The Philadelphia Eagles signed former Dallas Cowboys punter Mat McBriar today. The move is consistent with the Eagles mantra that competition can only be good in training camp. McBriar is expected to go head to head with Eagles second year punter Chas Henry.
The 33 year old Mat McBriar is a former two time pro-bowler. McBriar’s career average of 45.3 yards is the fourth highest average in NFL history among punters with more than 400 attempts.
Last season, McBriar had a nagging injury on his non-kicking foot. The bothersome cyst caused McBriar to have nerve damaged that gave him a condition known as ‘drop foot’. McBriar had surgery in February to remove the cyst. McBriar is not fully healed and is currently wearing a brace. Head coach Andy Reid said today that McBriar is a at “90%”.
Even with being hampered with the cyst last season, McBriar still managed to have a higher average (43.8) than Eagles punter Chas Henry (42.9). McBriar’s 2011 43.8 average was the worst of his career. The Eagles are holding hope that McBriar will make a full recovery.
Mat McBriar has been one of the most consistent punters in the NFL over the last eight seasons. He has averaged 45 yards or better five times. Only one punter in NFL history has averaged more than 45 yards more times, the Oakland Raiders Shane Lechler.
The Eagles are assuredly looking to improve their much maligned field position game from last season. The Birds were often times hampered by lackluster punts from the weaker legged Chas Henry. With a possible improved kicking game, the defense will have a better chance at preventing points.