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Breaston wants to return to normal

Posted by Darren Urban on May 5, 2010 – 5:04 pm

Ken Whisenhunt was right.

The coach, after the Cards took wide receiver Andre Roberts in the third round — a player who also is a punt returner — of the draft, said he wasn’t comfortable with Steve Breaston continuing to return punts because of Breaston’s rise to the No. 2 receiver. Injuries are a concern, although Whisenhunt noted “it’s going to be hard because Steve isn’t going to want to give that up.”

So the other day, I started asking Breaston if he indeed understood why the Cards were going to take him off punt returns — and he didn’t even let me finish.

“I didn’t lose it yet,” Breaston said, before bursting into laughter.

“It was default (I lost) kick return,” Breaston said, noting he injured his knee in the first preseason game. “I got hurt early and LaRod (Stephens-Howling) ran away with that, so I am trying to hold on as long as I can to punts. I’ve been punt returning since I was 10 years old, so you know …”

Breaston continued to smile. He isn’t stupid. He knows this is a battle he cannot win. The Cards need him at receiver, and don’t need him getting exhausted in punt returns. There is a reason a couple of the draft picks (Roberts and Jorrick Calvin) and a slew of the undrafted rookies all have return talents. Whisenhunt is looking for his alternatives.

Breaston has broken his share of big returns — Minnesota last year, for instance, and the franchise-changing TD against Pittsburgh in Whisenhunt’s first year that led to a milestone victory — but it is his sure-handedness Whisenhunt loved (he’s never dropped a ball), to go with Breaston’s complete fearlessness back there. This isn’t about Breaston losing the job at all.

Regardless of the reasoning, “it will always be in the back of my mind I lost it,” Breaston said. “I feel like I can put myself in shape where I can carry that. I feel I have always returned punts and I enjoy that. I want to get back to where I’m going to compete. I hope they give me that opportunity. I want that shot. I can’t lose it.”

Whiz was right. Breaston may have been smiling when talking about the subject, but he isn’t going down without a fight.


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Posted in Blog | 21 Comments »


21 Responses to “Breaston wants to return to normal”

  1. By Josh on May 5, 2010 | Reply

    Breasto is the man! He will do great in his new roll…but, I do agree lets keep him healthy keep him off punts.

  2. By AndyStandsUp on May 5, 2010 | Reply

    Supposedly, that’s why they drafted Andre Roberts, who led the nation in PR in 2008. But that would be akin to having 4th receiver Doucet fielding punts last year. Rather the guy concentrate on route running rather than running for his life. AJ Jefferson vs. Justin Miller could be a training camp spot.
    And Steve’s “never dropped a ball”? About that punt against the Lions last year?

  3. By kingdiamond on May 5, 2010 | Reply

    While I admire Steve’s determination, he must relent the punt return duties to protect the receiving corp.and to help the team. He is now too valuable to do both because the injury risk is too high. Besides,Andre Roberts needs to gain experience just like Steve did.

  4. By darrenurban on May 5, 2010 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    Forgot about that. OK, one in three seasons.

  5. By Chris B on May 5, 2010 | Reply

    And he’s only scored once in 3 seasons too…. keep that in mind. I love Breaston and he’ll be awesome this year. But he will lose it.

  6. By dylan on May 5, 2010 | Reply

    even if he has only scored 1 time he get good yards

  7. By OLdude on May 5, 2010 | Reply

    Let it go Stevie….your place in Canton sez “WR”.

  8. By Joe-B on May 5, 2010 | Reply

    He almost never drops passes either.

  9. By Andre on May 6, 2010 | Reply

    I honestly can’t wait to see all these young players we have to step up and become good or maybe even great productive players. Brown, Williams, Toler, etc. These are guys are physically gifted. And with the veteran leadership we got stacked up here, Adrian Wilson, Faneca, Darnell Docket, DRC( yes he IS), Fitz, Porter and so on.

    Go CARDS!….AND SUNS!

  10. By Jeff Gollin on May 6, 2010 | Reply

    It seems as though, every year, we bring in a slew of guys who can do double-duty as return guys.

    Then most of them get cut with the remaining survivor or two unable to win the job and finding themselves dead-last on a position depth-chart or on the PS.

    And Steve comes back to return again another day.

    LSH is the one exception – but even then only handling half the return job.

  11. By Sittin in the Sun at Sun Devil Stadium on May 6, 2010 | Reply

    With the Cards depth at WR, it would be a bad move to risk an injury on a punt. Because if Breaston goes down….

  12. By fightingbird on May 6, 2010 | Reply

    could you imagine Steve putting on some weight and using his natural skills to break tackles and maybe just maybe he runs over a couple people. steve needs that animal grit like Fitz found and Boldon has. If he gets that then watch out. Im only saying that at WR not punt or kick off returns he can be the best at that position,think about it.

  13. By Brian R. on May 6, 2010 | Reply

    Im glad Steve is stepping up. I will miss Anquan Boldin out there with Larry.

  14. By EricY on May 6, 2010 | Reply

    I’ll miss seeing Breaston return punts but excited to see him at the #2 spot. With Doucet playing so well towards the end of last season, I’m also excited to see him play a bigger roll. On another note: What were your (Darren’s) first impressions looking at Skelton? I have a very good feeling about this guy. Be it with us or someone else, I think he is going to be a very good NFL quarterback.

    Also, have you considered doing a QA with the fans who read your blog? Obviously we like readin your opinions and feedback with regards to the team. I know you’ve setup the live chat, but maybe a “questions of the week” sort of deal?

  15. By card62 on May 6, 2010 | Reply

    Breaston is great. Everyone drops the ball even Breaston but he has sure hands and we did great drafting him. Teddy Ginn should be returning punts and kickoffs for us in 2010, but he will be doing it for the 49ers. I think we made a big mistake not trading for Ginn, but time will tell.

    I also hope Lutui is back with us in 2010 as it gives us great depth and options on the OL for 2010.

    Go Cards

  16. By Cardinal Cody on May 6, 2010 | Reply

    Breaston is a beast! Love the heart!

  17. By darrenurban on May 6, 2010 | Reply

    EricY —

    Skelton has a cannon for an arm. And a long way to go.

    As for a Q and A, between some live chats and the blog comments, I’m feeling pretty good about my interaction. But maybe doing a three-question mailbag once or twice a week would be worth it.

  18. By DRines on May 6, 2010 | Reply

    STEVE…STEVE…STEVE…STEVE…STEVE…

  19. By Matt on May 8, 2010 | Reply

    Stevie needs to keep returning the punts! His identity is a punt returner first, a receiver second — even though he’s tremendous at both. Doucet should step into the number 2 role as Boldin’s replacement, leaving Breaston as the third option wide receiver. Steve has thrived in that role.

  20. By Scott H on May 8, 2010 | Reply

    I will forever mourn the departure of Boldin but I DO look forward to seeing more of Steve Breaston. Can’t help wondering, though, if the switch from Warner to Leinart will have any impact on this situation. When Leinart took over for Warner way back when ( my gosh, did that actually happen??? ), Breaston was basically just the punt return guy. He evolved into a solid WR during Warner’s late-career resurrection, aided greatly by frequent injuries to Boldin. Obviously, Warner trusted him and Breaston may have benefitted to an extent from the fact that he had such a seasoned and accurate QB dealing the passes. Leinart really has no familiarity with Breaston and vice versa. Just sayin’…this may be worth keeping an eye on leading up to the season.

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