Mike Garafalo’s profile of R.W. McQuarters, and a rundown of yesterday’s workouts.  I’ve always liked R.W. — you just have to love somebody who goes by such an unconventional pair of initials.  R.W. McQuarters is right up there with R.P. McMurphy and F.P. Santangelo.  Also, the Giants have long lacked a dude with long dreads, and the addition of R.W. gives us a pioneer of the D-Backs with dreads movement.

The article states that R.W. enters camp as the nickel corner and as a candidate for punt and kick return duties.  Whether it’s R.W. or Morton returning punts, either option should be very good.

When analyzing return men, we can look to footballoutsiders.com’s Individual Punt Return Value Added statistic, which computes a value for each return based on how far the ball is kicked and how far it is returned.  In other words, if Morton fields a 48-yard punt and gets 12 yards it probably isn’t a better return than if he fields a 38-yard punt and returns it 10 yards.  This statistic tries to account for this.

Accoding to IPRV, Morton’s punt returns generated 7.7 points more than the league average — a vaule calculated based on a system that relates field position with expected points scored — good for 6th in the entire NFL.  For his part, R.W. was 2.4 points above average, 14th in the NFL.  But R.W.’s totals were accumulated over only eleven returns, and if you pro-rate his stats he jumps to the top of the league.  So whoever gets this job, the G-Men should be in great shape.

Personally, I’m partial to Morton.  For one, R.W. is valuable in the defensive backfield and we don’t want to get him hurt on special teams.  Also, although Morton was clearly missing a gear of speed last year after all of his injuries in previous seasons, he was still excellent, and can always be counted on to consistently catch the ball and use his shiftiness and craftiness to give us a good return.  Basically, the only thing he lacked last year was the breakaway speed that he used to have.  But if you put stock in this guy’s observations, Morton has regained that extra gear and can be an even bigger weapon this year.

As far as kickoffs are concerned, whither Willie Ponder?  We’ve seen what this guy can do when he gets on a roll — last year, he finished 8th in Individual Kick Return value,  generating 5.1 points above average in his mere 39 returns.  Morton was very good too, accumulating 3.4 points above average in his 21 returrns.  McQuarters was not so great, but he wasn’t terrible, generating 0.7 points above average in his 15 kick returns.

For Ponder, though, the presence of Morton, the additions of R.W. and Sinorice Moss, and his persistent place in Coughlin’s doghouse do not bode well.  Either way, with all these athletes, the Giants return game should be a strength this year.  And should one of these guys get hurt, we have plenty of athletes to step in.