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Jets' punting competition a one-man show, but that could change


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Jets' punting competition a one-man show, but that could change

 

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    enRichly inSemeni-atedESPN Staff Write

 

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Tuesday's wake-up call, Day 6 of New York Jetstraining camp:

What's happening: After a day off, the Jets will be back to the grind at 1:50 p.m. for a padded practice -- the first of five straight days of field work. Welcome to the dog days. The practice is closed to the general public. ESPN will have a strong presence at camp, with "First Take," "NFL Insiders" and "NFL Live" doing shows on the scene.

What's hot: Hopefully it's not raining and they can practice outdoors. It's a better way to evaluate rookie punter Lachlan Edwards, who has demonstrated a big leg. He boomed one the other day that had to be at least five seconds in hang time, drawing applause from the spectators. Edwards, a seventh-round pick from Sam Houston State, was supposed to compete against fellow Australian Tom Hackett in camp, but the Battle from Down Under never materialized. Hackett, an undrafted rookie, was released on the eve of camp. Coach Todd Bowles said Hackett was told he could be re-signed at a later date. Bowles preaches competition, so it's unusual to have a non-competitive position, especially with a rookie. If Edwards keeps booming, there's no reason to change. Maybe the Jets finally have found a big-time punter. ... Defensive end Sheldon Richardson could make his camp debut. He was excused from the first four practices for a personal reason. If he returns, it means the Jets' vaunted defensive line will be one step closer to being whole. Muhammad Wilkerson, who is in the final stages of rehab from a broken leg, remains on the physically-unable-to-perform list. ... Cornerback Darrelle Revis, who did light positional work on Sunday, could step up his regimen as he gets closer to returning from offseason wrist surgery. ... Another non-PUP player on the sideline is running back Matt Forte (hamstring). He still hasn't practiced, not even in positional drills. Forte said he's not concerned. Cornerback Dex McDougle, who is fighting for a roster spot, also is dealing with a hamstring injury.

 

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It's bizarre. Then what was the point of signing this 2-time Ray Guy award winner with the ridiculous youtube clips, to compete with the 7th round rookie they drafted, and then cut him right before camp? 

I'm sure there are other players at other positions they want to look at, and need warm bodies to be camp fodder given the number of older players on the roster, but whoever wins the punting competition is going to touch the football too many times, in too many crucial situations, this year and every year. Unless Hackett was shanking things left and right in minicamp and I missed it (which is possible), it's really unexpected.

Good to hear Edwards is doing so well, but still.

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8 minutes ago, Sperm Edwards said:

It's bizarre. Then what was the point of signing this 2-time Ray Guy award winner with the ridiculous youtube clips, to compete with the 7th round rookie they drafted, and then cut him right before camp? 

I'm sure there are other players at other positions they want to look at, and need warm bodies to be camp fodder given the number of older players on the roster, but whoever wins the punting competition is going to touch the football too many times, in too many crucial situations, this year and every year. Unless Hackett was shanking things left and right in minicamp and I missed it (which is possible), it's really unexpected.

Good to hear Edwards is doing so well, but still.

What was bizarre to me was that they said they cut Hackett to make cap space available when Fitz was re-signed. Cap space? How much could an UDFA punter be making? Anyway, it would be nice to have a punter with enough hang time to allow the coverage unit get down field.

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3 minutes ago, Bachelors3 said:

What was bizarre to me was that they said they cut Hackett to make cap space available when Fitz was re-signed. Cap space? How much could an UDFA punter be making? Anyway, it would be nice to have a punter with enough hang time to allow the coverage unit get down field.

Roster Space. The Jets are at the limit of 90 players MAX, IIRC. 

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3 minutes ago, Bachelors3 said:

What was bizarre to me was that they said they cut Hackett to make cap space available when Fitz was re-signed. Cap space? How much could an UDFA punter be making? Anyway, it would be nice to have a punter with enough hang time to allow the coverage unit get down field.

It wasn't cap space, it was the roster space. But still a surprising choice, IMHO. 

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49 minutes ago, Sperm Edwards said:

It's bizarre. Then what was the point of signing this 2-time Ray Guy award winner with the ridiculous youtube clips, to compete with the 7th round rookie they drafted, and then cut him right before camp? 

I'm sure there are other players at other positions they want to look at, and need warm bodies to be camp fodder given the number of older players on the roster, but whoever wins the punting competition is going to touch the football too many times, in too many crucial situations, this year and every year. Unless Hackett was shanking things left and right in minicamp and I missed it (which is possible), it's really unexpected.

Good to hear Edwards is doing so well, but still.

Maybe he farted in the cold tub

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56 minutes ago, Bachelors3 said:

What was bizarre to me was that they said they cut Hackett to make cap space available when Fitz was re-signed. Cap space? How much could an UDFA punter be making? Anyway, it would be nice to have a punter with enough hang time to allow the coverage unit get down field.

Roster space not cap space. 90 players permitted for TC. 

Maybe they saw enough of Hackett in OTAs and knew they would go w/Edwards. And as goodwill to him & his agent cut him loose early so he could signon elsewhere 

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1 hour ago, Sperm Edwards said:

It's bizarre. Then what was the point of signing this 2-time Ray Guy award winner with the ridiculous youtube clips, to compete with the 7th round rookie they drafted, and then cut him right before camp? 

I'm sure there are other players at other positions they want to look at, and need warm bodies to be camp fodder given the number of older players on the roster, but whoever wins the punting competition is going to touch the football too many times, in too many crucial situations, this year and every year. Unless Hackett was shanking things left and right in minicamp and I missed it (which is possible), it's really unexpected.

Good to hear Edwards is doing so well, but still.

That has been my only guess, that they came across very unimpressed with his mini-camp performance.  I never expected Hackett to win anyway, as despite the awards and some of the cool highlights, in the NFL he would be forced to punt in the much more "traditional" manner, and that obviously put him at a disadvantage.  Holding onto the ball that long and running away from your blockers would be a recipe for disaster in the NFL.  My only guess is once forced to go with the standard setup, he didn't look nearly as good.  With that said, still surprising to see a complete lack of competition there, even if nothing more than another camp leg, which is the kind of thing always done at any position, even when it's a matter of bringing in guys who have no chance at the roster, just for practice purposes.

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1 hour ago, Stark said:

Cut Geno, sign Foles as back-up.... Cut Kellen Davis, bring in Hackett to compete with Edwards. 2 problems solved.

They're not cutting their best blocking TE to bring in a 2nd punter and they are not cutting their best camp performer at QB and only viable backup for a more expensive, equally an unreliable option in Foles.

They coudl have cut Kevin Short, whos bured on the CB depth chart. Or K.James, also a CB, who is hurt. Or how about Howsare- have they even figured out what position he will play? TE? FB? LB? Or Dominique Williams-RB (especially with R.Morris playing well in camp).

Just seems like there were a number of other options they could ave gone with to keep the P competition going.   

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