2014 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

Deone BucannonJul 24 11:32a

Arizona Cardinals S Deone Bucannon was not dropped into the starting lineup during offseason workouts, as the team has faith in FS Tony Jefferson and FS Rashad Johnson. He [ More ]

Ray RiceJul 24 11:31a

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice will be suspended for the first two games of the season, according to sources. The announcement is expected Thursday, July 24.

Blake BortlesJul 24 11:22a

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' lower-body mechanics likely will be revised. Bortles' flaw has been over-reliance on his right arm when throwing; he doesn't use his legs enough. A [ More ]

Mikel LeshoureJul 24 11:14a

Detroit Lions RB Mikel Leshoure is currently believed to be the fourth tailback on the club behind RBs Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick heading into training camp [ More ]

Justin BlackmonJul 24 10:53a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was arrested for possession of marijuana Wednesday, July 23, in Oklahoma.

Jordan PalmerJul 24 10:52a

Chicago Bears QB Jordan Palmer still has the first shot at winning the backup quarterback job, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

R. Griffin IIIJul 24 10:22a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III's designed running plays might be 'few and far between,' according to head coach Jay Gruden. He still has the green light to scramble [ More ]

Daniel FellsJul 24 09:42a

New York Giants TE Daniel Fells has received the first snap in 11-on-11 drills during the team's two days in training camp. Kellen Davis and Adrien Robinson have [ More ]

Ahmad BradshawJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) has been cleared to practice. Bradshaw is an RB4, but he could be worth more if Trent Richardson fails to produce again.

Roddy WhiteJul 24 08:33a

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White signed a four-year extension with the team that will keep him under team control for the next five years, according to sources.

Donald ThomasJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (hip) and OG Donald Thomas (quadriceps, biceps) have been cleared to practice.

Josh GordonJul 24 08:23a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will have his appeal hearing for his one-year suspension Aug. 1.

Greg OlsenJul 24 01:43a

Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen said he is tired of hearing criticism about Carolina's new receiving corps, which is largely made up of journeymen and unproven commodities. Olsen added [ More ]

Aldon SmithJul 24 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith is expected to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in the near future, which likely would lead to a decision on any discipline for Smith.

Anthony BarrJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr was with the team for just a few days during offseason workouts due to NFL rules. Head coach Mike Zimmer is eager to see [ More ]

Sharrif FloydJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd had a good offseason, but head coach Mike Zimmer thinks the defensive tackle is trying to be too fine. 'Sharrif has a lot of [ More ]

C. PattersonJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson will remain on kickoff returns despite an expanded role in the offense this season. 'We want our best players to get their hands on [ More ]

Montell OwensJul 23 11:23p

Detroit Lions FB Montell Owens has company, as the team will employ a more traditional fullback in the offense. They signed FB Jed Collins for the role. Owens is [ More ]

Harrison SmithJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings safeties Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo will be battling during training camp and the preseason for the starting job opposite FS Harrison Smith. 'That will be interesting, [ More ]

Matt CasselJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings QBs Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Cassel saw a majority of the snaps during spring workouts, but QB Christian Ponder has a chance to start, and head coach [ More ]

Chad GreenwayJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Chad Greenway could be used as the starting middle linebacker, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. 'It's a possibility. We keep working him in there. We're [ More ]

Troy NiklasJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (hand) has been cleared to participate in training camp, and was working Wednesday, July 23.

Dan WilliamsJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals NT Dan Williams will open training camp as the team's starting nose tackle with NT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) list.

Johnny ManzielJul 23 10:23p

Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine thinks QB Johnny Manziel needs to increase dedication to earn the starting job. 'I think he knows that in order to compete well, [ More ]

Theo RiddickJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick has the chance to break into the rotation at tailback, and he has drawn considerable praise from his teammates and coaches for his development [ More ]

Joique BellJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (nee) missed most of the offseason due to a knee injury, although he has said his condition is minor and he expects to be [ More ]

Jed CollinsJul 23 10:23p

The Detroit Lions are re-incorporating the traditional fullback into their new offensive scheme this season, and that's why they went out and signed FB Jed Collins.

Cheta OzougwuJul 23 07:23p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) cleared waivers and was transferred to the Saints' Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, July 23.

Billy WinnJul 23 06:53p

The Cleveland Browns placed OL Chris Faulk (undisclosed), DE Billy Winn (undisclosed) and LB Tank Carder (undisclosed) on the non-football injury list Wednesday, July 23.

Kyle OrtonJul 23 06:33p

Free-agent QB Kyle Orton (Cowboys) does not want to retire and wants to play in 2014, according to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Conner VernonJul 23 06:23p

The Cleveland Browns placed CB Royce Adams, LB Brandon Magee and WR Conner Vernon on the no-recall waivers list Wednesday, July 23.

Terrance WestJul 23 06:23p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West (undisclosed) said on his Twitter page that he passed his conditioning test and people need to 'stop making up your [ 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