Washington Redskins' Battle for Punter Remains Close

Rich TandlerSenior Analyst IAugust 26, 2008

There are those that think that Washington Redskins punter Derrick Frost saved his job on Saturday night by punting for a nice average in the 'Skins' dismal defeat at the hands of the Carolina Panthers.

It appeared, to them, that he got a leg up, so to speak, on rookie Durant Brooks by averaging 51.3 yards on his eight punts.

Not so fast.

To be sure, Frosty boomed his kicks. They traveled 50, 65, 46, 46, 49, 50, 40, 56, and 58 yards. With a performance like that, you have to give the job to the veteran, don't you?

Something tells me that Danny Smith wasn't as impressed with Frost's performance as the casual TV viewer might have been. As far as Frost's kicks went in one direction, the Panthers negated much of the yardage with returns in the other direction.

Jason Carter, to be specific, ran back seven of Frost's eight punts. His runbacks covered 4, 18, 10, 5, 8, 18, and 30 yards. One punt, the 56-yarder, went into the end zone for a touchback. The Panthers started inside the 20 zero times after Frost's punts.

That all adds up to a very pedestrian net of 37.1 yards a kick. That's not awful, just mediocre. It's not the kind of performance that forces a team to jettison a draft pick and go with the veteran.

That said, it's not like Brooks has been lighting it up in the net-yardage category either. He averaged 33.5 against the Colts and 33.8 against the Jets. That's at the bottom end of mediocre. It's not the kind of performance that will force a team to whack a veteran to keep a player just because he's a sixth-round draft pick.

The battle for the roster spot remains very close. I still have Brooks as a very slight favorite, but it would not surprise me in the least if Frost remained the team's punter.

Neither punter has distinguished himself in the preseason games. It's said that if you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks. It's starting to look like the same deal for the Redskins with their punters.