In 2020 the image of JK Scott running side by side with a Jaguars punt returner without making a tackle was arguably the second most cringeworthy play of the Packers regular season. If you agree with that argument you probably also have his sideline dance against the Eagles punt returner as the worst play. Neither opponent highlight real moment involved an attempt to make a tackle by Scott. He was the NFL equivalent of a bullfighter, missing only a red cape.
In the 2020 NFC Championship game his first punt traveled 38 yards and came down at the 27 yard line. That is a decent punt for a high school playoff game but not the NFC Championship. In the Packers first playoff game against the Rams, Scott’s first punt went 37 yards and was downed at the opponent’s 21 yard line. When your job amounts to three punts a game you can’t be less than mediocre 1/3 of the time you are on the field. When I heard that he was taken out of last week’s preseason game due to a cramp, I wondered if there was more to the decision. His last punt as a Packer went for 56 yards to the three yard line, but out-kicked his coverage and gave up an 18 yard return for a net of 38 yards. He was the holder on the missed field goal, perhaps that error was also partly his fault. Packer fans should feel relief tonight. The screaming at his flailing tackles, his shank kicks and slow release are over. Three years of punting roller coaster results are in the past. Bring on the NFL’s highest gross punter for 2020.
The track record for the Packers new punter, Corey Bojorquez, is good for punting distance, but he allowed a high number to sail into the end zone. Some stories are reporting his great improvement this preseason but those numbers are inflated by kicking in Denver. Still, the Packers recognized a failed draft pick, cut him loose, and spent draft capital to improve special teams. This is a move, both in recognition and in response that bodes well for the future. Let’s hope the improved Special Teams future starts in New Orleans, or Dallas as coach Sean Payton forecast yesterday due to the current flooding in the gulf states.