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NFL caliber punters??

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by JBlood, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. JBlood

    JBlood Cheesehead

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    Green Bay Packers can't pick punter until seeing them in games

    By Rob Demovskyrdemovsk@greenbaypressgazette.com • June 27, 2010

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    Chris Bryan and Tim Masthay can kick and kick and kick during training camp practices — and you can bet they will — but it won’t mean a thing if they can’t do it under the lights.





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    Nothing the two inexperienced punters have done in the offseason to date or will do during camp will matter if they botch the preseason games.

    Because neither has kicked in an NFL game — preseason, regular season or otherwise — the Green Bay Packers don’t know whether they have an NFL-caliber punter on their roster.

    “I won’t know that until we start playing games,” Packers special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum said. “If you’re going to go get two young guys that haven’t done it, I don’t know how you can get two better ones.”

    Still, it would be a mistake to assume that it’s a lock one or the other will be the Packers’ punter when the regular season opens on Sept. 12 at Philadelphia. It’s entirely possible their opening day punter is on another NFL roster or perhaps out of football entirely.

    The Packers have played musical punters since they dumped Canadian Jon Ryan the week of the 2008 regular-season opener. Ryan had the job for two seasons.

    They went with Washington castoff Derrick Frost in 2008, but he lasted only 12 games. Enter Jeremy Kapinos, who previously had appeared in only one NFL game (with the New York Jets in 2007). He finished the 2008 season and had the job all of last year but finished 31st in the league in net punting and wasn’t offered a contract for this season.

    General Manager Ted Thompson in January signed Masthay, who spent part of last offseason with the Indianapolis Colts but was cut less than two weeks into training camp. Masthay was in a group of punters who worked out for the Packers last August, when Kapinos was struggling during camp.

    Then, in March, on a recommendation from former Packers training camp punter Nathan Chapman of Australia, Thompson signed Bryan, a 28-year-old former Australian Rules Football player, who spent a year learning the NFL game from Chapman.

    From a pure talent standpoint, the Packers believe they’re better off than they have been at the position since Mike McCarthy became the head coach in 2006. But talent always doesn’t translate to results.

    McCarthy insisted before the minicamp that it was a tie between the punters at that point, but after two days of practice, it would appear Masthay gained a slight advantage. He had better hang times, an average of 4.28 compared to 3.98 seconds for Bryan, in the two lengthy punting periods.

    “I’m pretty pleased with the work I’ve done so far,” Masthay said. “I think I’ve improved since we started the offseason program in March.

    Each has different strengths and weaknesses.

    Masthay has struggled with his get-off time — the length of time from catching the snap until the ball hits his foot — but his powerful leg has allowed him to post some impressive distances and hang times. Slocum wants a 1.25-second get-off time, which, combined with a snap that should get back to the punter in 0.75 seconds, should allow the punt to get away in no more than 2 seconds. No matter how well Masthay hits the ball, if he gets even one blocked, it could cost the Packers a game.

    “We’re always trying to work for a 1.25 get-off time,” Masthay said. “I’m always kind of borderline on that and will need to continue to be very mindful of that.”

    Bryan hasn’t had any issues with get-off time and has been more consistent in the pooch punting drills, pinning the returner inside the 10 using his Aussie-style kick in which he hits the point of the ball. But he has struggled at times when he’s free to swing away. That’s because he’s learning how to drop the ball correctly onto his foot, which is done differently in Australian Rules Football.

    “I don’t feel like I’ve hit the ball as well as I can,” Bryan said. “But it’s all been learning for me, so now I know a little bit more about it, so I’ll be good for training camp.”

    Both punters plan to remain in Green Bay during the down time leading up to the start of training camp on July 31. Masthay said he plans to continue working with strength coach Mark Lovat, while Bryan wants to further refine his technique.

    “We’ve got two talented guys that have not punted in an NFL game,” Slocum said. “That’s a bridge we’ll cross when we get to training camp and start playing preseason games. But in terms of talent and production so far at practice, we’ve seen some very good things from those guys. The preseason games will go a long way toward determining which way we go.”
     
  2. JBlood

    JBlood Cheesehead

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    Outside of Rogers and the passing game, there remain many questions of exactly how good the Pack will be this season. Punting is a big one.
     
  3. turbo69

    turbo69 Cheesehead

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    Starting field position is huge. Seems like we are usually starting inside the 20 when our opponents are starting at the 30-35 yard line range. If our special teams becomes a strength instead of a weakness.....thats another 3 wins easily........and deeper into the playoffs.

    I am suprised our special teams coach from last year still has a job.
     
  4. PackersRS

    PackersRS Cheesehead

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    I've said over and over.

    2008: worst punter in the history of punting
    2009: 32nd punter in the league
    2010: 31st punter in the league
    2011: 30th punter in the league

    It's a progressive thing.
     
  5. olwig420

    olwig420 Cheesehead

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    LOL, Oh good god I hope not. With the extra emphases on ST this off season we should be able to up that to at least 28th or so.
     
  6. Incubes12

    Incubes12 Bay Harbor Butcher?

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    If we play well enough, we won't need a good punter. :icon_cool:
     
  7. JBlood

    JBlood Cheesehead

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    The only criticism I have of TT is that he let Ryan go. I suspect it was to satisfy his special teams coach who didn't like Ryan. Ryan wasn't great, but much better than what we've had since. Hopefully one of these unknowns will be the answer.
     
  8. turbo69

    turbo69 Cheesehead

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    How can we basically be the last ranked punting unit in the NFL (or close to it) year after year and not draft a punter? C'mon man!
     
  9. JBlood

    JBlood Cheesehead

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    Ask Mike Sherman. He used a 3rd rounder on one once and it didn't turn out too well.
     
  10. NYPacker

    NYPacker Cheesehead

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    We did that last season and it failed, 3 FBs on the roster and kept Jarrett Bush.. again. Let's try the opposite, let's strengthen the entire group first and eventually special teams will follow.
     
  11. PackersRS

    PackersRS Cheesehead

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    Packers Getting What They Pay For | Cheesehead TV
     
  12. NYPacker

    NYPacker Cheesehead

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  13. nleidigh319

    nleidigh319 Cheesehead

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    i like this idea
     
  14. David Pynnonen

    David Pynnonen Cheesehead

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    zoltan mesko was an all american as a punter as a michigan wolverine..hes like 6'4, his leg is just a massive pendulum
     
  15. dewitt60

    dewitt60 Cheesehead

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    It seems to me the Packers have not placed enough emphasis on finding a good punter for several years. I don't see either one of these guys being much of a threat. It's been years since we had a dependable punter and it's time Packer management made an effort to find one. I have little use for Aussie style punters.
     
  16. pluto

    pluto Cheesehead

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    things will only get better when tt admits that he doesn't crap about punters and mm admits he doesn't know crap about coaching a punter or even knows how to hire a coach who knows how to coach with a punter.
     

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