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Jon Ryan Is Winning The Punting Battle

It's really important for the Packers to improve their punting and punt returns in 2007. The Packers punt return game has been anemic since the 1990s and P Jon Ryan had an inconsistent 2006 season. Ryan seemed to either hit a booming punt or one off the side of his foot. Over the last few games he seemed unable to keep anything pinned down inside the 20 yard line and had too many touchbacks.

Ryan appears to be doing what is necessary to keep his job in 2007. After Ryan's first competition, P David Lonie, got injured, the Packers signed P Ryan Dougherty. His resume actually looks pretty good. He played in 47 career games at East Carolina and had 68 kicks stay inside the 20 yard line. He didn't look too bad in the first preseason game either, but Ryan outplayed him. Ryan's last two or three kicks pinned Pittsburgh inside the 20 yard line and helped kill any comeback chances. Unfortunately for Ryan, his first couple of punts didn't have great hang time, he outkicked his punt coverage, and Pittsburgh had some good returns.

Ryan was fairly inconsistent, as usual, but so far he's still likely to keep his job.