The Philadelphia Eagles have made plenty strides in several areas this season and special teams is certainly one of them. Rookie wide receiver and kick returner Josh Huff made his contribution in the Eagles’ 43-24 win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Huff got his first career touchdown on a 107-yard kickoff return. The kickoff return is a franchise record. Huff broke Timmy Brown’s record of 105 yards set in 1961.
“It was great setup by my teammates,” Huff said. “There were one on one blocks up front that were executed. They made a hole for me to find my way down the sideline. After they cleared the way for me I really wanted to get through those last two guys and find my way into the end zone. The return was able to set the tone especially after the way we played last week. We wanted to give the fans what they want.”
This was actually Huff’s second kickoff return for the TD this season. He had a 102-yarder for a score against the Chicago Bears in the preseason.
This was the Eagles’ second kickoff return of the season. Running back Chris Polk had a 102-yard kickoff return against the Washington Redskins earlier this season. Eagles head coach Chip Kelly knows Huff has a knack for breaking these long kickoff returns.
“I think he’s got great speed and then also he’s got some size to him when he does — the kicker got a shot at him and he threw a stiff arm on him, and then the safety came over,” Kelly said. “He’s got a physical nature to him. He’s good with the ball in his hands. We saw one early in the year in the Chicago game. And just getting Josh back up to speed, it was get him out there and gain a little confidence.”
Huff, a 5-foot-11, 206-pounder, was a third-round pick out of Oregon, in last spring’s NFL draft. He had school records with 1,140 receiving yards, 12 touchdown catches and six 100-yard games.
Huff has shown flashes of brilliance with his running and pass catching skills. The Eagles (8-3) will face Dallas Cowboys (8-3) on Thanksgiving Day at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. The kickoff is at 4:30 p.m. (Fox, Ch. 29). It doesn’t have to be a kickoff return, but the Eagles could use another great start this one like they received from Huff against the Titans.