery, last weekend, those two punts in particular when he didn't field them, he made great decisions on those opportunities. They just had a good bounce. So give credit to Philly on that."

READ MORE: Which Penalties are Fixable?

Williams has had plenty of experience in the return game, and that was the primary reason he was selected by the Falcons in the fifth-round in April's NFL Draft.

Williams was a consensus All-American in 2020, just the 16th Mountain West player to earn that honor. Williams led the nation with four special teams touchdowns, scoring on a pair of kickoff returns and two punt returns. He is the only player who ranked in the top 20 nationally in both punt returns (third, 15.3 yards) and kickoff returns (12th, 28.1 yards).

He's a dynamic punt and kick returner and his coach is pleased with his decision making after his first NFL game.

Recommended Articles

Matt Ryan and Tua Tagovailoa
Play

Falcons vs. Dolphins: How to Watch, Latest Lines

How to watch, listen, and stream the Atlanta Falcons vs. the Miami Dolphins. Plus latest lines and betting odds.

Calvin Ridley Atlanta Falcons vs. New York Giants
Play

How's Calvin Ridley Looking at Falcons Practice?

Wide receiver Calvin Ridley missed the Falcons last game. How has he looked at practice this week?

DDDE392B-FB5C-405D-96DD-C0F0A42E0537
Play

Falcons Legend Passes Away At 65

Tracking Atlanta Falcons roster moves as they happen ...

Williams will get another chance to show off his punt return skills on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. in Tampa.