Leon Bright
The Giant Insider|November 15, 2020
Punt returner put it all on the line for the Giants
JOHN FENNELLY

The New York Giants have had six players who have returned over 100 punts for them in their 95-year history: Emlen Tunnell (257), Phil McConkey (213), Dave Meggett (202), Tiki Barber (122), Amani Toomer (109) and Leon Bright (106).

Tunnell and Meggett were the most prolific. Tunnell ran back six punts for touchdowns and Meggett ran back five. Toomer, the Giants’ alltime leader in receiving yards, took three punts to the house.

McConkey was gritty but his longest return was for just 37 yards. Barber averaged 9.7 yards per attempt and had an 85-yard return for a touchdown.

Perhaps the most memorable returner was Bright, a former Florida State star who began his professional career in the CFL with the British Columbia Lions as an everyman who could play running back, defensive back and special teams.

Bright came to the Giants as a free agent in 1981, the year the Giants drafted Lawrence Taylor with the second overall selection in the NFL Draft and finally qualified for the postseason for the first time since 1963.

In 1981, Bright returned 52 punts for 410 yards and 25 kickoffs for 481 yards. In his second season, Bright led the NFL in both punt returns (37) and punt return yardage (325) in a strike-shortened season.

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