The NFL preseason is an opportunity for football players to get the rust off of them after a long offseason. This applies to punters, too, because even though they’re specialists and the one thing they do is something they can work on all year, there is a major difference between booting the ball on a field with no one around and kicking during a live NFL game.
But through the start of preseason, we’ve seen a few punters show absolutely zero signs that they’re working to get into game shape. Earlier this week, Buffalo Bills rookie punter and noted guy who is popular on the internet Matt Araiza lined up at his own 18-yard line and sent a ball into the opposite end zone for a remarkable 82-yard boot.
Not to be outdone, New Orleans Saints punter Blake Gillikin decided to get in on the fun. Gillikin and the Saints are playing the Green Bay Packers on Friday night, and during the third quarter, Gillikin absolutely ripped one 81 yards into the opposite end zone while Packers return man Amari Rodgers had to decide whether or not he was going to try and field this thing or just let it bounce for a touchback.
The longest punt in NFL history is 98 yards. It will be very hard to beat, but I have faith someone who punts in the NFL right now can do it.