Today is a 'Weatherford Wednesday,' which makes it somehow appropriate that it is time for our player profile of New York Giants' punter Steve Weatherford. So, let's take a look at the Weatherford as we near the end of of our series of player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster that will report to Giants' training camp next week.
2013 Season In Review
Truth is, no one really cares about the type of season Weatherford had individually in 2013. What anyone who follows the Giants remembers is that an incredible three of Weatherford's punts were returned for touchdowns, and that the Giants' punt coverage overall was abominable. The Giants tied with the Redskins for most punt return yardage allowed, with 655 yards. They gave up 13.6 yards per punt return.
Did that have anything to do with the quality of Weatherford's punts? Maybe. Maybe not. Injuries and a roster that simply wasn't talented enough left the Giants with either inexperienced young players or veterans unfamiliar with special teams roles (like Brandon Jacobs) trying to cover kicks. The Giants were even desperate enough at one point to try defensive end Damontre Moore as a gunner on punt coverage. That, simply, was never going to work.
Weatherford averaged 46.9 yards per punt with a net average of 38.2 yards. Weatherford punted 91 times, second-most in the league. He dropped 25 of those punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line. If there is a number that could be criticized, Weatherford had only 17 punts fair-caught, placing him 23rd in the league. It is, however, impossible to know if that was because of the quality of the punts or because teams knew the Giants couldn't cover, anyway, and took more shots at returns.
2014 Season Outlook
There is no reason to think Weatherford won't continue to kick the ball well. Anyone who pays attention knows how hard he works and how well he takes care of his body. Let's just hope the Giants do a better job of tackling the guys who catch Weatherford's punts this season.