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papz 07-10-2013 07:25 PM

Saints Positional Previews: Special Teams
 
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Long time Saints fans will be sure to remember the days of Tommy Barnhardt & Morten Andersen gracing the field as the Special Teamers for the Saints in the late 80s and early 90s. Much has changed since those days, and we pick the Positional Previews back up (you can find the others here), and turn the attention to the forgotten/not so forgotten guys, and believe it or not, there’s a good bit to say.

Kicker

So here’s where we talk Garrett Hartley, and whether you miss John Kasay, John Carney, or wished we would bring ‘x’ player in, Hartley is still the kicker for the Saints. Hartley, 27, struggled in the opening half of the season, missing two important kicks against the Chiefs & Packers (during the 0-4 start for those with the short term memory). He also missed a field goal against the Eagles (which didn’t matter), and the Cowboys (which did matter). Hartley would finish 2012 going 18/22 (82%), with his longest field goal being 53. He accounted for 111 of the Saints 461 points. For his performance, Hartley was actually rewarded with a nice pay bump from $734K to $2.166M. He has 3 years left on his contract, and with Sean Payton back in the mix, I strongly tend to think Hartley should be a lot more focused, and maybe we won’t yell at the TV so much during the season.

Enter the competitor, Jose Maltos, a 21 year old undrafted rookie out of the University of Nuevo-Leon in Monterrey, Mexico. According to reports, it was a workout at Southern Methodist University that caught the eye of many NFL Scouts. Payton had this to say about Maltos, “He’s got a live leg and his get off times are good.” The Patriots were reportedly interested in Maltos, but the Saints were able to get him. Now, I have to be honest. I’ve searched the depths of the internet to find any type of stats from Maltos’ time in Mexico. However, I have been unsuccessful. The only thing I could dig up was from the 2012 Aztec Bowl, and Maltos missed a 37-yard field goal. Not much to draw from that, however, he was clearly brought in for competition with Hartley.

Katherine Terrell of NOLA.com gave a great story on Maltos & how he’s integrating with the Saints. One thing is for certain, whether Maltos stays is entirely on his ability to beat out Hartley. If you recall, Hartley beat out John Kasay during training camp last season to win the starting job. There’s no telling what will happen, but you can definitely bet that this will be something many Saints fans will watch for.

Punter

Thomas ‘The Leg’ Morstead, 27, enters his 5th season for the Saints. Last summer, he signed an extension through 2018. His dual abilities as a Punter & Kick Off Specialist are greatly praised & appreciated. Not that you really want to have this type of stat, but Morstead had a career high in punts last season with 74. However, Morstead did have an average of 50.1 yards/punt (a team record), and rightfully earned his first ever honors to the Pro Bowl this past season. His longest punt of the year was 70 yards, and I’m sure everyone might automatically be thinking, Denver right? Wrong! Kansas City would be the answer you are searching for.

Quick stat, but did you know according to Pro Football Focus, no full-time punter has ever allowed less than Morstead’s 118 return yards? It was a feat he accomplished in 2011. There’s a lot to love about Morstead, and it’s not just because of his leg. In March, Morstead shaved his head & beard, and donated it to Wigs for Kids. Morstead is just a classy guy, a true asset to the Saints, and quite a fan favorite. Look for his continued success in his kickoffs and punting. When it comes down to it, we’d rather not see a ton of Morstead punting, but rather kicking touchbacks over and over after the Saints get in that end zone. I am also going to puke if I have to see Morstead having to make anymore tackles on kickoffs (even though he definitely can), but I believe that coaching change will help immensely.

Read more: Saints Special Teams, Garrett Hartley, Thomas Morstead, Jose Maltos

Seer1 07-10-2013 08:26 PM

Re: Saints Positional Previews: Special Teams
 
MOOOOOOORESTEAD!!!

Halo 07-11-2013 12:57 PM

Re: Saints Positional Previews: Special Teams
 
All I can say his had Fartley made 2 do-able kicks against KC and Green Bay, we would have gone 9-7 on the season and probably made our way into the playoffs.

Regardless, Fartley has to become Mr. Dependable for me to support him. Not asking for miracles, but all I want is the kicks he should make are made.

Seer1 07-11-2013 01:02 PM

Re: Saints Positional Previews: Special Teams
 
Funny they don't mention the tackling (or lack of) and the staying in your lane (or lack of ) part of special teams.

dizzle88 07-11-2013 02:18 PM

Re: Saints Positional Previews: Special Teams
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Halo (Post 510820)
All I can say his had Fartley made 2 do-able kicks against KC and Green Bay, we would have gone 9-7 on the season and probably made our way into the playoffs.

Regardless, Fartley has to become Mr. Dependable for me to support him. Not asking for miracles, but all I want is the kicks he should make are made.

Competition should make or break him, that mexican guy making kicks should make hartley take notice

I know everybody likes this guy for the kicks he made in 2009 but its a case of what have you done for me lately? The answer with hartley is missing chip shot field goals

Rugby Saint II 07-11-2013 04:05 PM

Re: Saints Positional Previews: Special Teams
 
What? No mention of our new asst. special teams coach?

hagan714 07-12-2013 01:01 AM

Re: Saints Positional Previews: Special Teams
 
Hartley has never been the same since his hip injury a few years ago and we are still looking at his contract length as an issue. yep caught behind the old dead cap carry over eight ball again


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