NFL's Redskins like what they see in Rocca - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NFL's Redskins like what they see in Rocca

Joseph White 26/08/2011 11:47:04 AM Comments (0)

AP - Sav Rocca is feeling the love from his new teammates at the Washington Redskins as they prepare for the NFL season.

Signed belatedly after the off-season lockout ended and further delayed while he waited his visa, former AFL star Rocca has quickly impressed his colleagues with his punting ability.

And no wonder.

Washington are the worst punting team of the millennium. Last in overall average (40.9 yards) since 2000. Last in net average (34.5 yards) since 2002.

Rocca was middle-of-the-pack in his time with the Philadelphia Eagles, averaging 42.9 yards with a 37.6 net to rank 19th and 15th, respectively, among all NFL punters over his four seasons before becoming a free agent earlier this year.

Used to less, his new Redskins teammates like what they see in training camp. His hang time is already getting the thumbs-up from fellow special teams players.

"He's putting the thing up the air, like, 4.5 (seconds)," linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. "Last year we were covering punts that were, like, 3.9. He had a 5.0 one day.

"I'm glad we have him. It's going to make it a lot easier to get down there and make a lot of good tackles."

Rocca was the oldest rookie in NFL history when he signed at the age of 33 with Philadelphia in 2007 but he went on to go within one game of playing in the Super Bowl in 2009.

It would be hard for him to feel secure in his new job with the Redskins just yet.

After all, they have used 14 punters in regular season games since 1999 and have gone through seven over the past four years, including three last season.

"I don't like that turning over guys like that," special teams coach Danny Smith said.

"I don't have a problem with young guys. I don't have a problem with old guys. I just want it consistent, and we haven't been about to do that.

"Hopefully we've solidified that with this guy."

Rocca said the experience he had kicking on the run in AFL helps the Aussie punters do sowell in the NFL.

Darren Bennett helped pave the way playing for San Diego and Minnesota from 1995-2005, and now there's Mat McBriar (Dallas) and Ben Graham (Arizona).

"They've been in the heat of battle," Smith said.

"They've had to catch, run, throw, as opposed to just being in our American colleges and sitting back there punting. They're good with their hands; they're good with their feet."

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