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Old 08-09-2009, 01:50 AM   #1
T Bradshaw
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Default Pittsburgh's secret weapon

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth/...et-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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Old 08-09-2009, 02:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: Pittsburgh's secret weapon

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!

(HTG... you gotta be excited about him playing this year... eh?)
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
BTW. . . let's not ask HTG about HER daydreams and Sep!

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


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!
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:32 PM   #4
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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!
Oh don't lie, you wish he was pinning you back...
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Pittsburgh's secret weapon

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.
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:56 PM   #6
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Oh don't lie, you wish he was pinning you back...
You caught me!
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Pittsburgh's secret weapon

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...
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Pittsburgh's secret weapon

hopefully Sepulveda doesn't choke again like he did on the 1 big punt of his career
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Pittsburgh's secret weapon

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.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Pittsburgh's secret weapon

i am glad to see Sepulveda back, i missed those arms oh yeah, and the punts werent bad either
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