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Packers All In on Vogel

Yes, this post reeks of the doldrums of the NFL offseason and not a huge pick-me-up on a Monday but humor me and discuss (please!).

A quick glance at the Green Bay Packers roster shows only one punter, rookie Justin Vogel.  Vogel was signed in early May and clearly impressed the team enough that they released incumbent Jake Schum in early June.

Schum was added very late during the preseason last year after the team surprisingly let go of Tim Masthay, who had been with the team for the previous six seasons.  After a slow start, Schum ended the season respectably considering that many questioned whether he would be able to handle kicking in the winter Wisconsin cold.  

That Vogel was added indicates that the Packers at least wanted competition for the punting duties in 2017.  Has that competition been won and is Vogel the team's clear choice this season?

Assuming Vogel hangs onto the job, he'll be the third different holder kicker Mason Crosby has had in the last three seasons.  Crosby didn't appear to miss a beat last year with Schum and it would appear as though he'll be fine with Vogel.  No real concern there, for now.

So the real test comes in how Vogel kicks in live game action.  Field position is at stake every time the punter takes a snap so that's priority number one.  Is it a good idea for the Packers to go "all in" on a rookie?  

The short answer is "probably not" but at least they're seemingly making their decision in June instead of August.  That can change if Vogel struggles and hopefully the Packers aren't having to make that determination a week before this next season starts.

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Fan friendly comments only: on Comments (11) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Handsback's picture

Vogel is the punter by default at this point. Now Schum cleared waivers and could be a contender during TC if he's healthy.

Vogel could be the guy but has to perform.

Nick Perry's picture

From what I've read Vogel excels at hangtime and pinning an opponent inside the 20. Last season at Miami he had a 43.8 YPP average, 33 of his 64 punts were fair caught, and 25 of his punts were inside the 20 with 2 touchbacks. He also had 20 punts for over 50 yards. From what I could see he's also been the placeholder on FG's. nfldraftscout.com had him as the #2 punter coming out for the draft

Jersey Al's picture

From the CHTV Draft Guide:

JUSTIN VOGEL, MIAMI (rSR)
Measurables: Height: 6’4” | Weight: 215 lbs.
2016 Stats: 64 punts (43.8 yd avg.), long of 63 yds, 25 inside 20 yard line

IN A NUT SHELL:
Vogel’s best punting season as a Miami Hurricane came in
his final season. A well-rounded punter prospect, Vogel
handled punting duties for the Hurricanes from 2014-2016,
in addition to handling kickoff duties in 2014. Prior to 2014,
Vogel was a backup at Florida, but redshirted and then
transferred. One of his strongest attributes is his consistency,
as he averaged over 40 yards per punt in all but two games
in 2016, and only had one game where he averaged less than
39 yards per punt. He finished the 2016 season averaging
43.8 yards per punt, the best season mark of his career. He
possesses great size for an NFL special teams coach to work
with, and is athletic enough to not be a liability as a tackler
on punt or kickoff coverage, in addition to being a run threat
on fake punts.

BEST GAME(S):
Vogel had a two game stretch early in the 2015 season,
against Cincinnati and Nebraska, where he averaged 52
yards per punt on ten punts. He also had one game in the
2014 season where he averaged 50.4 yards per punt. In
Miami’s 2016 matchup with North Carolina, Vogel came to
play, averaging 47.8 yards per punt on 5 punts with a long
of 57 yards.

Tundraboy's picture

Thanks. Now that's a summary.

croatpackfan's picture

That is excellent summary, from Al's point of view as well as from Vogel's point of view...

MIamicheesehead's picture

Great review. As a MIami fan I watched him at every game. Thank you for your review it is great. Fans tend to look at Average yards which are not always on the Punter. If the punter does what the team needs, he gets inside the 20 and fair catches. If your team needs you to punt from the 50 for the better of the team a good punter puts inside the 20 which may be 30 yards but best for the team. Vogel holds 3 out of 5 records at Miami for the best average per game (0ver 5 punts). He holds 3 spots with averages over 50 yeards.; He can punt deep if best for the team, but will always put the team first. Look at most college punters they line drive with no hang time for the extra yards.

Andrew Lloyd Peth's picture

This decision could make or break the entire season.

Just kidding.

PatrickGB's picture

With this offense who needs a punter except as a holder?
But seriously, field position and consistency are key. He has the tools for that.

Since '61's picture

I think that Vogel is a good prospect but let's see how he does through TC and the pre-season games. Since he is coming out of Miami I have a little concern over how he will handle punting during the winter games in Green Bay. The cold and the wind may be new experiences for him. We'll see. One step at a time. Thanks, Since '61

gr7070's picture

They're not all-in on him. It's a roster management decision.

They can (and presumably will) bring in added commission for the position.

Right now with Schum having health issues and a desire to look at as many athletes as possible it doesn't make a lot of sense to use two roster slots on P when they can bring in other players at more impactful positions.

CheesyTex's picture

Masthay?

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