It seems like just yesterday, the Packers were cutting star punter Jon Ryan in favor of epic disaster Jeremy Kapinos. it left all all scratching our heads at the time and proved to be a huge mistake (which John Schneider later admitted… albeit after he joined Seattle, where the punter ended up).
Then last year, we had Tim Masthay beat out Peter Mortell in training camp only to be cut days later in favor of Bucs castoff Jacob Schum.
Schum proved to be a great holder (he had previously won an award for it – I don’t care is it was self-granted) and really ended up being a good punter. A lot of people don’t want to admit that, but if you dig deep, the conclusion becomes clear.
More than any of that, though, he was the subject of the greatest punter gif of all time. Even if you normally don’t click article links, you really should click that one and watch it for it’s 10 seconds of awesomeness. Totally worth it.
Now, Schum has been abruptly cut. The only other punter on the team is UDFA rookie Justin Vogel. At first glance, it seems like another of Ted’s punter shenanigans, but now it has been revealed that Schum has a back injury. If he is not claimed (which young punters with bad backs rarely are), he would revert back to the team for an IR assignment or injury settlement. So, he could actually come back.
If he doesn’t, either because that’s how Ted does punters or because the injury is too severe, Vogel seems to be of a similar mold as Schum – the type of punter they want.
First off, Schum is jacked (as his gif above shows). Vogel is no little guy at 6’4″ 220. However, despite his size, Vogel, like Schum, is not a booming punter, his strengths are control and placement. That was how Schum was successful last year.
It’s impossible to tell where the Packers are gonna go with their punter each year, but this new twist makes the 2017 punter competition even more difficult to handicap.
I hope Schum makes it back. For now, though, I’ll assume the opening day punter isn’t even on the roster.
Time will tell.