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Crusader 07-07-2010 02:18 AM

Great article on Morstead
 
New Orleans Saints punter Morstead looks to improve in second season

Thomas Morstead became property of the New Orleans Saints when the Black and Gold relinquished the rights to a 2010 draft pick in order to grab the talented punter in the 5th round (164th overall) in the 2009 NFL Draft.

But soccer was provided Morstead's first allure to sports.

"My family being from England, I loved playing (soccer)," Morstead explained. "Growing up I was one of the better guys on the team." But when he broke both bones in his left ankle while in 9th grade, his soccer career was put on hold.

In the meantime, the healing process allowed a growth spurt. Morestead added 15 inches on his 5 foot frame.

Thomas' dad, John, was a superb athlete. He competed in England as a pro cyclist in the National championships on 11 occasions and had an opportunity in the Olympic trials. "He was successful but stopped to raise his family," Thomas said.

Both of his parents are ambitious and instilled a fiery work ethic into young Thomas, who was always dedicated to the task at hand evidenced by the fact that he missed only one day of school (due to surgery) from pre-school to 12th grade.

Morstead wasn't recruited following graduation from Pearland High School in Houston, Texas, but chose to walk on the SMU football program since he already had a partial academic scholarship to the Dallas institution. "Football was not in my plans," he recalled.

But plans change, and Morstead usually produced the best results when he faced the toughest challenge. Late in his SMU career, his final opportunity to kick was a prelude for things to come.

"It was windy and cold," he remembers. "I had to punt into a 20 mile per hour wind with gusts. Every one of my punts was over 50 yards, directional punting. My coach was so happy. He said 'You'll make it.'"

Those words of praise were just the encouragement that gave Morstead the fuel that he needed. The special teams coach for the Mustangs at the time was 25-year NFL veteran coach Frank Gansz. an NFL guru who had come out of retirement to assist head coach June Jones, a long-time friend, at SMU.

Tragically, Frank Gansz would not get to see his prized pupil perform on the biggest stage in the sportsworld. He died while doctors performed knee surgery following the 2008 football season.

---

When the call came on the 2nd day of the 2009 NFL Draft that he would be a member of the Saints, Thomas was ecstatic.

"All the teams that worked me out were from the north. The Saints were close to home (Houston). There was a fit there 5 hours from home - great atmosphere, super coach, Sean Payton."

Read the rest:

New Orleans Saints punter Morstead looks to improve in second season

Really enjoyed this article, gives an interesting insight on how it is to be a kicker/punter in the leauge. Really glad we traded to get him.

Danno 07-07-2010 11:58 AM

Re: Great article on Morstead
 
He's my 2nd favorite non-football player, right behind Hartley.

strato 07-07-2010 12:08 PM

Re: Great article on Morstead
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Danno (Post 232045)
He's my 2nd favorite non-football player, right behind Hartley.

LOL...Danno just let it go:doh:

QBREES9 07-07-2010 12:23 PM

Re: Great article on Morstead
 
Kickers and punter are people football player too.

st thomas 07-07-2010 12:31 PM

Re: Great article on Morstead
 
nice write -up

Danno 07-07-2010 01:57 PM

Re: Great article on Morstead
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by strato (Post 232046)
LOL...Danno just let it go:doh:

I didn't put it on a tee, I just drove it down the fairway.:D

Rugby Saint II 07-07-2010 02:37 PM

Re: Great article on Morstead
 
Well, Morestead turned out to be a good recruit for the Saints. The kick offs were a bonus.(just not enough for Danno)lol I love our punter and not just because he played rugby....but mostly for that reason. jk


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