After a rough month that included a brush with the law and lingering hamstring
problems that coincided with the coaching staff auditioning candidates for his
job, the Baltimore Ravens' return specialist did a lot to dispel any doubts and
cement his status.
Sams returned the opening kickoff 48 yards in the Ravens' 21-6 victory over the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome, setting up Chester Taylor's touchdown run one play later.
"I had to put on a show for my family," said Sams, who was arrested earlier this month in Maryland and charged with driving under the influence, negligent driving and speeding. "I had to do something exciting. I hope I made everyone happy. To do it here, meant a lot."
Not only did Sams take a rough shot on one kickoff return, he dished one out of his own in kick coverage.
Sams returned three kickoffs for 86 yards, an average of 28.7 yards, and returned four punts for 32 yards for an 8.0 average.
The former McNeese State (La.) standout may have overdone it on one sequence in his zeal to impress a large contingent of relatives. Sams fielded a punt at the 1-yard line and returned it to the Ravens' 8. He was immediately scolded by special teams coordinator Gary Zauner.
Sams set a franchise single-season record with 1,826 combined return yards last season, setting another team mark with 1,251 kickoff return yards.
Now, his hamstring feels better and he's beginning to regain his timing and reads of the blocking wedge.
"This is just the beginning," Sams said. "There's a lot more to come. I just want to pick up where I left off last year."
In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.
If you are reading this article via a news portal, you can find the
original on RavensInsider.Com