Sunday, December 15, 2013

NMSU head coach football Doug Martin will coach special teams in 2014

New Mexico State head football coach Doug Martin said he'll remain Aggie special teams coordinator for the 2014 season.

The Aggies struggled in the special teams department this past year - in reality, they struggled a great deal in punt and kick coverage and had a few kicks blocked late in the year. Their kicking game - punter Cayle Chapman-Brown and field goal kicker Maxwell Johnson - played well for the majority of the season.

With that being said, it seemed the Aggies surrendered a big play just about every other week on special teams: a punt-return touchdown vs. Minnesota; a kickoff-return fumble inside their own 5 that set up a UTEP touchdown; a kickoff-return touchdown against New Mexico; a kickoff-return touchdown against Boston College; and blocked kicks late in the year against Florida Atlantic (punt) and Idaho (field goal).

Martin said throughout the season the Aggies kick-coverage issues came down to recruiting - or a lack thereof prior to his tenure. Martin said the team didn’t have enough overall speed on kick coverage, and it showed in the results. He reiterated that point during a recent interview.

"Your kicking-coverage teams should be filled with linebackers and defensive backs," Martin said. "This year, ours were mostly wide receivers, because those were the fastest guys on our team. That’s an indictment on the lack of recruiting here over the past couple of years."

When asked if he would look to bring in help on the coaching staff to assist on special teams, Martin said, “I’m comfortbale with the way it’s structured. Coach Vance helps me a lot on the special teams, especially on punt return and kickoff coverage. No, we’ve got that handled pretty well.”

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