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Brant Boyer’s Jets Special Teams Report

New York Jets v New York Giants Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images

Jets special teams coach Brant Boyer spoke to the media today and provided a progress report on many of the unit’s key players.

The Jets will have a new punter this year. Lachlan Edwards was not retained, and the team used a late round pick on Texas A&M’s Braden Mann. The coach says he is happy with the punter’s progress so far.

I have heard knowledgeable people talk about how underrated a good holder is in the success of kickers. I couldn’t tell you what makes a good holder, but I do believe it matters. It is good to hear that Mann is effective in the role.

The Jets also have a position battle at placekicker between incumbent Sam Ficken and former Cowboy Brett Maher. It sounds like this competition is too close to call.

In general I think the lack of preseason games is overrated, but I could see the kicking competition as an area where preseason games would be useful. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard about some kicker having a great camp who suddenly loses his accuracy once he’s in a stadium in a game situation, even in the relatively low pressure environment of preseason.

One might wonder whether a tie goes to the kicker with the stronger leg, Maher.

Boyer is also looking for a kickoff return man with Vyncint Smith out for the start of the season.

We can hope for the best here. I can’t tell you how many times I have had my heart broken by a rookie returner lacking ball security. This might be another area where the loss of preseason is meaningful. It’s very difficult if not impossible to simulate a return situation in practice.