Dallas Cowboys kick returner KaVontae Turpin put the NFL on notice with two exhilarating, long returns for touchdowns in the first half of preseason action against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel actually lamented this week that the USFL MVP showed his dynamic ability before the club could spring him on unsuspecting opponents when the real games began.
"He broke it and I was like, 'Yeah, great for him!'" Fassel said, via Cowboys Wire. "But then, immediately, I thought, 'Ugh, teams are going to be on him now.'"
Fassel added: "You sign a guy in the middle of training camp, I don't know maybe if I was just hoping that there was going to be a secret with him. Maybe there wouldn't have been. The secret's out, and I think he's going to be really good."
The challenge for Turpin will be continuing to be a playmaker when the season kicks off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night. But at the very least, Fassel believes the returner's ability will make opponents think twice when they kick to the 26-year-old.
"We've talked about the 'Devin Hester effect' quite a few times that Chicago had," Fassel said. "Their blockers knew they had somebody that could score every time they touched the ball. The guys that were blocking for Hester -- we've watched a ton of the tape, we've watched all of his touchdown returns -- you could just see the relentless approach that those blockers had. It's quite a relationship between returner and blocker when they each feed off each other and have confidence in one another.
"There's just that little bit extra when the blockers, they've got somebody back there like Turp."
Comparing anyone to Hester, one of the greatest returners in NFL history, is usually foolhardy and doesn't end well. However, for a player like Turpin, who bounced around the IFL, Fan Controlled Football, the Spring League, the European League, the USFL, and now to Dallas, that comparison is a sign of faith from Fassel that the returner can be an impact NFL weapon.