One of the biggest weak spots for the New York Jets is the punter. During the preseason, T.J. Conley thought he had the job secured even though his performance on the field was less than stellar. With little competition, it looked like New York was going to settle for mediocrity. On Tuesday, September 4, that changed. The New York Jets cut T.J. Conley.
Conley in Preseason
One situation in particular showed me why the Jets needed to reconsider keeping Conley. During the second preseason game, Conley had back-to-back awful punts. The first was 19 yards followed by a 23-yarder. Overall, he is ranked 26th in the league. His preseason average was just 44 yards per kick.
New Punter for the Jets
Enter Robert Malone from the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers cut Malone on August 31. In 2010 he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This preseason, Malone's kicking stats are only slightly better than Conley's with 44.8 average yards per kick. When Malone played for Tampa Bay, he had one of the worst kicking records in the league.
New York's Kicking Game
I'm worried for the Jets as far as punting goes. Sometimes all an athlete needs is finding the right team before they begin to shine. If this is the case for Robert Malone, I hope he and the Jets find their groove--soon.
Games are won and lost on the ability of the punter to get the ball down the field--especially when they are deep in the opponents territory. Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills should give us a good idea of what Malone can do. It will be a close game, but the Jets should pull through. They have won the last five outings against Buffalo, no reason for them to stop now.
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Lynda Altman grew up just outside of New York City. She has been a Jets fan all of her life and hopes they have a winning season in 2012. You can contact her @LdyJetsFan on Twitter.
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