The Vikings traded for Greg Camarillo earlier this season to fortify their depth at WR, but as it turns out Camarillo’s greatest contribution to the team has been as a punt returner. Vikings special teams coordinator Brian Murphy was complimentary of Camarillo when asked about him at today’s press conference.
“He’s lent a sense of stability back there,” Murphy said. “Great decision maker; very secure with the ball and pushes the ball up the field. That’s what you want out of your punt returner.”
In looking at his statistics, you won’t be blown away by Camarillo. He ranks 16th in the NFL with a return average of 8.8 yards, has 0 return TDs and his long return of the season is 22 yards. But perhaps more important than the ability to provide explosive returns in the punt game is the ability to bring stability to the role. In that regard, Camarillo has been perfect (0 fumbles this season).
“The whole object is to get the ball back to the offense,” Murphy explained. “If you’re not going to score with it, make sure that the offense gets a chance to line up on the next snap.”
Murphy added that Camarillo’s performance is even more impressive given the conditions the Vikings have seen throughout the year with cold-weather games at New England and at Chicago – plus the Vikings play at Philadelphia 3 weeks.
“The ability to have the guy back there, especially considering the outdoor games we have in tough conditions, he has played extremely well,” Murphy said. “In some of those outdoor games, and I’m sure that Philadelphia is going to be no different that time of the year, you’re glad Greg Camarillo is back there to return punts because he’s going to give the ball back to the offense if we don’t score with it.”
Tags: Greg Camarillo
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