2009 Roster Projections: Kick Returner(s)

Up to this point we've dealt with positional units that have various cogs and pieces complicating matters: quarterback, wide receivers, cornerbacks, offensive line, running backs, and defensive line.

Today we switch to the kick return game.  It's a pretty simple, but important, aspect of the game.  The 49ers added Allen Rossum before last season and he proved he was still an impact player, much to my own surprise.  The 49ers made an intriguing offseason move in adding Micheal Spurlock.  The question is if it will even matter by the time the season kicks off.

Locks
Allen Rossum?, Delanie Walker

Bubble
Micheal Spurlock, Kory Sheets (late add - see below)

First off, Delanie Walker is included here because he saw a fair amount of playing time in the return game.  As Rossum is a bit fragile, I'd expect Walker to see some more playing time outside of his tight end position.

I put a question mark next to Rossum in part because I'm wondering how many folks think Micheal Spurlock could beat him out for the return job.  For those that don't know, Spurlock was the guy who became the first player in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history to return a kickoff for a touchdown (2007). 

In his three years in the NFL, Spurlock used up his practice squad time.  While he does play wide receiver, I really don't see him surpassing either Dominique Zeigler or Arnaz Battle on the receiver depth chart.  He basically has to blow Singletary's socks off on special teams to have a chance at winning a roster spot.

Maybe that, combined with Allen Rossum's proven skills makes this whole discussion moot.  Either way, I wanted to see if there was anything else to be added to the discussion.

 EDITOR'S NOTE: I had forgotten about Kory Sheet's potential as a return man.  49er4life made a good point that he could certainly see time in training camp as a return man.  Feel free to discuss him as an additional option - POLL CHANGED

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