One thing that has been evident over the last couple of games has been the sudden problems on special teams. The most noticeable problem has been the long snapping from long snapper Jake Ingram. Throughout the season, but mostly during the last two games, Ingram has had trouble getting the snaps cleanly to Zoltan Mesko, both for punting and extra points/field goals. Mesko is the holder on kicks. Mesko, a rookie from Michigan, has done a good job handling the bad snaps and getting the punts off or the ball in place for Stephen Gostkowski. However, according to ESPN Boston, those bad snaps have cost Jake Ingram, a 2009 draft choice, his job.
Jake Ingram will be (or has been) cut to make room for Matt Katula, a former Raven, who will sign a two-year deal with the team. Katula is a 28-year old undrafted player who has battled elbow tendinitis, which is likely the reason he was a free agent. Katula is listed as 6’6″ and 265 pounds, so he’s also a big body who should be able to be a little stouter at blocking than Ingram was. Ingram had a great rookie season last year but he struggles thus far were enough for the team to make the change.
K Stephen Gostkowski left Sunday’s game with a leg injury which the Boston Herald is reporting as a quad strain, which will sideline him for two weeks. In the meantime, instead of Wes Welker continuing to kick for the team like he did Sunday when he kicked an extra point, the Pats are reportedly going to sign Shayne Graham, who was previously with the Giants for one game this season and the Bengals for the past seven seasons. He has a career field goal percentage of 85.2% and averages 61.8 yards per kickoff with 46 career touch backs.
It will be interesting to see how the field goal snap, set, and kick works out for the Pats this Sunday 2 out of the 3 players involved in the process being brand new. If we don’t hear Katula’s name Sunday, everything likely went smoothly. One can only hope that this is the last we hear of his name.