Bengals UDFA Austin McNamara talks choosing team, punter competition

Cincinnati Bengals punter Austin McNamara, believe it or not, was one of the team’s most-hyped additions this offseason.

After a few years of up and downs from the punter position, McNamara arrived via undrafted free agency despite being one of the better punters in college last year.

Now, McNamara says that his pre-draft connection with Bengals special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons played a role.

“We had that personal connection over the last month and a half before the draft and that definitely weighed in my decision,” McNamara said, according to Geoff Hobson of “We talked during the back end of the draft. He’s very unique in that he’s got a punting background. That really intrigued me. My agent told me a little bit about him. I looked up some stuff about Coach Simmons and my agent told me he’s been in the game a long time. A great coach. I trusted that and I’ve seen it first-hand here.”

Now entrenched in a summer-long battle with Brad Robbins, McNamara has said that some of the drills he’s already seen this spring were impressive and that he’s excited to keep learning.

When a team hits contender status and doesn’t have much in the way of roster turnover, camp battles at spots like punter tend to get more spotlight — but Bengals fans now understand just how important that position can be.

Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire