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Do we need a new punter / kicker?


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I searched the Stadium for threads on this topic and found none. I think it deserves one...
One of the most glaring weaknesses of our team last year was punting, IMO. While I liked Sav Rocca in 2011 and 2012, he clearly regressed in 2013 and put the defense in terrible situations last year.
While punting is not a popular topic among ways to improve a team, it is in fact one of the most important ones. Countless times have we watched our defense stop an opponent deep in their own side of the field, only to have their punter boot a beauty that bounces off the sidelines deep in our territory.
Just when we thought we had them, the punter saves them by denying us a good return and kicking it far. This has not been the case with our punter, often, he leaves our defense in a very bad situation.
I think we need to look for an upgrade at the position. So, I thought I'd look up the best free agent punters available and see how fellow extremeskins members feel about signing a better punter.

I think punting should be near the top of the list of upgrades we do this year.
From Walterfootball.com, the best rated free agent punters are:
Dan Bailey (RFA), K, Cowboys. Age: 26
Dan Bailey is arguably the top kicker in the NFL. He's 89-of-98 throughout his 3-year career. He was 6-of-7 from 50-plus in 2013.
Steven Hauschka, K, Seahawks. Age: 29
Steven Hauschka went 33-of-35 in 2013. He was just 4-of-10 from 50-plus prior to this past season, but he was a perfect 3-of-3 from that distance last year.
Phil Dawson, K, 49ers. Age: 39.
Despite his age, Phil Dawson remains one of the league's top kickers. He went 32-of-36 in 2013, including 4-of-6 from 50-plus. Over the past three years, he's 18-of-21 from beyond that distance.
Nick Folk, K, Jets. Age: 29
Nick Folk was perfect on field goals this past season until a fierce wind blew an attempt wide of the uprights in Week 11.
Adam Vinatieri, K, Colts. Age: 41.
The ageless Adam Vinatieri is still getting it done. He was 35-of-40 in 2013, including 4-of-6 from 50-plus.
They rate a bunch of other kickers, follow the link to see the rest of their ratings.

What do you think?

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Sav Rocca is from the pre-cambrian era, so it might be time for him to hang up his cleats.


So yeah, we need a new guy.  We shouldn't spend much though, sure punting is important, but good punters are still relatively cheap.


Best punter on the market is Donnie Jones, with a 42 yard punt average.


Alternatively, draft Kirby Van Der Kamp at the start of the 6th if he's there.  From CBS:

12/12/2013 - 2013 ALL-BIG 12 SECOND TEAM (COACHES): P Kirby Van Der Kamp, Iowa State, Sr., West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley...Van Der Kamp is one of the greatest kickers in ISU history, ending his brilliant career with a 42.4 career punting average, the second-best clip in school history and the 21st-best average in NCAA history. The West Des Moines, Iowa native tallied 17, 50-yarders and had 27 kicks downed inside the 20-yard line this past season. - Iowa State football
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Pat McAfee is getting the franchise tag and Dave Zastudil has already re-signed, according to rotoworld.


Mat McBriar and Zoltan Mesko kinda stunk.


Frankly, I think we should just draft one in the 6th.  Donnie Jones will probably want a couple million since he'll likely be the top of the market, but spending 2-2.5M on a punter is silly unless he averages like 45 yards a punt, IMO.


If Van Der Kamp isn't there at the start of the 6th, pick up Tom Hornsey instead.  He SHOULD be there.  From CBS:

12/17/2013 - 2013 ALL-AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM (COACHES): P Tom Hornsey, Memphis, Sr., 6-3 210, Geelong, Victoria, Australia/St. Joseph's College,...Hornsey averaged 45.2 yards per punt to lead the conference his senior season. He placed 29 of his 62 punts inside opponents' 20-yard line (.468) while having only four punts find the end zone for touchbacks. Hornsey was part of a punting unit which posted a 41.02 net punting average which ranked fourth in the country. - Memphis football

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I think we can do no worse than scour the rugby camps, aussie rules kickers and gaelic football kickers and see if there is anyone with a huge leg who wants to come for a try out - they may need some practice squad seasoning but even a PS wage could tempt some .


Kickers and punters are one of the few spots on the team where the background can be varied and sometimes if you go looking for it you can find cheap and unique talent for a position that is not always valued and nurtured in the collage system and it could potentially save cap or draft resources if you get lucky .

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Yes we do and we should draft Pat O'Donnell in the 6th or 7th, but he is the guy we need to get, he is awesome talented and if we get him our punting game will be okey dokey for years to come.


But what do I know? If we don't get him someone surely will and once again I will be scratching my head in amazement. When all the talking heads of the NFL go ga ga over this young man and talk about this complete ace of a player that no one had the foresight to see... and how could such a great young player have gone so unnoticed by the Redskins..a team with terrible special teams play and so in need of a great punter to bail them out from their own ineptitude.


But alas, it shall come to pass and we will again be the bridesmaid and not the bride. Common nonsensical dip**** inaction in such an obvious position of need.


Bookmark it and remember my words oh honorable burgundy and gold loyalists, you heard it here first.



PAT O'DONNELL  Punter extraordinaire, but someone we will take a pass on and wonder why we

suck again.




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Conventional wisdom here is that we need a new punter and the only arguments I've seen is over how best to go about it or how it stacks up against other needs.  The only reason I can think of to create a thread asking such a question as "do we need a new punter" is if the thread creator was about to go against ES conventional wisdom.

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