In the regular season, not having to punt is good. In the preseason? Well, it’s still good, but it may raise some concerns about whether the punt team will be rusty heading into Week One.
The Seahawks didn’t punt at all in their 41-14 win over the Chargers in Week Two of the preseason, and they only punted once, in the fourth quarter, in their 34-6 win over the Bears the following week. Seahawks punter Jon Ryan said that Week Two preseason game was the first time in his career that he was never called on to punt for a whole game, and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll acknowledged that Ryan hasn’t had as many live reps as players like to get.
“He’s a little underworked right now. It’s a good thing,” Carroll said. “We’re getting plenty of work in practice. We have a really good punt team. We have a bunch of guys that have played a lot together, so we have a lot of confidence in the whole mechanics of the snap and all that kind of stuff. It’s an experienced group, and we know they know how to play. All in all, we’ll take it this way.”
The fourth and final week of the preseason is so utterly meaningless that if the Seahawks don’t need to punt tonight against the Raiders, they might just punt on third down simply to get their punt unit some live game action. When they open the regular season a week from tonight against the Packers, they’d love to have Ryan do nothing more than hold on extra points.