Michigan Safety Caden Kolesar Discusses Myriad Punt Return Duties

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — In Week 1, Caden Kolesar was thrust into the unenviable position of filling in for Ronnie Bell on punt returns after Bell went down with injury. The receiver was putting on a show and thus the safety, Kolesar, had to suddenly come in and replicate his success.

The problem is, Jim Harbaugh wants Kolesar to play another role on the punt return unit, because he feels that he’s the team’s best rusher and gunner on special teams.

At the moment, Michigan is searching for other options so that Kolesar is freed up to play other positions on punt return.

“Yeah, like I said last week, he’s so valuable at the other positions at punt return, we really need somebody else to step up and I think A.J. is really close,” Harbaugh said. “Had a good week of practice last week and (will) have another one this week. But A.J., Andrel Anthony, DJ Turner and Donovan Edwards will be the guys in the mix there. We’re gonna be a better punt return unit if Caden’s rushing or holding up because he’s just so good at those things. Happened to be he was the best guy at catching the ball. That’s a factor this past week, but going forward, we’re gonna be much better if we have him playing the other positions and we get someone else stepping up returning punts.”


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Considering that praise, how does Kolesar approach his non-punt return roles? What makes him so good?

It’s all about preparation and being versatile.

“It’s different every week depending on what the other team’s punt is — if they’re spread, if they’re pro, whatever they do,” Kolesar said. “My role changes every single week. But whatever role they want me on, I’m gonna attack that and do the best I can.”

At the moment, Kolesar is still working as a return man, he says, but there are others who are getting into the act, with A.J. Henning seeming to be the readiest to take on the position.

“Returning the ball, we’ve got four or five different returners that will cycle through catching the ball,” Kolesar said. “We go before practice, during practice, after practice. Just always trying to work on our craft, get each other better.

“I’m still back there getting reps in practice, so we’ll see. The other guys are, you got A.J. Henning, DJ Turner, Donovan Edwards, Andrel Anthony. That’s pretty much (it).”


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Kolesar has done a good job as the team’s return man, but hasn’t quite had the electricity that Bell brought to the position. But against Washington, he did have one scary moment when he muffed the punt.

Still, he didn’t panic, he located the ball and moved it forward without the Huskies getting an opportunity to cause a turnover and a short field.

So, how did it play out in his memory?

“I didn’t get into position quick enough, I should have squared it up,” Kolesar said. “But then, when I realized I muffed it, I just knew I had to get on the ball as quick as possible and just try to get as many yards as I could.”

We’ll see if Michigan continues with Kolesar as the punt returner or if someone else gets an opportunity on Saturday, when the Wolverines host NIU at noon EDT at The Big House.

Source : https://news.yahoo.com/michigan-safety-caden-kolesar-discusses-022927578.html

Michigan safety Caden Kolesar discusses myriad punt return duties


Michigan safety Caden Kolesar discusses myriad punt return duties

Michigan safety Caden Kolesar discusses myriad punt return duties


Michigan safety Caden Kolesar discusses myriad punt return duties