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Our Punters

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by ivo610, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. ivo610

    ivo610 Cheesehead

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    Green Bay Packers punters Chris Bryan, Tim Masthay separate friendship from competition | greenbaypressgazette.com | Green Bay Press-Gazette

    Chris Bryan and Tim Masthay arrived in Green Bay on the same day this past spring

    In the Packers’ locker room they sit side by side. In the offseason their hotel rooms were located next to each other. At practice they have never been far apart during special teams drills.

    For five months Masthay and Bryan have been virtually inseparable on the job.

    But that will soon change because the two punters are fighting for one roster spot.

    After countless offseason workouts, organized team activities, minicamp sessions and training camp practices, plus hundreds of punts, one live scrimmage and two preseason games, the battle remains too close to call.

    “I think both of us work very hard,” said Masthay. “We both have a very professional mindset. I think both of us are able to kind of shut it off when it’s time to shut it off when we’re not on the field or not in meetings.”

    The stakes are high in this extended job audition, with the winner realizing his NFL dream and the loser likely relegated to the unemployment line. Yet neither combatant possesses a cut-throat, cage-match, fight-to-the-death mentality.

    Bryan and Masthay seem to genuinely like each other. They have shared rides to and from practice and played cards in the locker room. They just happen to want the same thing, and it will come at the expense of the other.

    “Obviously we know that one person is going to be here and one’s not,” said Bryan. “(But) we’re friends and we talk.

    “We are different sort of people, with different backgrounds and different beliefs and so forth but we’re still guys and we still joke around. When it’s time to joke around we joke around and when it’s time for business we just get on with it.”

    Their upbringings are worlds apart.

    The left-footed Bryan, 28, was born in Melbourne and grew up playing Australian Rules Football. Before this year Bryan never punted using a long snapper or with blockers and rushers in front of him.

    The right-footed Masthay, 23, didn’t take up football until his junior year in high school but earned a scholarship to Kentucky where he punted for four years.

    They joke around but never about their job situation.

    “It’s not really funny that one of us will lose our job but we just have a professional working relationship and we kid around with each other and have fun with one another,” said Masthay. “I think we’ve both made each other better.”

    Both appear laid back enough to handle the intense scrutiny that greets every punt. But they are also extremely competitive and focused.

    “I’m pretty determined in what I’m doing,” said the 6-5, 220-pound Bryan. “With (moving) my family halfway across the world I have to get this job so I’m not going to just let it go without a fight, so I’m working hard and making sure everything is right.”

    Masthay keeps a notebook that charts every punt he’s made in practice since March.

    “It’s part of my job to be hitting good hang times, good distances, placing the ball where it needs to be placed,” said the 6-1, 200-pound Masthay, “and so I have to pay attention to that in detail.”

    In less than two weeks the Packers must choose between them. Special teams coach Shawn Slocum isn’t looking forward to that day.

    “It’s going to be very difficult,” said Slocum. “I have a feeling we will likely see the other guy in the league. These guys both have that potential. It’s a great problem to have.”

    Despite the intense pressure, both punters have attempted to savor the experience.

    “I love being in the NFL and in particular with this team,” said Masthay. “This is a fantastic organization. I’ve enjoyed every day of it since I’ve been here in March.”

    Bryan feels the same way. “It’s good fun,” he said. “I’m learning something new every day. It’s just an exciting journey.”

    In the harsh reality of the NFL, it’s a journey that will soon end for one of them.
     
  2. PackersRS

    PackersRS Cheesehead

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    Both are already miles better than Kapinos and Frost. But that doesn't say much...
     
  3. Mushroom

    Mushroom Packer Owner/Shareholder

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    Where is Reggie Roby when you need him?:box:
     

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