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Morton may lose kick-return duties


LT_True_Blue
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http://www.nj.com/sports/ledger/index.ssf?....xml&coll=1

 

Kick returner Chad Morton might have juked and jived his way to the bench.

 

According to someone familiar with the team's personnel decisions, the coaching staff is leaning toward running back Derrick Ward to replace Morton on kick returns for Sunday's game against the Bears. The person, who requested anonymity because of the confidential nature of starting lineup decisions, said Morton will keep his job as the team's punt returner.

 

 

Morton is 27th in the NFL with a kick-return average of 21.4 -- the lowest output of his seven-year career except for his 20.6 average in nine games with the Jets in 2001. Part of the problem is Morton hasn't been getting enough help from his blockers up front. But he has often juked too much instead of getting upfield quickly -- something the Giants' special-teams coaches stress.

 

"Some of (the blame) certainly has to be pointed at Chad, but a lot of it has to be spread around," coach Tom Coughlin said on Wednesday. "Our blocking and our holdups haven't always been as good as they should be, or can be, or what we have been used to."

 

Ward had 16 kick returns for the Giants in 2004, including a 92-yard touchdown against the Redskins. But he did not have any returns last year when Willie Ponder began the season as the kick returner before losing the job to Morton.

 

Ward missed the first six games this season with a broken foot suffered during training camp when he slipped on his way to a team meeting.

 

Giants LBs Carlos Emmons (groin) and Brandon Short (quad) missed practice for the second straight day. They're listed as questionable, but it appears both will be out. If so, Reggie Torbor would start on the strong side with rookie Gerris Wilkinson making his second start on the weak side.

 

CB Sam Madison (hamstring) has practiced the past two days and remains hopeful he will play on Sunday.

 

In the meantime, the former Louisville Cardinal continued to have fun with C Shaun O'Hara regarding last night's Louisville-Rutgers game. O'Hara put a Rutgers shirt in Madison's locker over which the former Dolphin put a sign that read, "Rut-girls. 7-1, 8-1, whichever it is."

 

Bears LB Brian Urlacher (toe) did not practice, but coach Lovie Smith said he was "feeling a lot better" yesterday. He remains questionable.

 

Urlacher was asked about Giants RB Brandon Jacobs' challenging him yesterday to tackle him.

 

"Who's he? One of the running backs?" Urlacher said. "If he gets the ball, I'll try to tackle him. It probably won't be me 1-on-1 because we have so many guys getting to the football right now. But if I get a chance, I'll just try to put him on the ground."... Bears WR Bernard Berrian (ribs) is doubtful.

 

The Giants and Texans apparently traded more than shoves on the field last weekend. Both teams have had several players battling stomach viruses over the past week. Giants RB Tiki Barber and about six others were battling a virus in the days leading up to the game and the bug is still going around. Meanwhile, Houston DE Mario Williams and two other linemen sat out practice on Wednesday because of a virus.

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i have been saying this 4 a while but Morton does not have the straight away speed needed 4 kick returns esp with the way our blocking has been i think we are much better off with someone else back on kick off's leave Morton in on Punts as i rather have sure hands then a hit or miss guy but kick offs it is time to try somthing else

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i think ward can handle it and he lost his backup job anyway so we should make use of him.

 

i think jennings is the better choice though

 

i don't think ward can handle it.he has not proved that he can return kicks and he is not that fast. i thought jennings was the reason we cut ponder?(who i would have rather had return kicks for us than morton) i am all for taking morton out, but only for jennings or moss. we need a guy with speed.

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i don't think ward can handle it.he has not proved that he can return kicks and he is not that fast. i thought jennings was the reason we cut ponder?(who i would have rather had return kicks for us than morton) i am all for taking morton out, but only for jennings or moss. we need a guy with speed.

 

he returned kicks for us as a rookie. he was nothing special but neither is morton--at least ward can run the ball as well. i'd rather free up morton's roster space.

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