Numbers Don’t Tell Koch’s Story

Punter Sam Koch is a vital part of the Ravens’ weekly field position battle.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

Sam Koch may be in the middle of the pack when it comes to net yardage of NFL punters, but his value to the Ravens is unquestioned.
 
Although he is ranked 13th in the league with a 39.1-yard net average per punt, Koch is excelling in the field position battle.
 
“It’s not just about the numbers,” Koch said.  “I think as a unit, we’re having a good year.  My focus is just to go out there and do what’s best for the team.  Sometimes, that means you’re looking more for positioning than yardage.  If that’s the case, that’s what I’ll do.”
 
Case in point: In the fourth quarter of a 48-3 win over the Detroit Lions, the Ravens needed a short kick from the Detroit 41-yard line to pin their opponents deep.
 
Koch delivered a perfect punt down to the Lions’ 3-yard line that fell dead near the left corner of the end zone.
 
Detroit only managed 20 yards on their next series before turning it over on downs. Three plays after regaining possession, quarterback Troy Smith ran 15 yards for a touchdown.
 
Koch can boom a kick if he needs to.  In unpredictable conditions at Green Bay (Dec. 7), Koch’s first two punts traveled 51 and 53 yards.  He averaged a season-high 49.8 yards on five punts at Cincinnati (Nov. 8).
 
“Some of the distance situations, he’s got a few more touchbacks than he’d like to, but those are balls that he really hit well that just didn’t bounce right or didn’t get quite wide enough,” said special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg a few weeks ago.  “It’s something he works on every Wednesday and Thursday, is trying to get those balls in the right direction. We have a lot of confidence in Sam. I think Sam is actually hitting the ball as well as he’s hit it since I’ve been here.”

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