WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. — There are no shortage of applicants to handle return duties for the Saints this season.
Jalen Saunders is back after offering an exciting taste last year. Rookie Marcus Murphy has a lengthy resume in the field.
And a few key players on offense, namely C.J. Spiller and Brandin Cooks, could also factor into the mix, opening a potential roster spot.
Five days into training camp, though, the return men remain hard to evaluate.
“We haven’t really had a live bullet,” assistant coach Joel Thomas said. “That’s the one thing we’re really looking forward to when we get to scrimmage situatons, and obviously, the preseason.”
Spiller, who has two return touchdowns in his career, can be a dynamic kick returner.
“With C.J. on kick returns, you can go back to YouTube and find his clips, and he’s changed games for the Bills when he was there,” Thomas said. “He can be a straight-line guy, yet run through an arm tackle as well.”
Thomas is intrigued by the rest of the return game talents, too, ven if the mix won’t start to separate until the Saints can see them in live action.
“Murph, the way he did in college, I watched it firsthand when we were at Arkansas, playing against them, and I was nervous in the punt return game and the kickoff return game,” Thomas said. “Obviously, Jalen rejuvenated some things, Brandin is very focused back there as well, but they’re all just a little bit different as far as their styles.”