Bosher Most Affected by Lockout During Rookie Season

Bosher Most Affected by Lockout During Rookie Season

Jay Adams

Published June 26, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Perhaps one of the less-written-about storylines in professional football is the pressure a punter faces every time he steps out on the field.

Naturally, the position isn’t exactly written about all the time. A good punter is like a good offensive lineman: You only hear about him if he’s suddenly not so good, and if he’s good, he might as well be invisible.

When a team spends a draft pick on a punter, however, that pressure has got to increase exponentially.

Matt Bosher — drafted by the Falcons in the sixth round in 2011 out of Miami — posted some rough early results in 2011, with punting averages ranging in the low-to-mid 30s, and it didn’t take long for fans to call for Bosher to get the boot.

With the lockout last year canceling OTAs and minicamp, Bosher — like most rookies — was affected immensely, but special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong thinks it was the No. 1 reason why the rookie punter was slow out of the gate.

“He would have liked to avoid a slow start last year,” Armstrong told AtlantaFalcons.com, “but he suffered the most from the lack of OTAs and minicamp because we knew there were some things that we needed to address with him, but by the rules, we couldn’t get to him, we couldn’t address his issues, so we had to do it during the season.”

Once Armstrong got Bosher caught up, the effects started to show on the field as Bosher finished the season extremely strong. In the last six games of the regular season, Bosher averaged more than 50 yards per punt in every game except one, when he averaged 47.8.

Bosher finished his rookie season with a 42.7 yards-per-punt average, which put him at No. 30 in the league in the category, but his first portion of the season provided an unbalanced look at Bosher’s potential.

In 2012, Armstrong is looking to avoid the low numbers as he expects Bosher to continue to grow into a reliable leg for the Falcons.

“You’d like to see him start off with the same consistency that he finished the season with,” Armstrong said of Bosher’s progression heading into 2012. “I think he will grow. He’s become more knowledgable about his profession. He’s done a nice job here in the offseason with his work, so I think he’s preparing himself, because he wants to avoid a slow start.”

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