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Packer Report - Punters on deck

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by IPBprez, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. IPBprez

    IPBprez Cheesehead

    Dec 14, 2004
    Door closing quickly on punter

    By Todd Korth
    , packrepted@aol.com
    Date: Feb 8, 2006

    Last season was a make it-or-break-it season for Sander. For the most part, the left-footed kicker flopped. After taking notes and watching veteran Bryan Barker in 2004, Sander was pretty much handed the job in training camp last year after a respectable showing in NFL Europe. The Packers brought in punters to compete against Sander, but only Sander kicked in preseason games. Still, he struggled in 2005 as a redshirt rookie, finishing with a 39.2-yard gross average and 33.9 net average. Those numbers ranked him near the bottom of the National Football League among NFL punters. He then missed the final two games with a deep knee bruise to his kicking leg.

    It would have been interesting to see Sander punt in Lambeau Field for the final two games of the regular season. Judging by the way he punted in late November and early December when the temperatures dropped in Green Bay, there is no reason to believe that he would have improved his averages.

    But, alas, there is hope for one of the sore spots of Green Bay’s special teams. The Packers signed strong-legged Jon Ryan, a 6-foot, 202-pound punter, who led the Canadian Football League last season, and Ryan Dutton, an Oshkosh, Wis., native.

    Of the two cold-weather-acclimated newcomers, Jon Ryan will push the hardest to take the punting job away from Sander next season in Green Bay. He has spent the last two seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He led the league in both gross punting average (50.6) and net average (42.3) last year. As a rookie, he averaged 43.2 yards per punt and had one punt of 92 yards as a rookie.

    The Packers had to fork over a reported $35,000 signing bonus to the 24-year-old Ryan, but that’s peanuts compared to the half-million dollar bonus that then-GM Mike Sherman gave to Sander after taking him in the third round of the 2004 NFL draft. Furthermore, if Ryan can beat out Sander, his salary cap number for 2006 will be far less than Sander’s scheduled cap number of $530,906.

    Thompson deserves credit for beating out other NFL teams, like the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns, that were in hot pursuit of Ryan. As a result of signing Ryan, Thompson can focus on obtaining players to fortify other positions instead of seeking another punter in free agency, or a later round in the draft.

    As it stands the Packers have four punters on their roster – Sander, Jon Ryan, Ryan Dutton and Ryan Flinn. That’s a lot of Ryans, but it sure looks like one Ryan - Jon - has the inside track at this point. The Regina, Saskatchewan native obviously is used to frigid conditions, and has proved that he can boot the ball farther than most north of the U.S/Canadian border. The jury is still out on Dutton, who had tryouts with Cleveland and Seattle the past two training camps before getting released. Flinn, a free agent and part-time bartender who punted the last two games for Green Bay, was no better than Sander.

    Sander has had his chances in Green Bay. If he without question tops his competition during this off-season and training camp, then he deserves another shot. But after watching him struggle during the preseason of 2004 and throughout 2005, the Packers are better prepared to move on with a new face (and leg) at this position.


    Well, guys - is this the same TT some of you have been decrying as the "Destroyer of Lambeau"...?
  2. IPBprez

    IPBprez Cheesehead

    Dec 14, 2004
    Here's even more... all related to certain comments...

    Packers sign seven free agents

    By PackerReport.com
    Date: Feb 7, 2006

    Ryan led CFL in punting in 2005

    The Green Bay Packers Tuesday officially announced the signings of seven players to reserve/future contracts. They include punters Jon Ryan and Ryan Dutton, tight end Thomas Gafford, center Wayne Lucier, defensive tackle Jerome Nichols, wide receiver Willie Quinnie, and guard Pete Traynor.
    Here is information on each player from the Packers:

    Ryan, a 6-foot, 202-pound punter, led the Canadian Football League last season in both gross punting average (50.6) and net average (42.3), playing for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. A third-round selection (24th overall) in the 2004 Canadian college draft out of the University of Regina, Ryan averaged 43.2 yards per punt and had one punt of 92 yards as a rookie. In 2003, he led Canadian college punters with a 45.9-yard gross average. He was a Canadian Interuniversity Sport first-team All-Canadian selection and a Canada West first-team all-star.

