Aug 29, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko (14) prior to the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

New England Patriots: Why Bring In Another Punter?


Recently the Patriots signed undrafted free agent punter Ryan Allen out of Louisiana Tech. This came as a bit of a surprise to me simply because the Patriots already have one of the best punters in the NFL in Zoltan Mekso.

I know that Mesko doesn’t have the biggest leg in the world, but he is perfect for this Patriots team. Obviously the Patriots always have one of the top offense’s in the NFL, and rarely do they have to punt. However in situations where they do have to punt, they are usually close to the 50 yard line, and that calls for a punter that can drop in inside the 20 yard line. Enter Zoltan Mesko. This guy is an absolute beast in terms of inside the 20 punts. He punted 60 times last season and he dropped it inside the 20 yard line 28 times. That means 46% of the time his punts landed inside the 20 and pinned the opposing team. That is exactly what you want in a punter, and that is exactly what Zoltan Mesko brings to the table for New England (he is also a hilarious tweeter).

Now this brings me to Ryan Allen. I honestly have no idea why the Patriots brought this guy in. He was not even a top college punter. He does have a big leg as he averaged 48 yards a boot in 2012 but as I detailed earlier, that is not what the Patriots need. I think that this is a bad move, that will only waste money and time for New England.

Another interesting aspect to this whole thing is how Mesko will respond to this competition. I think that there really are two things that could happen. The first is that Mesko uses the competition to his advantage and really pushes himself to get even better. The second thing is Mesko may lose confidence because of this new guy, and that may lead to his demise in New England.

However I have too much respect for Mesko as a punter, and as a professional athlete for him to lose confidence and maybe act out against the Pats. Mesko is a class act, and one hell of a punter. I think that he will push himself even harder now that Allen is in the fold with the Pats, and show the NFL that he can possibly be the best punter in the NFL. Mesko is very talented as a punter, and I think that his job is safe. I know that people may think “who cares about punters” but they are very important to an NFL team. So many times, games are decided by field position and way too many times teams have bad punters and lose that game because of that. I think the Patriots are just fine in that regard with Mesko, and that is why I seriously question the Pats bringing Ryan Allen in.

Tags: Featured New England Patriots Popular Ryan Allen Zoltan Mesko

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.cooper.908 Stephen Cooper

    ” I honestly have no idea why the Patriots brought this guy in. He was not even a top college punter”

    Are you serious??? He won the RAY FREAKING GUY AWARD two consecutive years!! If you are going to critique someone, at least do 5 minutes worth of research.

  • Buz

    Not a top college punter? Are you serious? He has won the Ray Guy award the past two years, and not because of his distance punting. He has amazing control.

    • Cyrus Geller

      Granted he was a very good college punter. I will admit that is my bad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.cooper.908 Stephen Cooper

    His avg distance is longer and his % of punts downed inside the 20 are exactly the same. So the question is, how much longer will the Pats keep Zoltan?

    Your lack of research on the topic you chose to write about is laughable.

    Ryan will be the starter in 2 years, tops…count on it.

    • Cyrus Geller

      Like I commented just below I admit that is my bad. He in fact was a very good college punter (never stood out to me very much but I don’t decide who wins the award). However I do want to say there is no way Ryan will overtake Zoltan in 2 years. Mesko is one of the top guys in the NFL, and Ryan hasn’t played a snap in the big leagues, slow your roll there. Again though I apologize about not giving Ryan credit in the college game

  • Critical Reasoning

    I myself personally have liked Zoltan Mesko ever since he came out of college. Something about a punter as a team captain tells me alot about the person. On to the critique.

    He didn’t have that great of a year last season in my opinion. He sometimes shows a lack off power that is needed when we don’t make it to the 50 yard line. Also in the accuracy department 10 percent of his punts resulted in touchbacks.

    Ryan Allen looks like he has power and accuracy. 44 percent of his punts landed inside of the 20 yard line and 46 percent of his punts traveled over 50 yards. He won the Rudy Guy award twice. No punter has ever won the Ray Guy Award more than once.

    Like I said, I personally like Mesko, this will be an interesting under the radar training camp competition. If Allen produces in camp I could see him beating out Mesko for the punters position. Competition breeds success. Lets see what these two are made of.

    • Cyrus Geller

      Great points. It is going to be fun.

  • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

    Let me spin my thoughts on here, Cyrus. I think you are letting your emotions cloud your better judgement, and I am glad that you have reassessed Allen’s abilities. He was an amazing punter in college, and he is the best punter to come out of college imo. He presents a cheaper option for the Pats, and Mesko is in his final year. It would take a significant victory over Mesko in a competition for Allen to net the job, but I don’t see the issue with signing Allen.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      I mean, I love Mesko too, but that doesn’t cut it for me. The Pats are making a good decision here imo.

      • Cyrus Geller

        Yeah I do agree that now after thinking about it that it wasn’t such a bad move. Allen was a great punter and if something happened with Mesko he would be a great option. I just think that Mesko is a very good punter and his job is set with New England. But you are right a good, young, cheaper option in Allen is not such a bad idea for the Pats.

    • http://www.facebook.com/patricia.mattie Patricia Mattie

      from what ive read on Allen , hes a 3 step punter…is that hard to change for a punter comming into the NFL ??