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Can Special Teams be a strength for Rutgers this season?



special teams
Photo credit Rutgers Athletics

Last season, Rutgers had several issues on special teams. Entering the 2023 season, there needs strong play in all areas on special teams to put RU in position to compete for a bowl game.

One change that head coach Greg Schiano has indicated throughout training camp is that Jai Patel is in position to be the No. 1 placekicker this season. After not seeing any action as a true freshman, he is now ahead of Jude McAtamney who was 12 of 18 on field goal attempts last season. McAtamney is set to handle kickoffs. Hopefully, this will lead to more consistency inside 40 yards for Rutgers.

The greatest punter in Rutgers history is now gone in Adam Korsak. His disciple Flynn Appleby is set to replace him. While expectations needs to be held in check, Appleby’s ability to be consistently good and minimize mistakes is the key. Rutgers benefitted with field position quite a bit because of Korsak. It’s impossible to expect the same type of edge this season, but preventing a severe step back is a must.

As for returners for both kickoffs and punts, Schiano has only said several players are in the mix. Explosive plays in the return game would do wonders for the Rutgers offense.

In regard to kickoff and punt coverage, it will be interesting to watch how many veterans are in the mix and used on a regular basis.

Listen and watch to the ninth of ten positional previews regarding the wide receiver position below. Joining me for all of these positional preview episodes is football writer and Rutgers fan David Anderson.

Previous positional previews: Offensive LineDefensive LineRunning Backs; Linebackers; Tight EndsSafetiesCornerbacksQuarterbacks; Wide Receivers



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  1. Henry Rutgers

    August 26, 2023 at 9:44 am

    One of the many things that sets, ‘The Scarlet Faithful’ apart is the creativity to provide in-depth analysis of every component of a football team, fill in the blanks with RU players and offer thoughtful and insightful points of view in the context of the competitive environment. We (I) took Korsak for granted but he was such a powerful weapon. Thank you for giving fans insight into the component parts of the whole. We’ll see if it all comes together next Sunday.

    • BataliBoli98

      August 27, 2023 at 2:56 pm

      Ditto to everything that HenryRU said. All of these positional previews have been great. Including Dave, who I always assumed was older, in these thorough breakdowns was very beneficial. Korsak & Taylor as one of the best combinations in the history of the game is an interesting point. I also think that the return game is so enormous and I have no qualms with your best player playing an active role. Deion Sanders was a weapon as a returner and yet he was viewed as the top corner in the sport. Use your best and most reliable players. Go RU!

    • thevinman

      August 29, 2023 at 2:28 am

      You aren’t kidding. This site blows away any other site. I will come here to make my comments during games and hope it picks up steam and becomes the place to be.

      • Aaron Breitman

        August 29, 2023 at 9:14 pm

        Thank you all for the kind words and for your loyal readership over the years. It is greatly appreciated.

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