How to minimize risk on kickoffs

Updated: September 24, 2007, 11:35 AM ET
By Marwan Maalouf
On Sunday, Houston's Jerome Mathis and Cleveland's Josh Cribbs showed why special teams' coaches should do everything they can to keep the ball away from dangerous kickoff returners like themselves. If not, they can put up points in a hurry, as both did last week.

Josh Cribbs
Jerome Mathis
Although, both the Texans and Browns lost on Sunday, Cribbs and Mathis did their part. Mathis scored a touchdown on the opening kickoff, despite the fact, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri tried to squib the kick away from him. But the Texans did an outstanding job of letting the ball trickle back to Mathis and he took advantage by going 84 yards for the score. And Cribbs returned a 99-yard kickoff for a touchdown in the second quarter against Oakland, which gave the Browns their first points of the game.