WILLIAMS: Lazard on punt return, Cousin transfer & more

Allen Lazard isn’t your prototypical punt return man. Dudes who are 6-foot-5 rarely are.  

So why put him back there?

I actually somewhat understand what Paul Rhoads and special teams coordinator Shane Burnham are thinking here.

Consider the following: Iowa State ended the 2014 season ranked 112th nationally in offensive explosiveness (big plays). Sure, the 2015 offense should be improved (fingers crossed) but even so, this group needs all the help that it can get. 55e060acd6a6f42f00311

Is Lazard Devin Hester?

We all know the answer to that.

But this is arguably the most talented player on the roster that we’re talking about. Most importantly, Lazard is as trustworthy of an individual as there is inside of Iowa State’s locker room, which is critical at the punt return position. 

As for the risk of injury…Yeah, I’ll hear that argument, but this is football. Anybody can get injured at any time. 

And let’s cut to the chase. Depending on who you talk to, this staff may or may not be coaching for its job in 2015. With that, how can I fault it for wanting to get its best players as many touches as possible?

I have no clue how good of a punt returner Allen Lazard will be (assuming he wins the job), but I have no problem with Rhoads’ staff trying. And the more I think about it, I’m getting a little bit excited to see how this turns out.

More attrition

“Here we go again.”

If those words went through your mind when you head the Devlyn Cousin transfer news yesterday, you weren’t alone. I was participating in the annual Johnny Orr Memorial Golf Outing and thought the same thing. 

Devlyn Cousin leaving the team is far from season-ender, but it’s negative pub that this program didn’t need a week before kicking off 2015 against UNI. From the players to the fans, it’s simply bad for morale.

And with that, Iowa State’s attrition on the defensive line (specifically at tackle) over the years is truly mind boggling, almost unbelievable. 

For what it’s worth, a good source told me that Cousin had recently fallen on the depth chart, which could be the reason he bolted. Still, none of this adds up. Cousin worked hard and lost somewhere near 20 pounds in the offseason. He survived the grind of fall camp. Let’s say that worst-case scenario, he had dropped to third-string. We all know at that position in this program, he still likely would have played (a lot) this season.

Captain obvious: Losing depth, any depth (specifically at defensive tackle), is the last thing that this team needed a week before kicking off the season. 

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