Monday night was the first time special teams did any kickoff return work.
Ford is a good returner, but he’d rank as the seventh receiver at best right now, and it’s a long shot that Tennessee keeps that many. He returned 75 kicks in his career in Oakland, for 1,874 yards, a 25-yard average and four touchdowns.
Sankey brought seven kicks out of the end zone as a rookie, for 198 yards and a 28.3-yard average.
McBride and Long (a longer shot than Ford) are rookies.
McBride was a solid return man at William & Mary with 56 for 1,294 yards (23.1-yard average).
He seems like a logical choice for the job to me. Sankey needs to be a prime player on offense and you don’t want to risk injury for him there or add wear and tear.
A seventh-round pick, McBride is probably going to rank near the bottom of the receiver depth chart if he wins a spot. Winning the return job could enhance his value and ensure he sticks.
“I love it, I did kick return all thoughout college and I actually think I can be a useful tool in that area of the game," McBride said. "I believe I’ve got big-play ability and open-field is one of my specialties.
"I’ve got a chance to run as fast as I can to the end zone. And that’s what I am doing, I’m fighting every day so I can get on all special teams, including and especially the kick return role.”