When any NFL fan looks at a roster, their eyes instantly go to the quarterback, running back and receiver positions. These are the most valuable positions for many teams and no one in their right mind would ever look at a position like punter right? Wrong.
The Green Bay Packers have struck gold with punter Tim Masthay. Masthay, a fourth-year man from the University of Kentucky, has proven to be a valuable specialist on this team and is worth every cent that the team gave him last season when they extended his contract. The extension for Masthay was for four years and $5.46 million. This extension proves that the team believes in him and that he is more than just a punter. It also proved to Masthay that the Packers expect a lot out of him this season.
Instead of shying away from the newest opportunity to kick off this season, Masthay embraced it. When he was handed the job before Week 1 over Mason Crosby, Masthay was quoted in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel saying, “I have like an animalistic aggressiveness on kickoffs. One of the things I tell myself when I go back there is, ‘Lick your chops now. Get really excited. Go try and destroy this ball.’”
So, far, he has kept opposing teams from returning kicks, and the average starting field position for the opponents on kicks is at the 22-yard line. He has proven to be weapon on kickoffs, and this will be very useful late in the season when he is called upon to kick off in the cold at Lambeau Field.
On top of the excellent kickoff numbers, Masthay has also done a great job in the punting game. Of his 12 punts this season, five have been inside the 20-yard line and he has a net average of 42.6 yards per punt. This average has him in the top-10 in the league.
Too many fans nowadays overlook the importance of players like Masthay. Guys with this type of work ethic and devotion to the team really prove to be pivotal.
Packer fans should be very happy with the extension Masthay received and should really look forward to seeing him play the rest of the season. He truly is an unheralded weapon on this roster.