You have to be somebody to get a musical (if you call what she does music) shout-out from Nicki Minaj. So, Brad Wing is somebody. More importantly, he also happens to be a very good punter for the New York Giants.
Let’s talk about Wing as we near the end of our player-by-player profiles of the Giants’ 90-man roster.
2016 Season In Review
Measuring punters purely by statistics is tricky. Their numbers can be affected by the field position from which they are asked to punt, how often they are asked to punt, how well the players on the punt coverage team do their jobs, and other factors.
By pretty much any measure, though, Wing had an excellent 2016 season.
Wing averaged 46.2 yards per punt. Pure distance, though, is not the best way to judge a punter’s effectiveness. His net average of 40.9 yards per punt was also a career-best, and ninth in the league among punters with at least 50 attempts.
Wing hit 28 of his 93 punts (29.7 percent) inside the 20-yard line. That is actually down from 2016, when 33 of his 76 punts (43.4 percent) landed inside the 20. Perhaps, though, that is a function of where Wing was punting from. The only way to know for sure is to chart the yard line each of his punts came from. Eight of Wing’s 93 punts (7.9 percent) went for touchbacks.
2017 Season Outlook
When the Giants traded for Wing at the beginning of the 2015 season, they were hoping they had acquired a young guy who could be their punter for several seasons. With Wing, they appear to have done so.
There are still holes in the 26-year-old’s game. Mostly, Wing is still striving for the consistency that would put him among the league’s truly elite kickers. The 2017 season might see him take another step in that direction.
“He's got a tremendous work ethic,” said special teams coordinator Tom Quinn. “As his confidence grows and you could see the true ability come out, and he's got a lot of ability. He's very talented.”