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mesaSteeler
08-17-2009, 05:50 PM
Sepulveda's return is more vital to Steelers success than some think
August 17, 1:51 PM · Daniel Flickinger - Pittsburgh Steelers Examiner

The punter on any college or pro football team routinely finds himself on the wrong side of jokes from teammates and is usually taken for granted. Punters, after all, are supposed to be the ones that don’t have enough size, athletic ability, or decision making prowess to do anything else but “kick”.

But after last year’s disaster; Steelers players and fans are smarter than to take the punter for granted. Fans showed that on Thursday when they gave him a loud ovation after his name was announced. A full year of Mitch Berger and Paul Ernster’s embarrassingly short and shanked kicks will do that to you.

That’s why the Steelers are much better this year with the return of 2007 fourth-round draft pick Daniel Sepulveda.

Yes, that’s right.

The defending champions are even more dangerous this year because of a punter.

If your still one of those people thinking “big deal”, consider this:

With so many games last year where winning the field position battle was so important, it’s amazing the Steelers were able to win the super bowl with the great field position that was routinely given to the opposing offense. The consistent array of bad punts put a lot of pressure on the defense, especially because the Steelers offense was unable to move the ball out of its territory in so many instances.

Poor punts happened way too often last year.

With Sepulveda back and healthy, it won’t happen nearly as often this year.

The Steelers ranked ninth in the NFL in net punting average during his rookie season in 2008 at 37.9 yards per punt, but they lost him for the year on the second day of training camp in 2008. The team turned to Berger and Ernster last year but fell to 30th in the league in yards per punt and 25th in net average.

"I would say I'm a better kicker now, for sure," Sepulveda said last week. "This is the best I have punted in my life."

Sepulveda’s return will take some of that pressure off the defense and thus provide this team with yet another weapon.

If this season plays out similar to last year’s (which is conceivable considering there weren’t many roster changes) then the offense and the poor offensive line will be unable to move the ball some games, and the defense will once again have to play nearly flawless for the Steelers to win. It will be much easier for last year’s number one defense to do that when the opposing offense isn’t starting drives on the 40-yard line because of a bad punt.

"It’s nice to have a guy back there that can boom them”, defensive end Aaron Smith said.

“It puts the defense in a better position so we can do our job, and we are happy to have a quality kicker like Dan back”.

The Steelers must be better than last year if they want to repeat as super bowl champions. Now, if there were only a magic cure for the offensive line.

MORE ON SEPULVEDA:

- Not only is he a very good punter, he's also not afraid to dish out a few crushing blows as seen in this video.

- Sepulveda, out of Baylor, twice won the Ray Guy award which is given to the best collegiate punter.

- In his first game at Heinz Field last Thursday, Sepulveda averaged 43.8 yards on six punts and got a loud ovation from the crowd when his name was announced.

Copyright 2009 Examiner.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Author
Daniel Flickinger is an Examiner from Pittsburgh. You can see Daniel's articles at: "http://www.Examiner.com/x-14024-Pittsburgh-Steelers-Examiner"

steelreserve
08-17-2009, 06:09 PM
I really don't know why you don't see punters and kickers taken with low picks more often. A fourth-rounder is not much of a price to pay in order to have solid special teams for a decade.

Of course, as long as all the other teams keep not drafting specialists, that makes it easier for us to cherry-pick a good one if we need to. Keep it up, rest of the NFL! :thumbsup:

pepsyman1
08-17-2009, 06:33 PM
This article is dead on. The entire league is going to have to contend with going up against the best defense on a field that is 10 yards further for them than it was last year. Our defense did magic acts all year to recover from some of Berger's kicks.

The Lakelander
08-17-2009, 06:52 PM
He just needs to get it off his foot a tad faster.

steelreserve
08-17-2009, 06:55 PM
I don't think Berger did that bad overall ... but man, could he ever pick some bad times to mess up. Every time he decided to shank one, it was a knife in the back.

CaliStillersFan
08-17-2009, 07:26 PM
Are you kidding me? Any time Berger was punting, I couldn't watch. I bet we could have found a better punter from these forums. :) Thank god Sepulveda is back.

MACH1
08-17-2009, 07:40 PM
“It puts the defense in a better position so we can do our job, and we are happy to have a quality kicker like Dan back”. :huh:

I thought I read somewhere it was going to hurt our D. :rolleyes:

mmalone
08-17-2009, 07:50 PM
:huh:

I thought I read somewhere it was going to hurt our D. :rolleyes:

i think someone said that the coverage would not get down the field fast enough to cover the new ground made by the long punt.. ....

they said the coverage didnt have to run as far last year to stuff the runner because the punts were shorter.

so i guess this year we need faster players to get the coverage down field was the point...

i think thats what it was in a nutshell..

:coffee:

HometownGal
08-17-2009, 10:06 PM
i think someone said that the coverage would not get down the field fast enough to cover the new ground made by the long punt.. ....

they said the coverage didnt have to run as far last year to stuff the runner because the punts were shorter.

so i guess this year we need faster players to get the coverage down field was the point...

i think thats what it was in a nutshell..

:coffee:

So - giving an opponent 10-20 yards more on every punt is more beneficial how? :doh: As I remember, DSep's hang time was pretty good, so I really don't think we have anything to worry about there. :coffee:

Texasteel
08-17-2009, 10:17 PM
And to think, all these misguided people raving about Guy almost kicking to full length of the field. The fools.

steelpit
08-17-2009, 10:21 PM
Everyone cheering Sep's return are probably the same pepole complaining that we "wasted" a 4th rd draft pick 2 years ago.

