Surprise, Packers Have a New Punter!

Remember how just a few days ago when the Packers cut punter and Green Bay native Peter Mortell ahead of the roster cut-down yesterday and we were all like, “Hey, nice try kid, but it looks like Ginger Wolverine is here to stay”?

Or remember when Head Coach Mike McCarthy said after Mortell was shown the door and he threw his support behind the Ginger Assassin and said, “Tim Masthay, he’s in the driver’s seat. It’s important to have a good week of practice and perform in Kansas City, just like everybody. It’s a competition to make your team. It’s really available for all of those guys fighting for spots as you go through each position. Tim, we have great history with here and he’ll just continue to work and get better.”

Yeah, that was really cute.

Apparently that driver’s seat had an attached ejection button on par with something that goes horribly wrong with one of Wile E. Coyote’s gadgets, and as of this morning Mathsay is no more.

Ladies and gentleman, I give you the Packer’s punter: Jacob Schum.

Who you may ask?

Exactly.

He was (key word: WAS) the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ punter last season. But he lost a punting competition as well and was shown the door earlier this year in training camp. You read that right, the Packers picked up the Bucs’ sloppy seconds for a punter.

Yes, before you jump all over me, I am well aware that Masthay’s performance took a nose dive in the past few years. Or was it. Looking at his career statistics, there wasn’t all that huge of a decline. Over his career there has been only a 2 yard difference between average punts. That looks pretty consistent. But last year, the 20 yard shanks seemed all that more common, and many an armchair punter thought he or she could punt further. (For the record, when compared to those shankapotamus disasters, I can punt further than 20 yards, thank you very much.)

So the writing was completely on the wall, right?

But this signing sight unseen without testing Schum out with, oh, the rest of special teams seems a little rash, don’t you think? Especially when you look at his statistics. He’s worse than Masthay. No really, look at the statistics. It’s not like the Packers just upgraded to some punting beast that averages in the mid-fifties. Sure, he may be built like a safety, but unless the special teams goes belly up on every punt and he’s the only thing between the return guy and the end zone, and he’s expected to take the receiver down every time, does that really matter?

Masthay had intangibles that set him apart from Mortell. He had an impeccable timing and chemistry with Mason Crosby with field goal attempts. They were familiar with each other and he rarely muffed a hike. We could not say the same about Mortell.

Who knows, maybe Schum has this je ne sais quois we just don’t know about. But this transaction makes me uneasy.

While I’m well aware that comparing a punter to a quarterback is like comparing apples to hippopotamuses, but remember that disasters back-up quarterback experiment from two years ago. For those who have successfully purged that nightmare from their brains, let me refresh your memories…

Once upon a time, the Packers thought they had it all figured out. They cut QB2 Graham Harrell and decided that Vince Young would be QB2 all the way through training camp. Wasn’t a perfect fit, but at least they had a back up with experience. The along come the final cuts of training camp and, NOPE, they didn’t want Young after all. Which left NO QB2, 3 or 4 because there wasn’t any one.

Guess that means for a brief few moments either Randall Cobb or John Kuhn was unofficially yet officially the QB2 on the depth chart.

Cute right?

So lo and behold, a few days before the season opener they decided to sign Seneca Wallace. He’d never seen the Packer playbook before, but he stayed at a Holiday Inn the night before had veteran experience at QB. So what could possibly go wrong, right? Oh, and they signed Scoots Tolzien because, they wanted insider information on the San Francisco offense that they were facing a QB3 as an insurance policy/scout team QB.

And then it all went pear shaped.

Rodgers gets killed breaks his collar bone, in comes Seneca Wallace that doesn’t really know the system and then *POOF* vanishes for the rest of the season in the very next game with a groin injury as he pretty much walks out on to the field.

If this unmitigated disaster could not be any worse, QB3 Scott Tolzien is suddenly the only one holding the bag. He only knows the system marginally better than Wallace because he probably watched a Packer game or two during his stint as the Badgers’ QB. But maybe not. He’s from Illinois, after all. Unfortunately, he was not ready for prime time and looked a little shell shocked on the field before he got shellacked.

Long story short, enter Q7 who was originally QB2, and the Touchdown Messiah himself Matt Flynn managed to keep the Packers at 8-7-1 before they fell backward into the playoffs.

Sure, turnstile of revolving punters is not the same as the Yackity Sax filled quarterback disaster of 2013. But do we really want to revisit that hot mess of an experiment?

Schum could be fine. Or it could be a disaster.

That said, does Randall Cobb know how to punt. More importantly, does can he do the whole laces out thing when we all start getting flashbacks to 2013.

Where is that gif of the dog in the burning room? This is fine…

Oh yeah, it’s the header.

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Kelly Hodgson is a writer for PackersTalk.com and you can listen to her as a Co-Host of Out of the Pocket. You can also follow Kelly on Twitter at @ceallaigh_k

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4 thoughts on “Surprise, Packers Have a New Punter!

  1. Masthay had been developing very good hang time but he could be a mess under pressure. Schum has experience but he’s nothing to write home about. If he doesn’t work out, Masthay may not be going anywhere and the Packers would pick him out at a discount.

  2. Masthay had been developing very good hang time but he could be a mess under pressure. Schum has experience but he’s nothing to write home about. If he doesn’t work out, Masthay may not be going anywhere and the Packers would pick him out at a discount.

  3. Remember Derrick Frost, Jon Ryan was cut in favor of the Redskin reject because of his directional punting skills.

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