Boston Scott competing to be Rams’ return man and has ‘done a really nice job’

The Los Angeles Rams need a return man. It’s not just because last year’s return specialist, Austin Trammell, is a free agent, but also due to the fact that kickoffs will be dramatically different in 2024 thanks to the NFL’s rule change to make them similar to the XFL’s structure.

Les Snead and Sean McVay didn’t make any glaringly obvious moves to fill that void on special teams, but Boston Scott could be an underrated signing by the Rams. Scott, a former Eagles running back, is competing to be Los Angeles’ return specialist. And though it’s early, special teams coordinator Chase Blackburn says Scott has been impressive in practice thus far.

“He’s done a really nice job. He’s done both punt return and kick return,” Blackburn said. “Awesome to have him here. Great veteran presence, really taking a leadership role even immediately in the punt team playing… Had him move around from wing to protector making the calls going back and forth even today as you guys, if you guys saw that here today. And then obviously from a dual returner perspective, just a great guy, great human, awesome teammate and really showing the way right now.”

Scott has never been much of a punt returner, only returning six punts in his career (all in 2019), but he’s returned at least one kickoff in each of his six seasons in the NFL. Last year, he took back eight kickoffs for 170 yards, a healthy average of 21.3 yards per return. He was excellent in 2022 when he averaged 27.1 yards per return on 15 attempts.

No one truly knows exactly what kick returns will look like in 2024 under the new rules, but Blackburn is excited about trying to figure it out. He also feels like a lot of teams could line up two returners deep instead of just keeping one guy back there, knowing how much ground there is to cover.

In that case, the Rams will need a second returner next to Scott, if he ends up being the primary guy.

So really, you’ve got 30 yards between the 20-yard line and the back of the end zone and 53 yards across that you have to be able to cover,” Blackburn said. “I don’t see very many guys that can cover that much space if it’s just a single guy in the middle of the field. So I said a lot of words there. I think you’ll see most teams will go with two. I maybe there’ll be a couple guys in the preseason that try one, see what they can get away with blocking scheme wise. But I really truly believe that two returners will be what you see most likely.”

Until training camp rolls around in July, it’ll be hard for teams to get a good feel for the new kick returns because players don’t have pads on yet, but the Rams are at least preparing for the increasingly important play already.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire