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Friday, April 19 2019 @ 12:35 am ACST

Three Aussie Punters again for NFL 2008

North AmericaThe 2008 NFL season kicked off last weekend with the three former Australian Rules football players that competed in the previous season again starting. All three played in winning teams and got off to good starts. No additional AFL players made the transition this year, although rumors that current players Anthony Rocca, Dustin Fletcher and Brendan Fevola among others, hope to have the option at the end of their careers.

Former player with Old Brighton in the VAFA, Matt McBriar playing for the Dallas Cowboys had two punts with a 48.5 yard average, a 37 yard net average and a longest punt of 52 yards in their 28-10 win.

Former Geelong captain Ben Graham playing for the New York Jets had 6 punts with a 45.3 yard average, a 39 yard net average and a longest punt of 56 yards in his team’s 20-14 point win. Graham was used to kick off for the first time as well when kicker Mike Nugent was injured. Graham’s kick after their go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter was not pretty and travelled 43 yards.

Former Collingwood and North Melbourne forward Sav Rocca had 4 punts (three of his punts were inside 20) with an average of 46.5 yards, a net average of 42 yards and a longest punt of 59 yards in the Philadelphia Eagles 38-3 win.

The continued presence of these former Australian footballers punting for NFL teams continues to slowly increase the knowledge of the average US sports fan of Australian Rules football. And the drop punt continues to become part of the game in a legacy left largely by Darren Bennett but reinforced by the presence of the three current Aussie punters.

A good article from the Wall Street Journal on that front can be read here.

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