New York Giants' Positional Reviews: Special Teams

Tom Pennington

Looking at the New York Giants' special teams the real question right now revolves around the future of free-agent placekicker Lawrence Tynes.

For our final New York Giants' positional review, we will hit on the special teams. This is really a look at three players -- punter Steve Weatherford, placekicker Lawrence Tynes and long-snapper Zak DeOssie.

Steve Weatherford, Punter

Weatherford really is amazing. He came to the Giants never having averaged more than 43.8 yards per punt during the first five seasons of his career. He averaged 45.7 yards per punt with the Giants in 2011 and bettered that in 2012 with an outstanding 47.5 yards per punt average.

How has he improved his leg strength so much? Well, you try the Weatherford workout.


Weatherford finished eighth in the league in yards per punt despite never really having been considered a guy who boomed the ball. He was 11th in the league in percentage of punts inside the 20-yard line with 37.9 percent.

The Giants handed Weatherford a five-year, $12.75-million contract after the 2011 season, and he is certainly in the process of earning his money.

Lawrence Tynes, Placekicker

Tynes started the 2012 season kicking at a Pro Bowl level. He made 29 of his first 32 field-goal attempts, but made only 4-of-7 over the last five weeks of the season. He missed a 43-yarder in a 17-16 loss to the Washington Redskins, a 36-yarder the week after that against the New York Orleans Saints and a 30-yarder in a 34-0 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He finished 33-of-39 for the season. His 84.6 field-goal percentage was 18th in the league. There were 15 NFL kickers who did not miss from 30-39 yards. Tynes was 1-for-3 from beyond 50 yards, and there were nine NFL placekickers who made more 50+yard attempts than Tynes tried.

In terms of kickoffs, Tynes' touchback percentage of 25.5 percent placed the Giants 31st in the 32-team NFL. Tynes, 34, is a free agent.

Zak DeOssie, Long-snapper

DeOssie is a solid snapper and could probably continue in that role with the Giants for years to come. He is also outstanding in punt coverage, having made seven solo tackles in 2012. Nothing to worry about here.

2013 Outlook

The big question will be at placekicker. Tynes has obviously made a number of clutch, historic kicks in his six seasons with New York. His five-year, $7 million contract is up, however, and you wonder if the Giants will seek a kicker with a stronger leg. Considering that they are about $4 million over the salary cap for 2013 they may simply seek a less expensive one.

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