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T Bradshaw
08-09-2009, 02:50 AM
http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/0-3-295/Pittsburgh-s-secret-weapon.html

Pittsburgh's secret weapon

August 8, 2009 1:30 PM


Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

LATROBE, Pa. -- The booming punts in practices this summer haven't been seen around these parts in quite some time.


AP Photo/Wade Payne
Daniel Sepulveda averaged 42.4 yards per kick in 2007, his rookie season.
They are high, extremely long and constantly backing up returners trying to field them.

And they're coming off the leg of third-year punter Daniel Sepulveda -- Pittsburgh's newest secret weapon.

"Oh, I'm back," said an excited Sepulveda. "I'm here to deliver a competitive advantage for us this year."

It has been two seasons since Pittsburgh's punter last kicked in an NFL game. Yet he remains one of the most important additions this year for the defending Super Bowl champions.

Last season, Sepulveda tore his ACL in his knee during training camp. What followed was a string of poor punting all year by Pittsburgh. But with an elite defense it didn't cost the Steelers a run toward their sixth Super Bowl win.

Meanwhile, Sepulveda got his first ring but it was somewhat bittersweet while watching from the sidelines and rehabbing on injured reserve.

"I got a heavy dose of perspective last year being put through that situation," Sepulveda explained. "But it made me a better person. So there were some things I missed out on, but there was some growth there."

Sepulveda said he's ready to play his role in Pittsburgh's quest to repeat.

A former fourth-round pick in 2007, Sepulveda was one of the NFL's top young punters his rookie season, averaging 42.4 yards per kick. He looks good thus far and the Steelers are hoping he shakes the rust early. Sepulveda believes getting the most out of training camp this year and the preseason will be key, and Pittsburgh's first exhibition game is Thursday against the Arizona Cardinals.

Quality punting for the Steelers would give an additional boost to the NFL's top-rated defense, while at the same time erasing one of Pittsburgh's few glaring weaknesses. Health permitting, Sepulveda could be one of the most underrated additions in the AFC North this season.

"If you're going to stay on top as a team, you have to keep getting better," Sepulveda said. "So that's what I'm going to try and do for our punt team."


Pittsburgh Steelers, Super Bowl XLIII, AFC North, Daniel Sepulveda, training camp, NFL, preseason, Arizona Cardinals, NFC West

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Preacher
08-09-2009, 03:31 AM
Imagine this scenario...

We are barely losing or barely winning. It is late in the game, and it is fourth down for us on our 45 yard line.

Now, last year, we line up to punt, and chances are, the punt only goes to the other teams 35 yard line, maybe even their 40.

Let's go back to this year's possible scenario...

... on our 45 yard line. We line up to punt and Sep BOOMs one. to the 5 yard line (60 yards... and yeah, he has been hitting em like that in training camp). Furthermore, with the "aussie role" and also our speedsters running 4.2 40's, we get down there and down it...

Now, it is 1st and 10 for the other team on their 5 yard line. And would look at that, here comes Harrison, er, Woodley, er, Timmons, er, Troy P. through the line for a sack, a safety and 2 points, or wait, was the ball stripped? maybe 7.

Yeah, I know, I am dreaming. The great thing is, this is a viable day dream with Sep... not a pie in the sky dream.

BTW. . . let's not ask HTG about HER daydreams and Sep! :rofl:

(HTG... you gotta be excited about him playing this year... eh?)

HometownGal
08-09-2009, 07:24 AM
BTW. . . let's not ask HTG about HER daydreams and Sep!

(HTG... you gotta be excited about him playing this year... eh?)


:laughing: :wink:

Yes - I am VERY excited about DSep playing this season. His specialist is the coffin nail and I'm really looking forward to seeing our opponents pinned back! :tt03:

steelax04
08-10-2009, 02:32 PM
:laughing: :wink:

Yes - I am VERY excited about DSep playing this season. His specialist is the coffin nail and I'm really looking forward to seeing our opponents pinned back! :tt03:

Oh don't lie, you wish he was pinning you back...

SteelMember
08-10-2009, 02:53 PM
The field position battle will definately improve with Sep in there, although unless he's forcing a fair catch every time, someone still needs to make a tackle here and there. I don't want for him to come back and our coverage teams go to sh!t again...but I don't think Tomlin will let that happen.
:popcorn:

HometownGal
08-10-2009, 02:56 PM
Oh don't lie, you wish he was pinning you back...

You caught me! :wink02::chuckle::thumbsup:

revefsreleets
08-10-2009, 03:45 PM
The ST's improved dramatically last year. It would be awesome to see them make the same kind of strides this year...My ONLY concern is Sep out-punting the coverage. Otherwise I expect that field position differential to be hugely favorable for us this year...

