New England Patriots: Why Bring In Another Punter?
By Cyrus Geller
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.