Less than a season after pitching in the World Series clincher against the Cardinals, John Lackey has been traded from the Red Sox to St. Louis at the trade deadline in exchange for Allen Craig. (Boston Globe) MLB Trade Deadline: Red Sox Trade John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for Allen Craig (Photo courtesy of Greg Fiume/Getty Images) Red Sox Trade Felix Doubront to Chicago Cubs Jon Lester Jon Lester Trade Rumors: Lester Scratched from Wednesday Start Jon Lester before Tuesday night's game at Fenway Park. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Trading Jon Lester Could Ignite a Red Sox Dynasty

2012 Patriots Special Teams Preview: Kickers, Punters, Long Snappers, Oh My!

Stephen Gostkowski and Zoltan Mesko

Our position-by-position Patriots preview continues with special teams. The Patriots have been blessed with little turnover over the last few years at special teams, and there have been no significant personnel changes this offseason. So, without further ado, let’s reintroduce you to some familiar faces at special teams.

Read: Other 2012 Patriots Previews

Kickers

Stephen Gostkowski

Bill Belichick has stayed the course with Gostkowski since drafting the him in the fourth round in 2006, despite accuracy problems in his rookie season, a season ending injury in 2010, and the cheapening of the position due to kickoffs being moved up to the 35-yard-line last year. The faith paid off, as the Memphis product posted his highest accuracy rate since his 2008 Pro-Bowl campaign in his first year back from a torn quadriceps. Gostkowski is signed through 2014, and the starting kicker spot appears to be in good hands.

Chris Koepplin

The U-Mass product signed with the Patriots as an undrafted rookie last training camp, but was cut at the end of preseason. Koepplin again signed with the Patriots last month, and is a candidate for a spot on the practice squad.

Punter

Zoltan Mesko

Mesko showed no signs of a sophomore slump last season, upping his average yard per punt from 43.2 to 46.5. The Michigan graduate is entering the second-to-last season of his contract, so another solid campaign should get Coach Belichick to sign him to an extension.

Long Snapper

Danny Aiken

There aren’t any statistics for long snappers, but from what I saw on TV, Aiken’s snaps were a significant improvement over those from Mike Katula and Jake Ingram before him. He is entering his second season, and has no competition in training camp.

The position previews continue on Monday with corners and safeties.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Discussion

No comments for “2012 Patriots Special Teams Preview: Kickers, Punters, Long Snappers, Oh My!”

Post a comment