According to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago, the Chicago Bears have brought in four punters today for a tryout. While the four candidates names’ and histories are unknown, it follows up to what I’ve been saying for weeks (see here), Adam Podlesh isn’t getting the job done for the Bears.
During the preseason, Podlesh suffered a hip-flexor injury. This is a very painful and limiting injury, and frankly, I was surprised he was able to start the season with the team. I certainly respect his passion for his craft, but his numbers aren’t very consistent this season. He’s currently 30th in average yards per punt (41.7) and 25th in net average (38.4). He’s tied for 16th (14) for punts within the 20-yard line. Considering his salary, this is totally unacceptable. While he had one really solid punt on Sunday night, I’ll argue that his punting is putting too much pressure on this team. Last season, he averaged almost 43.9 yards per punt and 40.4 total net. Even these small differences will make the difference in important games.
Let’s go under the assumption that Podlesh is hurt. Then probably the best thing the team can do is put him on injured reserve and find a punter that can do a better job this season. When Podlesh is at his best, he’s one of the best punters in the game. As of now, he is hardly relevant in the conversation. Considering how much the Bears value special teams, potentially making this change seems to make the most sense.
For more fun and games, follow me on Twitter @ChicagoBearJew.