A couple thoughts on the Christine Michael kick return discussion:
– The Seahawks have returned just 28 kicks this year (which is 23rd in the league). Four of those were squibs. So, it’s 24 in 13 games, or a little less than two per game, for the kick returners. That would likely increase slightly with someone like Percy Harvin, but the reality is the rule change for kickoffs has basically killed the kick return and the Seahawks’ defense doesn’t allow much opportunity for them to occur.
– Cordarrelle Patterson, the league’s leader in average kick return yardage, has brought it out just 36 times or 2.8 per game.
– No one in the league has a guy who only returns kickoffs. Not even the Bears with Devin Hester. He also returns punts, plays wide receiver and gets carries. Trindon Holliday does punts and kicks in Denver. Golden Tate is sixth in the league in punt return average. He’s not going to be replaced.
– Jermaine Kearse and Robert Turbin each are averaging 21.8 yards per return. We have only a college comparison point for Michael, but while at Texas A&M, he averaged 21.7 yards per return (10 for 217), which is less than what Kearse and Turbin average now in the NFL.
– Seattle is 27th in kick return average, but also only three more average yards from being in the middle of the league. Only nine teams average more than 25 yards per kickoff return. Of course, the Seahawks would like to be one of them.
– So, the problem with Michael as kick returner is the Seahawks would be activating someone who, on average, would participate in about two plays per game — since he doesn’t play on coverage units and won’t play at running back because he can’t block well enough yet — and has a history that shows his production is similar to what is happening now. There’s no reason to short yourself somewhere else to get Michael on the field for kick returns.