    Dutton, a 6-foot-4, 213-pound punter from Minnesota State-Mankato, spent 2005 training camp with Seattle before being waived on Aug. 26. He played for the Amsterdam Admirals in ’05 and averaged 41.7 yards per punt, finishing second in the NFL Europe League in net punting with a 35.3-yard average. Dutton broke into the NFL in 2004, signing as a free agent with Cleveland. Waived at the end of training camp, he spent a week in mid-November on the Browns practice squad. At Minnesota State-Mankato, the Oshkosh, Wis., native was twice named a Division II All-American at punter and was a two-year starter at quarterback.

    Gafford, 6-foot-2 and 252 pounds, was a four-time letterman at Houston. He played in every game in his Cougars career, all 47 contests. Gafford attended Clear Brook High School in Friendswood, Texas, where he was named the team’s MVP as a senior.

    Lucier, a 6-foot-4, 315-pound center, played two seasons with the New York Giants before being waived last September and spending 2005 out of football. Having started 20 of 27 games in his NFL career, Lucier proved versatile by playing center, right guard and left guard. In 2004, he was a key member of an offensive line that paved the way for Tiki Barber’s 1,518 rushing yards, then a franchise record. In 2003, he played in 12 games with 11 starts, before being placed on injured reserve (Dec. 2). Lucier, who played his first two collegiate years at Northwestern before transferring to Colorado, started his junior and senior seasons with the Buffaloes. He was a first-team All-America selection by The NFL Draft Report and The Sporting News in 2002 and a unanimous All-Big 12 Conference first-team selection.

    Nichols, a 6-foot-3, 285-pound defensive lineman out of Wake Forest, signed with Washington as a nondrafted free agent following the 2005 draft. He took part in the Redskins’ training camp before being released during the team’s final roster reduction. Collegiately, Nichols was a four-year letterman. His top performance came as a junior when he posted career-highs in games started (all 12) and tackles (33), adding two sacks, two interceptions, six passes defensed, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick.

    Quinnie, a 6-foot, 187-pound wide receiver out of Alabama-Birmingham, spent part of last season on San Diego’s practice squad. He initially joined Oakland as nondrafted free agent in 2003 and was named to the practice squad at the start of the season, but was released on Sept. 9. Quinnie was signed by Atlanta as a reserve/future player and was sent to NFL Europe, where he played for the Rhein Fire and caught 46 passes for 415 yards with three touchdowns. He spent the ’04 preseason with Atlanta and was subsequently waived at the start of the regular season. At UAB, Quinnie made 90 career receptions for 1,395 yards and 10 touchdowns.

    Traynor, 6-foot-3 and 311 pounds, had played the last three seasons with the Quad Cities Steamwheelers of the Arena2 Football League. At Iowa, he lettered three times as a reserve lineman. Traynor attended Milton (Wis.) High School.


    Hmmmm, what's that obsession about not acknowledging TT's endeavors last year with Free Agency? I wouldn't be berating the ol' boy just yet, if I were you.....
  3. tromadz

    tromadz Cheesehead

    Aug 15, 2005
    word. Im sure only a couple of these guys will pan out(like the punter. Sander is SO gone)..

    but the thing about free agency is..

    we have more money to spend this year (Which surprised me), so unless TT is going to pocket most of the cash(keep coming up with conspiracies,Favre66), he will pick up some quality FAs.

    WE need help on the oline, and im sure he will get someone.

    we need a safety opposite nick, and im sure he will get someone.

    LB...i think we'll work with in the draft.

    TT is gettin it done. Getting rid of BJ Sander is a great start. I hope longwell is taking note.

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