Steel Head
08-10-2009, 03:55 PM
hopefully Sepulveda doesn't choke again like he did on the 1 big punt of his career

tyler289
08-10-2009, 04:18 PM
He can't be much worse than Berger. Amazing to think we won a SB with a guy who kicks it 30 yards a punt, if he's lucky.

TackleMeBen
08-10-2009, 04:27 PM
i am glad to see Sepulveda back, i missed those arms:chuckle: oh yeah, and the punts werent bad either:chuckle:

Dino 6 Rings
08-10-2009, 05:54 PM
Imagine this scenario...

We are barely losing or barely winning. It is late in the game, and it is fourth down for us on our 45 yard line.

Now, last year, we line up to punt, and chances are, the punt only goes to the other teams 35 yard line, maybe even their 40.

Let's go back to this year's possible scenario...

... on our 45 yard line. We line up to punt and Sep STOP! ITs a fake Punt, Wallace has the ball and he's so fast the other team didn't even know he had it til he was crossing the Goal Line!!!

The Super Slow Motion Replay shows him clearling coming around the end, taking the ball off Sep's toe, and running down the sidelines past the gunner, the 2 guys blocking the gunner and right past the guy who was supposed to be catching the ball...watch on the replay as the wind from Wallace makes the receivers helmet spin around 5 times...swooooosh....

Preacher
08-10-2009, 07:55 PM
STOP! ITs a fake Punt, Wallace has the ball and he's so fast the other team didn't even know he had it til he was crossing the Goal Line!!!

The Super Slow Motion Replay shows him clearling coming around the end, taking the ball off Sep's toe, and running down the sidelines past the gunner, the 2 guys blocking the gunner and right past the guy who was supposed to be catching the ball...watch on the replay as the wind from Wallace makes the receivers helmet spin around 5 times...swooooosh....

You are so wrong its not even funny. Come be educated grasshopper.

1. The front office makes a trade the day before.

2. In superslow mo, they find it is NOT a player currently on the roster.. but the newly acquired player.

3. It is difficult to make out the blur of the name, but it looks like H....U...K....N, or something like that...

I think his first name is John, least that what it says on the program. :chuckle:

mmalone
08-11-2009, 07:28 AM
The best part is our bad ass D will have 95 yards to intercept/sack/stop 'em versus the other team always starting from the 50.

it would be nice between the 1-20 instead of the 35-45 the d will love it.

then when we hold them and get the punt, we can start on the 30-40 instead of the 5-20 like we did a lot last year.. 3 times in the SB.

43Hitman
08-11-2009, 09:34 AM
You are so wrong its not even funny. Come be educated grasshopper.

1. The front office makes a trade the day before.

2. In superslow mo, they find it is NOT a player currently on the roster.. but the newly acquired player.

3. It is difficult to make out the blur of the name, but it looks like H....U...K....N, or something like that...

I think his first name is John, least that what it says on the program. :chuckle:

Long live the greatest of all time..we would have 10 rings by now if only he was still with us.....:crying02:

steelreserve
08-11-2009, 05:40 PM
Let's go back to this year's possible scenario...

... on our 45 yard line. We line up to punt and Sep BOOMs one. to the 5 yard line (60 yards... and yeah, he has been hitting em like that in training camp).

Not to be a dick, but if we were on our own 45 yard line, a 60-yard punt would land 5 yards deep in the end zone. Unless we played in the CFL.

But I get what you're saying. I don't think Berger did that bad of a job overall last year, but when he screwed up, it always seemed like it was at the worst possible time. Ernster was just horrible all around. It'll be good to have some confidence in that part of our game this year. With our defense the way it was last season, it was good enough to bail us out even when we didn't punt/cover well. If we can pin the opponents deep on top of that, we ought to be pretty near unstoppable.

Preacher
08-11-2009, 07:26 PM
Not to be a dick, but if we were on our own 45 yard line, a 60-yard punt would land 5 yards deep in the end zone. Unless we played in the CFL.

But I get what you're saying. I don't think Berger did that bad of a job overall last year, but when he screwed up, it always seemed like it was at the worst possible time. Ernster was just horrible all around. It'll be good to have some confidence in that part of our game this year. With our defense the way it was last season, it was good enough to bail us out even when we didn't punt/cover well. If we can pin the opponents deep on top of that, we ought to be pretty near unstoppable.


