What he showed us on Saturday night was simply a product of great blocking? Not a chance. The blocking from the return units this past weekend was solid, don’t get me wrong, but Stefan Logan looks like the real deal. Is that enough to make the team? Maybe. Maybe not. Any guy with decent speed can run through an open lane and pick up 15 yards. The “special” returners in this league are the guys that are capable of making tacklers miss and have the innate ability to read and react to the fast paced action unfolding in front of them. Logan has this special skill and uses it to pick up big chunks of yardage….regardless of the blocking in front of him.
Over the past 2 years the only time we have ever given you video or screenshots of the Steelers return game was to show you one of two things: (1) how bad the punt and kick return teams were at blocking and creating lanes and (2) how slow and indecisive our returners were when they actually had room to run. I guess that’s what you get though when your return men are Fullbacks and Power RBs (Davenport, Davis, etc).
We are extremely happy that we can finally show you something a bit different. Here is a video clip of Stefan Logan:
1. Showing speed and decisiveness when hitting holes and picking running lanes. No dancing here and no wasted movement from sideline to sideline.
2. Following blockers and showing patience when necessary. Also displays some great awareness.
3. Holding onto the football.
4. Making one or two tacklers miss when somebody comes free. The Steelers haven’t had a returner capable of “making the first guy miss” since Randle El.
The Steelers return units created a lot of running room for Logan this past weekend but there were a number of times where Redskin players broke free and were 1-on-1 or 2-on-1 with Logan. His ability to make the first tackler miss is a huge asset. A guy like this gives your return units some margin for error. With Logan returning kicks, if you miss a block or two, he can still juke a few guys and make a big return. If you somehow manage to seal off a side or block exceptionally well down field, you might have yourself a Punt or Kick return for a TD.
If you want to play a little game of “Where’s Waldo” go ahead and try to find Ziggy Hood (#96) and David Johnson (#85) in many of these clips. They both looked real good blocking for Logan. The entire video is in slow motion which allows you to track individual blockers, watch cutbacks unfold, and see how the return develops. Keep in mind the field was slippery after being rained on for 7 hours and Logan lost his footing a few times. On a dry field I think he cuts a bit cleaner and has 1 or 2 more runs that go at least an additional 20 yards further…maybe he even springs them for TDs…we’ll never know.
Highlight Analysis Video of Logan Here: