49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

June 3, 2007
Looking for happier returns

Question: A good offense often starts with a good defense. But a good special teams can decide the outcome of a game. Who do you think will return kicks, Matt? On kickoffs, will they stick to Maurice Hicks or will Battle now be moved to that duty and punt returns?

Matt, Auburn

Answer: Just a guess at this point, but I think Brandon Williams will return punts. He's not nearly as explosive as some other young returners, but he is very sure-handed, and Nolan treasures that above all else. Kick returner is harder to predict. There's no guarantee Hicks or Bryan Gilmore, two guys who handled those duties last year, even will make the final roster, so you can't pencil them in. Maybe it will be Battle, but it also could be one of the rookies - Jason Hill, Tarell Brown or Thomas Clayton.

- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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