I posted a "Tongue-in-cheek" observation that Sepulvida could actually hurt our defense because now the opponent will have more field to work with. Everyone says after we play a team that "Dinks and Dunks" that, that is the way to beat the Steelers -or that we have been exposed.

Longer field = a more tired defense so don't expect a #1 defense this year.

However I expect our offense to be much better so that our D won't have to be.

2007 Ben plus 2008 Defense = #7 baby!

43Hitman
08-17-2009, 11:40 PM
Everyone cheering Sep's return are probably the same pepole complaining that we "wasted" a 4th rd draft pick 2 years ago.

I posted a "Tongue-in-cheek" observation that Sepulvida could actually hurt our defense because now the opponent will have more field to work with. Everyone says after we play a team that "Dinks and Dunks" that, that is the way to beat the Steelers -or that we have been exposed.

Longer field = a more tired defense so don't expect a #1 defense this year.

However I expect our offense to be much better so that our D won't have to be.

2007 Ben plus 2008 Defense = #7 baby!

:huh:

MasterOfPuppets
08-18-2009, 01:05 AM
Longer field = a more tired defense so don't expect a #1 defense this year.!

yeah now the D will have to go further down the field to get to the line of scrimmage which will wear on them...:screwy:

X-Terminator
08-18-2009, 01:16 AM
I still fail to see the logic in this. So you'd rather go back to having Mitch Berger shank punts every game and have every opponents' drive start at the 35-40 yard line? That makes absolutely NO SENSE. Field position is absolutely critical in games, and I'd much rather have the Steelers starting drives at their 35 or 40 rather than constantly have to drive the length of the field to score.

sherlock
08-18-2009, 05:26 AM
All I know is that he`s such an improvement from last season that I`m starting to develop a man-crush on him! :laughing:

O Sensei
08-18-2009, 05:49 AM
Bailing the team out of poor field position, giving opposition a longer field to cover, pinning the opposition deep creating the opportunity for an aggressive D to create even more turnovers, potentially giving our offense a short field.....nahhhhhh, these punters don't mean nothing. Excuse me while I dance the proverbial Jig because we have a legit punter...for real.:drink:

Hammer67
08-18-2009, 07:56 AM
Everyone cheering Sep's return are probably the same pepole complaining that we "wasted" a 4th rd draft pick 2 years ago.

I posted a "Tongue-in-cheek" observation that Sepulvida could actually hurt our defense because now the opponent will have more field to work with. Everyone says after we play a team that "Dinks and Dunks" that, that is the way to beat the Steelers -or that we have been exposed.

Longer field = a more tired defense so don't expect a #1 defense this year.

However I expect our offense to be much better so that our D won't have to be.

2007 Ben plus 2008 Defense = #7 baby!

Actually, if the D goes 3 and out with the regularity they did last year...this point doesn't make sense.

deminutah
08-18-2009, 12:04 PM
Everyone cheering Sep's return are probably the same pepole complaining that we "wasted" a 4th rd draft pick 2 years ago.

I posted a "Tongue-in-cheek" observation that Sepulvida could actually hurt our defense because now the opponent will have more field to work with. Everyone says after we play a team that "Dinks and Dunks" that, that is the way to beat the Steelers -or that we have been exposed.

Longer field = a more tired defense so don't expect a #1 defense this year.

However I expect our offense to be much better so that our D won't have to be.

2007 Ben plus 2008 Defense = #7 baby!

I was worried you would post again when I saw the title of the thread. Can you please go away with your idiotic comments?????:banging:

The Lakelander
08-18-2009, 12:12 PM
Actually, if the D goes 3 and out with the regularity they did last year...this point doesn't make sense.

Hammer, I'm from Moon Township too! Class of '82.

When were you there?

Nice to see A.Q. getting his shot!

fansince'76
08-18-2009, 12:23 PM
Everyone cheering Sep's return are probably the same pepole complaining that we "wasted" a 4th rd draft pick 2 years ago.

Nice try, but not quite.

People went ballistic and called it a wasted pick when we drafted Sep. I find it hard to believe people are complaining about Sep after watching that season-long abortion we called a punting game last year.

http://forums.steelersfever.com/showthread.php?p=593494#post593494

Might want to put the broad brush away now. :coffee:

tony hipchest
08-18-2009, 05:43 PM
sounds like sepulveda is inhibiting his teamates from adequate practice... not only does he hurt our defense but he is hurting our special teams. :dang: (wexell twit)-

Gunners can't get work if Sepulveda keeps kicking ball over snow fence, across road, into abby courtyard

Of course, just exaggerating on Sepulveda .... only a little tho.

so how soon before heinz field starts playing elton johns "rocket man" over the PA everytime he comes out to punt? :chuckle:

AllD
08-18-2009, 06:34 PM
Sep is going to keep the opponents ST's honest. Now they have to spend more time game planning and adjusting rosters. He has to be worth 3-7 points per game.

deminutah
08-18-2009, 07:26 PM
Can't we just give the opposing team the ball on the 50 yd line every time??? That would make the field shorter and our defense wouldn't get worn out. I was talking to a friend who is an iggles fan and told him what steelidot said and his reaction was :jawdrop: