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the Punt god


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It's funny to me that two punters were drafted ahead of Araiza.

On the one hand, I get it. Their directional kicking and hang time abilities were/are superior, and they represent safe options at punter who will likely have long NFL careers. There's more to being a good punter than just booting the hell out of the ball.

On the other hand, Araiza has SUCH a powerful leg -- maybe the most powerful ever seen in the NFL -- that it would seem his upside was worth taking a swing on earlier than guys like Stout or Camarda. I guess maybe "upside" isn't something that NFL GMs give much thought to when it comes to punters.

It is very emblematic of Beane's approach to drafting, though, that he selected Araiza. That is: he likes to take supremely physically gifted players with high ceilings but who have not yet reached those ceilings, then turn those players over to his coaches and entrust them to help said player reach that ceiling.

Assuming Araiza can improve his directional kicking and hang time -- and all indications are that he's a humble, coachable guy -- he could be an unprecedented weapon as a punter. "Weapon"? Yes, weapon. The kick on Saturday was a great example. That kind of field flipping ability is a weapon.

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15 minutes ago, Solomon Grundy said:

Any idea what the hang time was on the 82 yarder?

I’d say it doesn’t matter what the hang time is in general. No, you cannot expect that big of a punt every time. But you also have to figure you don’t expect to be kicking from inside your own 20 every time either. I have no doubt if you are anywhere past your own 30 yard line, you can almost expect a touchback. Maybe not every single time. Not enough so that you don’t have to think twice about it. So essentially, hang time is meaningless almost all the time. 

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23 minutes ago, Solomon Grundy said:

Any idea what the hang time was on the 82 yarder?


I thought I remembered one of the beat guys saying it was 4.22 seconds.

My understanding is that punters aim for between 4.3 and 4.8.

 

5 minutes ago, mrags said:

I’d say it doesn’t matter what the hang time is in general. No, you cannot expect that big of a punt every time. But you also have to figure you don’t expect to be kicking from inside your own 20 every time either. I have no doubt if you are anywhere past your own 30 yard line, you can almost expect a touchback. Maybe not every single time. Not enough so that you don’t have to think twice about it. So essentially, hang time is meaningless almost all the time. 


I do not agree with this. 

Even on the Araiza 82 yard punt on Saturday night, the ball did not LAND in the end zone. It landed in the field of play. If the returner had fielded the ball -- and as word gets out that Araiza can kick it that far, returners may be instructed to line up deeper -- he would have likely had some room to run. Punts with less hang time and a flatter trajectory give the opposition more opportunity to return the ball further.

If Araiza could kick it into -- or out of -- the end zone itself every time, then great. But if the ball is coming down in the field of play, if there's a returner there to field it...yes, it's potentially a problem.

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28 minutes ago, Logic said:

It's funny to me that two punters were drafted ahead of Araiza.

On the one hand, I get it. Their directional kicking and hang time abilities were/are superior, and they represent safe options at punter who will likely have long NFL careers. There's more to being a good punter than just booting the hell out of the ball.

On the other hand, Araiza has SUCH a powerful leg -- maybe the most powerful ever seen in the NFL -- that it would seem his upside was worth taking a swing on earlier than guys like Stout or Camarda. I guess maybe "upside" isn't something that NFL GMs give much thought to when it comes to punters.

It is very emblematic of Beane's approach to drafting, though, that he selected Araiza. That is: he likes to take supremely physically gifted players with high ceilings but who have not yet reached those ceilings, then turn those players over to his coaches and entrust them to help said player reach that ceiling.

Assuming Araiza can improve his directional kicking and hang time -- and all indications are that he's a humble, coachable guy -- he could be an unprecedented weapon as a punter. "Weapon"? Yes, weapon. The kick on Saturday was a great example. That kind of field flipping ability is a weapon.

 

And Bass was the 2nd kicker taken in his draft.

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3 minutes ago, Doc said:

 

And Bass was the 2nd kicker taken in his draft.


Yep.

Prior to the Bills selecting Bass, genius Patriots GM Bill Belichick took a white supremacist kicker who is already out of the league.

Gotta love it.

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10 minutes ago, Logic said:


I thought I remembered one of the beat guys saying it was 4.22 seconds.

My understanding is that punters aim for between 4.3 and 4.8.

 


I do not agree with this. 

Even on the Araiza 82 yard punt on Saturday night, the ball did not LAND in the end zone. It landed in the field of play. If the returner had fielded the ball -- and as word gets out that Araiza can kick it that far, returners may be instructed to line up deeper -- he would have likely had some room to run. Punts with less hang time and a flatter trajectory give the opposition more opportunity to return the ball further.

If Araiza could kick it into -- or out of -- the end zone itself every time, then great. But if the ball is coming down in the field of play, if there's a returner there to field it...yes, it's potentially a problem.

 

On this team, Araiza makes 100% more sense, rarely will his hangtime even matter. There will only be a handful of times were we are punting from our 30 or less, which means if he wants to, he will just kick it OB or away from the return man the vast majority of the time. I mean we had a couple of no punt games. His hangtime issues are a complete non starter of a concern. 

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21 minutes ago, Logic said:


I thought I remembered one of the beat guys saying it was 4.22 seconds.

My understanding is that punters aim for between 4.3 and 4.8.

 


I do not agree with this. 

Even on the Araiza 82 yard punt on Saturday night, the ball did not LAND in the end zone. It landed in the field of play. If the returner had fielded the ball -- and as word gets out that Araiza can kick it that far, returners may be instructed to line up deeper -- he would have likely had some room to run. Punts with less hang time and a flatter trajectory give the opposition more opportunity to return the ball further.

If Araiza could kick it into -- or out of -- the end zone itself every time, then great. But if the ball is coming down in the field of play, if there's a returner there to field it...yes, it's potentially a problem.

With Allen and this offense though, I’d say the likelihood of your punter kicking it from inside his own 10 are going to be pretty rare. Maybe less than 5 times all year. 

10 minutes ago, IronMaidenBills said:

 

On this team, Araiza makes 100% more sense, rarely will his hangtime even matter. There will only be a handful of times were we are punting from our 30 or less, which means if he wants to, he will just kick it OB or away from the return man the vast majority of the time. I mean we had a couple of no punt games. His hangtime issues are a complete non starter of a concern. 

Thank you. Someone else that gets it 

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9 minutes ago, IronMaidenBills said:

 

On this team, Araiza makes 100% more sense, rarely will his hangtime even matter. There will only be a handful of times were we are punting from our 30 or less, which means if he wants to, he will just kick it OB or away from the return man the vast majority of the time. I mean we had a couple of no punt games. His hangtime issues are a complete non starter of a concern. 



You're making some assumptions here that the facts do not yet support.

The statement that "he will just kick it out of bounds or away from the return man" assumes that he's good enough at directional punting to accurately place the ball where he wants all the time. I'm not saying he can't do it, but we haven't YET seen him do it in the NFL. 

The reason he was drafted was his leg strength, but by all accounts, he still needs to work on directional kicking in addition to hangtime.

For the record, I think he'll wind up being fine at both in time and will be a good punter overall, with a chance to be the best in the game. But to say that "hangtime issues are a complete non starter of a concern" or that he can just place the ball wherever he wants so that returns aren't an issue are simply not accurate statements at this point in time.

 

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3 minutes ago, mrags said:

 

Thank you. Someone else that gets it 


If "gets it" means unrealistically ignoring a player's flaws and their potential downside, then sure. 

Having the strongest leg in the league does not automatically mean Araiza is going to be some flawless punter who presents no downside or who doesn't have room for improvement.

Araiza has the upside to be the best punter in the league.

Araiza is not yet the best punter in the league, and his potential flaws -- chiefly, lack of hangtime -- if not corrected, could lead to big punt returns, which would negate the benefit of having such a big leg.

Both statements can be true. Pretending that Araiza is already a "punt God" and that he has no flaws is unrealistic.

Again, I think he'll be just fine and will likely end up being a really good punter, but this "hang time doesn't matter" and "he'll just boot it out bounds every time" stuff is unrealistic over-simplification.

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I’m surprised to see so many people caught up on hang time.

 

Hang time and distance are strictly a function of kicking angle and velocity. That’s just classical mechanics from high school physics. It’s pretty easy for Araiza to kick slightly higher, cut a few yards off the distance of his kicks, and up his hang time so that special teams can get to the ball when it lands. I’m sure special teams is working on that already.
 

Bottom line is that Araiza can kick it harder than anyone, ever, and details like hang time are tiny kinks to be worked out in comparison.

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4 minutes ago, TableDestoyer69 said:

I’m surprised to see so many people caught up on hang time.

 

Hang time and distance are strictly a function of kicking angle and velocity. That’s just classical mechanics from high school physics. It’s pretty easy for Araiza to kick slightly higher, cut a few yards off the distance of his kicks, and up his hang time so that special teams can get to the ball when it lands. I’m sure special teams is working on that already.
 

Bottom line is that Araiza can kick it harder than anyone, ever, and details like hang time are tiny kinks to be worked out in comparison.


I agree with what you say, generally speaking. I DO think Araiza will be a good punter, and I DON'T think hang time will likely hold him back in the long term.

The only issue I have is with people minimizing how difficult things like achieving good hang time or directional kicking with accuracy actually seem to be. If these were such easy things to do, all punters would do them!

Take former Buffalo Bill Corey Bajorquez. He, too, has a really strong leg. And yet, several years into his career now, he STILL struggles with directional accuracy and consistency with the hang time of his kicks. The notion that it's just a simple fix seem to dismiss the reality that if it were so simple, there'd be a lot more great punters in the NFL.

Clearly, it is a legitimate concern, at least insofar as two punters were drafted ahead of Araiza. I already posted upthread that I think that's a mistake on the part of those GMs, but the fact that it happened is evidence that professional NFL talent evaluators DO value proven hang time and directional kicking over pure leg strength, and that fixing the former just because one possesses the latter is not a foregone conclusion.
 

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11 minutes ago, TableDestoyer69 said:

I’m surprised to see so many people caught up on hang time.

 

Hang time and distance are strictly a function of kicking angle and velocity. That’s just classical mechanics from high school physics. It’s pretty easy for Araiza to kick slightly higher, cut a few yards off the distance of his kicks, and up his hang time so that special teams can get to the ball when it lands. I’m sure special teams is working on that already.
 

Bottom line is that Araiza can kick it harder than anyone, ever, and details like hang time are tiny kinks to be worked out in comparison.

 

He is Legatron. He will figure it all out, just like Allen. He is the Josh Allen of punters. 

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30 minutes ago, Logic said:


If "gets it" means unrealistically ignoring a player's flaws and their potential downside, then sure. 

Having the strongest leg in the league does not automatically mean Araiza is going to be some flawless punter who presents no downside or who doesn't have room for improvement.

Araiza has the upside to be the best punter in the league.

Araiza is not yet the best punter in the league, and his potential flaws -- chiefly, lack of hangtime -- if not corrected, could lead to big punt returns, which would negate the benefit of having such a big leg.

Both statements can be true. Pretending that Araiza is already a "punt God" and that he has no flaws is unrealistic.

Again, I think he'll be just fine and will likely end up being a really good punter, but this "hang time doesn't matter" and "he'll just boot it out bounds every time" stuff is unrealistic over-simplification.

You say everything that you’ve said. And always finish it with things like “I think he’ll be just fine” and “will likely end up being a really good punter”

 

just curious why you say things like that in the same post of arguing that he’s not yet complete as a punter. 
 

Just like any other player in the NFL at any single position. Players either get better or they don’t. He will either work on these issues, or he will not. I have no doubt he will, just like you. However, even if he doesn’t, his leg has the upside of still being a weapon on our team and likely diminishes any issues he may have. 
 

if your anywhere outside your own 20 you have the ability to potentially flip the field completely and get a Touchback almost any time. 
 

if you are inside your own 20 you have a good shot also to create that same outcome. Just not as guaranteed. 
 

with Allen and the offense we have, I don’t think we’ll be punting inside our own 20 very much. I’d imagine less than 5 times all season. I’ll take my chances with this punter booting it into the end zone just about every time. Saving roster spots for real play makers on offense and defense and saving cap space from special teams aces. 

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3 hours ago, Saint Doug said:

Yep, just wait until it’s freezing rain in November. We’ll then get to see if he’s really a god. 

Um, the guy is, arguably, the most talented punter ever. Why wait to “make sure that the sky doesn’t fall?” Don’t go through life like that!! Celebrate that we have AN ELITE talent at a position where we were, arguably, the worst in the league. This isn’t a time to be negative!! Enjoy the ride!!

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Remember the days when Haack was shanking three punts in a row during a game? Why is this even still being dressed as a “competition”? Give Haack his release papers, wish him well, and send him on his way. He has probably a less than 1% chance to win the job. 

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