Roscoe Parrish will be watching one of his teammates return punts again this week as he’s likely to be a healthy inactive for a second straight Sunday. On Thursday the league’s all-time leader in punt return average addressed his situation.
“Very frustrated,” said Parrish after Thursday’s practice. “It’s just something the coaches went with. That’s how they feel about the personnel right now. I don’t feel like I did something on the field where I put myself in a situation like this because you have guys make mistakes every Sunday. That’s the frustrating thing about the situation. So I’m just going to be supportive to Fred.”
What has Parrish puzzled is why a player with his track record, which includes back-to-back seasons of leading the league in punt return average and three straight top 3 finishes, can’t get on the field to help his team.
“You know what kind of guy I am when I’m out there,” he said. “I know I can help this team when my opportunity is given. I made a bad decision in the Cleveland game, but every guy makes mistakes. And the ones that make mistakes are the ones that try. That’s part of the game and I only control what I can control. If Dick Jauron feels like Fred is the guy, he is the head coach. I can’t say much about that and just keep on working. Hopefully in the future if it’s not here I’ll get my opportunity.”
Parrish was asked if he was disappointed that he wasn’t traded prior to the league deadline which passed on Tuesday, after asking for a trade in the offseason.
“It is what it is,” he said. “There’s only so much I can do. It’s been a frustrating offseason. It’s been frustrating during the season. My position on this team was slowly but surely moving down the depth chart as far as on offense. I went from getting a couple of snaps on offense to not getting snaps on offense and just doing punt return for one particular reason.”
Now he’s not even dressing for games. What has surprised Parrish the most is the quick hook that he got following the Cleveland game where he had a costly muff at the end of the game that led to the game-winning points for the Browns in a 6-3 final.
“That’s the only crazy part about it,” said Parrish. “To be honest with you, not to bad mouth nobody, not to bad mouth Jauron, my resume speaks for itself. When you see my resume and you see me not returning punts, it’s kind of like. ‘Wow what is going on?’ I’m not going to sit up here and be negative with the whole situation toward Dick Jauron, but it’s kind of a situation where you look at it and you say this guy here led the league two years in a row and the year before he didn’t lead he finished third and then that year he had a good average. And just four or five games into a season and I’m off the field not dressing. That’s the only frustrating part to me. It’s really not enough (of an) explanation.”
Parrish’s career average coming into the season was 14 yards a punt return. Thus far this season his average is 6.1. But Parrish says five games does not make a season.
“What can possibly be said to a guy that’s been leading the league in punt return,” asked Parrish rhetorically about his benching. “What can possibly be said, ‘I’m not doing a good job because of one game?’ It’s a long season.”
Dick Jauron was pretty forward in his comments about Parrish as a punt returner this past Monday when asked why Parrish was inactive. In addition to explaining that Jackson allows them to use other players on special teams at other positions like Steve Johnson and Justin Jenkins he also added the following at the end of his comment.
“Both Roscoe and Freddy are terrific returners,” said Jauron. “We didn’t feel like we were losing much quite frankly.”
Jackson has just eight career punt returns, but his average is 17.9. Parrish’s career average counting figures from this season is 13.1 on 106 career returns.
Tags: Dick Jauron, Fred Jackson, Roscoe Parrish
Posted in Inside the Bills