From the press conference yesterday
Q: (What’s your evaluation of the job Frost has done? Are there concerns or do you see things to work with?)
MM: There’s definitely a lot to work with. I think he’s talented. I think his first impression was very high, and we need to get back to that. It’s not a matter of can he punt. It’s the consistency that we’re looking for, and that’s part of the reason why we made the change. I want the ball kicked inside the 20. The coordination between the punter and the cover guys, we need to improve at. It’s never usually just one aspect when something’s not the way you want it. We need to do a better job. We didn’t do a very good job in punt protection last week and that’s been a staple for us. So everybody got a big kick in the butt, and it showed up today at practice. We need to get back to fundamentals all the way through our football team.
What about his pad level?
Ah sorry, this doesn’t cut it. I just don’t buy the argument that Frost had sucked because his protection has been bad. He seemed rushed on two punts in the last two games and on the others he had plenty of time to get the ball off. Only one of his punts came even close to being blocked, if memory serves, so the “punt protection” excuse doesn’t really work.
But in his answer I think McCarthy revealed why we picked up Frost. He wants the ball pinned inside of the twenty. Which is great, in theory. But at this point I’d settle for a punter who can net more than 30 yards on his kicks (his total over the last two games), wherever they land. McCarthy says he’s looking for consistency and hints that a lack of it is why the Packers got rid of Jon Ryan. Fair enough. But there are only sixteen games in an NFL system. If Frost sucks again this week, that’ll be consistency we don’t need.
All of that said, a look at the NFL punting statistics this year show that Frost is in the middle of pack in terms of his net average for the season, ranking 15th with a net of 37.9. (Jon Ryan, with only six punts, is 34th — dead last.) Frost is 16th with 44.9 gross average. Given the number of clunkers he’s hit, it’s clear that when he’s on, he’s on.
But Frost’s mistakes have come at costly times — whether letting the ball slip through his hands in the end zone or a 30-yard line drive punt on the crucial punt in the Tampa game. Any more and we should move on. There’s got to be some other Australian Rules Football guy we could get. Or, as Ace suggests, where is Ray Guy?