Update – 12:02 p.m.: The Jets have released Robert Marlone and signed Ryan Quigley.
Jets punter Robert Malone is quietly having a good start to the 2013 season and while there have been some ups and downs in two games, Michael Fensom of the Star-Ledger writes that Malone’s ability to strike the football could be a major factor in the team’s field-position this fall.
Entering opening weekend, the special teams coach Ben Kotwica said Malone was kicking the ball better than he ever had in two seasons with the Jets.
Through two games this season, Malone has, at times, been excellent. Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, one punt traveled 84 yards, the second-longest kick in Jets history. Other moments have demonstrated the subtlety of punting a football: A mis-hit of even an inch can cede yards to an opponent.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comIt’s a fascinating article by Fensom on the nuances of punting.
It’s a hard and thankless job that most NFL punters do, but I will say that the Jets decision to move to Malone right on the eve of the 2012 season was a wise one. Malone was a middle of the pack punter in what was effective his rookie season in 2012, but based on that foundation and the way we’ve seen him punting the ball, with the help of assistant Louie Aguiar, he could have a good year as the team’s punter.
But in my experience punters who have great seasons generally don’t do so on teams that are simultaneously offensive juggernauts. That’s never been an expectation of ours of the 2013 Jets, but more consistency on offense would obviously lead to less work for a guy like Malone. Still it is good to know that while the rookie QB irons out the wrinkles, he’s going to have the special teams and defensive help he needs to better set up field position for him.