Marcus Sherels/Bisi Johnson
It was very nice seeing Marcus Sherels back returning punts for the Vikings in Week 4. Not one time was it in doubt that he wouldn’t field the punt cleanly.
Watching Chad Beebe attempt to be the Vikings punt returner for the first few weeks it was always nerve-wracking. He often double-clutched the ball, bobbled it, and once flat out muffed it. He also seemed to go to the fair catch prematurely, costing the Vikings valuable field position.
Sherels is just a reassuring presence back there. He not only catches the punt smoothly but knows when to take off, and has just enough moves to make the initial man miss and pick up a handful of yards.
He didn’t have a huge game against the Bears. He returned four punts for 12 yards with a long of nine yards. Again, that wasn’t much, but just having No. 35 back there is a huge upgrade over Beebe and gives the Vikings and experienced and legitimate threat at punt returner.
Another semi-bright spot for the Vikings in the horrible loss to the Bears was Bisi Johnson. He got on the field late when the Vikings were in hurry-up mode and the Bears were letting up a bit. The youngster caught four balls for 35 yards.
What was most impressive about him was how he was aware of the hurry-up situation and quickly got out of bounds after making the catch. He also ran nice routes and showed sure hands. He’s a guy whose role with the offense could and should grow in the coming weeks.