With training camp ending and preseason in full swing, Mark Jones is finally healthy and ready to make his Tennessee Titans debut this Saturday at Cleveland.
Jones could be a busy man as he makes his way back from a hamstring injury, as he will pull double duty as both the first-team punt returner and kickoff return man against the Browns.
“I know I’m definitely starting and doing the punt returns. My name is up there on the ones depth chart on kickoff returns, so it looks like I’ll be doing both,” Jones said. “I like them both. I’m used to doing punt returns, and I’m excited about the opportunity to do kickoff returns as well.”
Jones was the regular punt returner for the Carolina Panthers last year and added the kickoff return duties after the Panthers removed that responsibility from Jonathan Stewart’s plate. Jones averaged 24 yards on 40 kickoff returns and 11.4 yards per return on 39 punts.
Likewise, special teams coach Alan Lowry is eager to see what Jones can do in both capacities.
“That’s what we signed him for and hopefully we’ll get to see what he can do. At Carolina last year, he was primarily a punt returner … and then did both. By the end of the season last year, I thought he was returning kickoffs very well,” Lowry said.
In addition to Jones, the Titans will again look at rookies Javon Ringer and Jason McCourty on kickoffs against the Browns, while Tuff Harris and perhaps Kenny Britt will get a chance on punt returns.
The Titans have been toying with the idea of letting their first-round pick return punts, something he has wanted to do in camp and has done in practice.
“It just depends on how many you get and how well Mark has done. Mark needs to get some, so we’ll see how his health is and how many we get in the game,” Lowry said.
Britt, who has been fielding punts for approximately two weeks now, still his hopeful of getting a chance.
“Hopefully, I’ll get one or two in there just to show them what I’ve got. They know I can catch the punts now, I just have to show them I can return it,” Britt said.
Running back LenDale White sent out on his Twitter feed a request for fans to follow his page to that he can have 10,000 followers by the end of training camp. At a check of White’s Twitter page around 11 a.m. Wednesday, with just one training camp practice left, the running back had 8,624 followers.
Martin to Broncos
Former MBA star and Titans practice squad quarterback Ingle Martin has signed with the Denver Broncos. Martin was released by the Kansas City Chiefs earlier in preseason, but was signed in Denver because former Titan Chris Simms suffered a high ankle sprain and is expected to miss two to four weeks, according to reports.