Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

29 Oct 2012

Mandatory Monday: Keep it Simple

This week starts off with a breakdown of the second-to-last drive by the Cowboys against the Giants, where the Giants ran Man-2 (or something very close to it, Man-1 with a bracket on Witten), over and over again. At the end, I walk through South Philly in the rain. Click around the site a bit, and there is a piece about the Eagles and Falcons as well.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 29 Oct 2012

16 comments, Last at 01 Jan 2013, 6:27am by mano


by MJK :: Mon, 10/29/2012 - 12:44pm

Take issue with the statement that teams haven't used a backup QB on punt teams for 90 years or so. The Patriots punter from 96-98 was Tom Tupa, who was also their #3 QB in that time. Or possibly their #2 QB (their depth chart shuffled a bit then). Although he only had pass attempts in 96.

by Eddo :: Mon, 10/29/2012 - 1:50pm

Tanier said, "Apparently, there is a reason teams have not used backup quarterbacks as punt protectors for the past 90 years or so of football history, despite the trick-play potential."

Tupa wasn't a protector, he was the punter. And I would classify him as a punter, just one who happened to be good enough at QB that he also served as a backup there.

by DEW (not verified) :: Mon, 10/29/2012 - 2:08pm

Danny White with the Cowboys makes a slightly older example...though to be fair, both he and Tupa couldn't help but be on the punt team since they were the actual punter.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 10/29/2012 - 8:24pm

Going even further back is Sammy Baugh, who was still the all-time punting average leader until Shane Lechler.

by Jerry :: Tue, 10/30/2012 - 3:38am

Baugh was great, but I don't think there were punting or kicking specialists in those days.

by Dean :: Mon, 10/29/2012 - 2:15pm

Fellas, have we forgotten Crash Jensen already?

by Travis :: Mon, 10/29/2012 - 2:37pm

Brad Smith was the Jets' upback for years before signing with the Bills last season.

Jeff Hostetler used to play on special teams back when he was the Giants' #3 quarterback.

Joe Theismann returned punts his first two years in the NFL, but I don't know if he appeared as the punt protector.

by Marko :: Mon, 10/29/2012 - 3:20pm

Later in his career, Theismann was the backup punter for the Redskins. In their game against the 1985 Bears in Chicago, Theismann had to punt because Jeff Hayes, who also handled kickoffs, got injured trying to tackle Speedy Willie Gault on Gault's 99 yard TD return of a kickoff. Theismann famously had a 1 yard punt in that game that wasn't deflected. It was just a 1 yard punt out of bounds. It was even worse than the 6 yard punt out of bounds by Carolina's punter yesterday in Chicago.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Mon, 10/29/2012 - 3:54pm

Was that 1-yd punt after he broke his leg against the Giants ;-)

Are you not confusing the 1-yd punt with Sean Landeta of the Giants in the playoffs? Or did both he and Theismann do it in the same year?

by Travis :: Mon, 10/29/2012 - 4:23pm

Same season, 7 weeks before he broke his leg. Video here (low-quality).

Backup QB Jay Schroeder took over punting duties for the rest of the game.

by Marko :: Mon, 10/29/2012 - 5:11pm

No, I am not confusing it with Sean Landeta's punt, as you can see from the video Travis posted above. Landeta's "punt" (which was almost a complete whiff) wasn't even for 1 yard. It was a negative yardage punt, although I'm not sure how many negative yards it was for.

Both punts were during the Bears' magical 1985 season, and both were from nearly the same spot by the same end zone.

by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 10/29/2012 - 10:13pm

Here's the thing, Mike has forgotten Cody Pickett. I know, I had the same thought. How can a much admired professional like Mike Tanier make an oversight like that with a high profile player like Pickett? He's going to have to work to earn my respect back after that howler.

by dryheat :: Mon, 10/29/2012 - 4:19pm

you would find the ice cubes huddled in the leeward corner of the glass, a tiny Spanish Armada unable to navigate and ready to be picked apart by the British fleet.

Great, great line. Although my own strategy of beating Sandy by finishing half-empty bottles in my bar might be a disproportionate contributor to my enjoyment.

by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/30/2012 - 9:07am

Send in the fire ships!

by jenson (not verified) :: Sat, 12/01/2012 - 7:04am

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by mano (not verified) :: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 6:27am

Walker is out this http://www.fresh-tests.com/exam/70-432.htm week with a broken jaw (wierdly kneed in the head accidentially in the week 16 Seahawks game). Not positive how replacing him 70-432 tests with non-receiving threat Peelle is going to mess up those plays (fewer TE arounds for positive).