LOL... No, the punter is 8 yards behind the LOS... I factored that in!! :wink02:

And yeah, I had a lot more confidence in Berger than I did Ernster. WHen Berger had a pulled hamstring, and STILL punted... it showed a lot. Ernster on the other hand, well, your assessment is dead on!!

JackHammer
08-11-2009, 07:48 PM
The days of Josh Miller are coming back!!!

Preacher
08-11-2009, 08:03 PM
The days of Josh Miller are coming back!!!

I hope not... I remember a few shanks of his as well. He seemed to be hot or cold.

Psyychoward86
08-11-2009, 10:07 PM
You caught me! :wink02::chuckle::thumbsup:

lol...

steelreserve
08-12-2009, 12:50 AM
LOL... No, the punter is 8 yards behind the LOS... I factored that in!! :wink02:

And yeah, I had a lot more confidence in Berger than I did Ernster. WHen Berger had a pulled hamstring, and STILL punted... it showed a lot. Ernster on the other hand, well, your assessment is dead on!!

Nah, dude, the punter is 15 yards back, it's the field goal kicker that's 7-8 yards. If it was less than 10 yards for a punt, then you wouldn't hear about the problems of a short snap when kicking from your own goal line. So actually, I guess in the example you used from his own 45, he'd be kicking the ball 65 yards to get it to the enemy 5, but a net of 50. I'll put my slide rule away now.

Honestly, I don't think anyone liked having Ernster back there except maybe members of his immediate family. Berger is tough -- an Aussie Rules guy if I remember right.

Preacher
08-12-2009, 02:29 AM
Nah, dude, the punter is 15 yards back, it's the field goal kicker that's 7-8 yards. If it was less than 10 yards for a punt, then you wouldn't hear about the problems of a short snap when kicking from your own goal line. So actually, I guess in the example you used from his own 45, he'd be kicking the ball 65 yards to get it to the enemy 5, but a net of 50. I'll put my slide rule away now.

Honestly, I don't think anyone liked having Ernster back there except maybe members of his immediate family. Berger is tough -- an Aussie Rules guy if I remember right.

LOL... I forgot the punter was that far back. So now, what is the square root of... oh, nevermind! :chuckle:

Berger was an Aussie rules guy? Wow. that is some tough ball!!

mmalone
08-14-2009, 08:18 AM
:laughing: :wink:

Yes - I am VERY excited about DSep playing this season. His specialist is the coffin nail and I'm really looking forward to seeing our opponents pinned back! :tt03:

Maybe the game ball should go to DSep.....

stlrtruck
08-14-2009, 08:36 AM
I have one problem with DSep (don't now if it's against him or for him - help me figure it out).

A) He out punts the return team
B) The return team needs faster guys

mmalone
08-14-2009, 09:09 AM
I have one problem with DSep (don't now if it's against him or for him - help me figure it out).

A) He out punts the return team
B) The return team needs faster guys

B - Tune up the coverage speed to the new punter.....

Last year we basically flipped the 1st down marker 10 yards....

varmintjcl
08-14-2009, 09:28 AM
I have one problem with DSep (don't now if it's against him or for him - help me figure it out).

A) He out punts the return team
B) The return team needs faster guys

This is exactly what I was thinking, they must be expecting punts like last years since they couldn't get down there in time to stop the return.

SteelPower
08-14-2009, 10:00 AM
Faster coverage guys especially on the outsides is a must. Dan needs to keep booming them.

steelballs
08-14-2009, 10:30 AM
Sepulveda back on the field was a nice thing to see. After last year's punting debacle, it's nice to know that this part of the Steeler ST will no longer be a huge concern. Now, if the tackling would improve as much as the punting game has we're golden.

AllD
08-14-2009, 11:30 AM
The defense was getting close to his foot. He needs to speed it up a bit and the line needs to slow the D down a bit.

steeltheone
08-14-2009, 12:20 PM
I have his jersey...I think he wil be great!

ANDYMISIU
08-14-2009, 01:33 PM
Dan will be the biggest addition to this years team! Sweed, Mendenhall, Timmons, Wallace, Hood, Redman, there all fine and dandy. But when it comes to winning games, it will be Supulveda who makes the biggest difference.

Jackal
08-14-2009, 02:32 PM
This is exactly what I was thinking, they must be expecting punts like last years since they couldn't get down there in time to stop the return.

The way he boots them, we may need to put the coverage team on dirt bikes to get them down there fast enough.

HometownGal
08-14-2009, 03:02 PM
Danny looked awesome last night! :applaudit: He definitely is trump card and is going to be a tremendous asset to our ST's performance overall. WTG you sexy thang! :hatsoff: