Infotainment Factory: Unsung Aussie punter changing the NFL

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Monday, 7 January 2019

Unsung Aussie punter changing the NFL


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An unusual playoff punt from Aussie Cam Johnston has the potential to change the NFL, according to the Australian punting academy that produced the Philadelphia Eagles player.

Punting for the defending Super Bowl champions in a thrilling 16-15 wildcard game win over the Chicago Bears, Johnston had five attempts for an average of 45.2 yards, with a long of 53 yards.

That game-high punt was drilled flat across the field and out of bounds. While it was highly effective, it was at odds with the usual NFL philosophy of kicking for maximum hang time, along with distance.

A Twitter post from ProKick Australia - which boasts Johnston, Seattle's Michael Dickson and Pittsburgh's Jordan Berry as graduates - said that such punts were causing a rethink of best practice in the NFL.

https://twitter.com/ProkickAus/status/1082049169034862592

Fran Duffy, a producer for the Philadelphia Eagles' website, named Johnston as an unsung hero of the win over the Bears. He pointed out that the Aussie and his special teams "gunners" (players who rush the punt returner after the punt is delivered) had held Chicago's All-Pro punt returner to Tarik Cohen to zero attempts.

https://twitter.com/fduffy3/status/1082402781972054021

Johnston, 26, has had a strong season for Philly. He was second in the NFL during the regular season for both average yards per punt (49.9) and average net yards (43.7), and equal-first in the league for punt touchbacks (five).

For net yards, he trailed only fellow Australian Dickson, who had 43.8 yards per punt in a sensational season for the Seahawks. Dickson averaged 48.0 yards per attempt, with his eye-catching performances making him the first Australian to earn All-Pro honours.

Dickson was equal-seventh for inside 20s (19), regularly dazzling US pundits with attempts that stopped just yards from the goal-line, while Johnston was down in equal-19th with 11.

An unusual playoff punt from Aussie Cam Johnston has the potential to change the NFL, according to the Australian punting academy that produced the Philadelphia Eagles player.

Punting for the defending Super Bowl champions in a thrilling 16-15 wildcard game win over the Chicago Bears, Johnston had five attempts for an average of 45.2 yards, with a long of 53 yards.

That game-high punt was drilled flat across the field and out of bounds. While it was highly effective, it was at odds with the usual NFL philosophy of kicking for maximum hang time, along with distance.

A Twitter post from ProKick Australia - which boasts Johnston, Seattle's Michael Dickson and Pittsburgh's Jordan Berry as graduates - said that such punts were causing a rethink of best practice in the NFL.

https://twitter.com/ProkickAus/status/1082049169034862592

Fran Duffy, a producer for the Philadelphia Eagles' website, named Johnston as an unsung hero of the win over the Bears. He pointed out that the Aussie and his special teams "gunners" (players who rush the punt returner after the punt is delivered) had held Chicago's All-Pro punt returner to Tarik Cohen to zero attempts.

https://twitter.com/fduffy3/status/1082402781972054021

Johnston, 26, has had a strong season for Philly. He was second in the NFL during the regular season for both average yards per punt (49.9) and average net yards (43.7), and equal-first in the league for punt touchbacks (five).

For net yards, he trailed only fellow Australian Dickson, who had 43.8 yards per punt in a sensational season for the Seahawks. Dickson averaged 48.0 yards per attempt, with his eye-catching performances making him the first Australian to earn All-Pro honours.

Dickson was equal-seventh for inside 20s (19), regularly dazzling US pundits with attempts that stopped just yards from the goal-line, while Johnston was down in equal-19th with 11.

http://bit.ly/2RwgHWL
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