2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Anger moves toward proving his worth with Jaguars

    2012-05-07 04:30

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By MARK LONG
AP Sports Writer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Before third-round draft pick Bryan Anger even arrived in Jacksonville, the Jaguars eliminated all competition for the team's punting job.

After three days of rookie camp, it looks like a sound decision.

Anger averaged about 5 seconds of hang time during the camp, showing why the Jaguars used an early round pick on a special teams player. Whether it changes public perception remains to be seen.

The Jaguars were widely criticized for drafting Anger with the 70th overall pick, with many questioning why a team coming off a 5-11 season and seemingly needing more talent and depth on both sides of the ball would spend a third-rounder at a position that typically gets on the field six or seven times a game.

General manager Gene Smith and coach Mike Mularkey defended the pick as best they could. Terry McDonough, the team's personnel director, even challenged reporters to compare Anger to other third-round draft picks in four years and see who has been more productive.

Anger, though, did the most to justify the selection in camp. Not only did he have the all-important hang time, he showed he has distance and direction - little things that can mean a lot in close games.

``They believe I can do the job, and I believe I can do the job,'' Anger said Sunday. ``It's a great environment to excel.''

Although Anger was impressive, he was the first to acknowledge that his performance came in nearly perfect weather, without a live rush and far removed from a pressure situation.

Nonetheless, Mularkey watched every kick.

``Rarely do you have a guy that kicks it that far that can hang it for that long,'' Mularkey said. ``It's either a trajectory shot that is right down the field and returnable in most cases. But rarely do you see ones that can be kicked that far and hang that high where you can actually go down and defend the return. That's what I see.''

The Jaguars lost a game last season because of punting problems. Veteran Matt Turk had a 22-yarder late against Cincinnati, setting up the winning score.

Jacksonville cut Turk two days later and signed veteran Nick Harris off the street. Harris was an improvement, but still ranked 23rd in net punting. The Jags were so confident in Anger that they waived Harris and fellow punter Spencer Lanning a day after drafting him.

``It's always a good atmosphere to coming into when you come in with the coaches and the front office behind you,'' Anger said.

Anger has no secrets for his success.

He grew up playing soccer, baseball, basketball and football in Southern California. He settled on football and basketball in high school, but didn't start punting until a spontaneous few minutes at a Chris Sailer kicking camp. Anger went to the camp to hone his place-kicking skills before his junior year of high school.

In the final 15 minutes of the camp, Anger decided to punt a few.

``Chris made some adjustments and told me that day to stop kicking, stop everything else and start punting because it's going to be your future,'' Anger said. ``After that, everything took off.''

He was one of the top-rated punters coming out of Camarillo High and chose California over Stanford. He averaged 43.5 yards a punt in college despite being asked to make rugby-style kicks his final two seasons.

He started shooting up draft boards after averaging 60 yards a punt in the East-West Shrine Game in January. But few people, not even Anger, expected him to be drafted higher than any punter since the Chicago Bears took Todd Sauerbrun in the second round (56th overall pick) in 1995.

``I wasn't sure where I would go,'' Anger said. ``I knew there was a slim chance I go could go in the third round, but I had no idea. Then I got the call.''

The pick was considered one of the oddest of the draft. Television analysts mocked it, and even satire magazine The Onion published a spoof with a fake quote from Anger saying, ``I will punt the Jaguars to greatness.''

``It just comes with the territory of kickers and punters,'' Anger said. ``People are always going to question it. People who know in this organization and others believe it's a great pick. I'm looking forward to going in and establishing myself this first year.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Aldon SmithApr 17 09:32p

The San Francisco 49ers do not plan on releasing LB Aldon Smith this offseason. Smith is expected to be suspended at the beginning of the season, but the length [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 17 08:52p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson (knee) said he expects to receive medical clearance to resume football activities in the near future. He underwent knee surgery in January but [ More ]

Sebastian VollmerApr 17 08:42p

New England Patriots OG Logan Mankins said OT Sebastian Vollmer (leg) has looked good this offseason while he recovers from the broken leg he suffered during the 2013 season.

Chris SneeApr 17 07:32p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (hip, elbow) is expected to participate when offseason workouts begin next week even though he is not 100 percent.

Rolando McClainApr 17 06:02p

The Baltimore Ravens reinstated LB Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list Thursday, April 17.

Russell AllenApr 17 05:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen, WR Jabin Sambrano and DEs Will Pericak and D'Aundre Reed Thursday, April 17.

Chad JohnsonApr 17 02:22p

Free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League Thursday, April 17.

Brian CushingApr 17 01:32p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) was medically cleared Thursday, April 17.

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group