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 Punter Sam Martin blooms into NFL's No 2 punter 
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Post Punter Sam Martin blooms into NFL's No 2 punter
Crappy draft pick indeed (yes, I know its WAY too early, but it is nice to see him at #2)

MLive wrote:
Detroit Lions punter Sam Martin learns to trust his quick release, blooms into NFL's No. 2 punter

By Kyle Meinke | kmeinke@mlive.com
on October 09, 2013 at 9:13 AM,
updated October 09, 2013 at 10:11 AM

ALLEN PARK -- Not many punters get drafted, and fewer yet who are drafted before the sixth round.

The Detroit Lions grabbed Sam Martin in the fifth round this year, and he's proving with one moonshot after another that he was worth the pick. The rookie already ranks second in the NFL in punting.

My, how far he's come since Week 1.

Martin averaged just 38.0 yards on four attempts against the Vikings, with one punt traveling just 29 yards and another 33.

He says now he was simply pressing.

"I was antsy," Martin said. "I wanted to hit a bomb and just got ahead of myself. Just trying to kill it rather than trusting my fundamentals and my coverage team, and just hitting that easy ball that's effective."

Martin actually has a naturally quick get-off time of about 1.9 seconds from snap to contact. Anything faster than 1.9 seconds is considered fast, anything slower than 2.1 is slow and the league average is around 2.03 or 2.04 seconds.

Once Martin learned he didn't have to rush, and became more comfortable in his natural mechanics, his powerful right leg took over.

He's now averaging 49.5 yards per attempt, which trails only Miami's Brandon Fields at 50.6. His best game came against Washington, when he launched a team-record 72-yard blast and averaged 52.5 yards on six attempts.

Martin was named NFC special teams player of the week for the effort, the first Lions punter to win the award in 20 years.

"My comfortable get-off time is more than fast enough, which I've come to realize," he said.

Martin faced heightened expectations upon his arrival, given the fifth-round pick that was used to obtain him, and he's seemingly exceeded them.

"I don't want to say that, because I set really high goals for myself," he said. "Am I happy with where I'm at? Yeah -- but I think I can be better.

"I'm second right now, and my goal is to be first. That's just how I am."

Martin singled out his "going-in punts" -- attempts where he tries to stick the ball inside the 10-yard line -- as an area for improvement.

He sent two into the end zone against Green Bay after reading the wind wrong.

"That's a 20-yard return for nothing," he said. "Those balls are a little harder to control because they're end-over-end, so the wind controls the ball a little more and in Green Bay there was a funky shelf or something. I felt like the wind was in my face, and then they get up in the air and just take off.

"I would definitely say it's more of an experience thing."

Experience will come in time, but for now he has the tools and they've helped him become one of the NFL's finest punters just five games into his career.

Does Martin feel like he's validated the Lions' decision to draft him so highly?

"I would hope so," he said. "I would like that to be the case, but at the same time, I'm here to help the team and make the coaches and the (front) office happy, and if that's what I'm doing, whether it justifies my draft pick or not, then I think I'm doing all right.

"I hope the fans are little more happy about it now."

NFL's top five punters
1. Brandon Fields (Dolphins) 50.6
2. Sam Martin (Lions) 49.5
3. Brad Nortman (Panthers) 49.2
4. Marquette King (Raiders) 48.8
5. Andy Lee (49ers) 48.7

http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf/20 ... rti_1.html

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October 9th, 2013, 1:07 pm
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Post Re: Punter Sam Martin blooms into NFL's No 2 punter
i read this article earlier also. really its a meaningless article bc who declares the leagues best or 2nd best punter 5 weeks into the season? i will agee that Martin is a clear upgrade over what we ve had at punter for probably the past 10 years at minimum with legitimate power and hang time. i still think martin AND the punting unit need to get better at pinning teams deep but Martin has done some impressive things putting big time returners like Hester/Peterson trapped against the sideline on punts and his kickoffs are phenomenol with guys returning vs the lions at risk of being tackled inside the 15.


October 9th, 2013, 9:18 pm
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Post Re: Punter Sam Martin blooms into NFL's No 2 punter
The Legend wrote:
i read this article earlier also. really its a meaningless article bc who declares the leagues best or 2nd best punter 5 weeks into the season? i will agee that Martin is a clear upgrade over what we ve had at punter for probably the past 10 years at minimum with legitimate power and hang time. i still think martin AND the punting unit need to get better at pinning teams deep but Martin has done some impressive things putting big time returners like Hester/Peterson trapped against the sideline on punts and his kickoffs are phenomenol with guys returning vs the lions at risk of being tackled inside the 15.


Yeah, he has some things to work on. But I think at this point he more than validated the pick. I didn't really know him or what he could do when the Lions drafted him, but it was obvious they needed a punter. With his being able to kickoff and put the ball into the seats if he wants to, that's just icing on the cake.

Wjb would never have admitted to being wrong about his guy, but he certainly was pissed when the picked him and kept going on and on about how they probably could have gotten him later in the draft. Well, if our scouting department ranked the guy as a fifth rounder, I HAVE to think some other teams had him on their radar as well.

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October 9th, 2013, 10:01 pm
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Post Re: Punter Sam Martin blooms into NFL's No 2 punter
What will really be funny is if he's still punting for them 10 years from now. It's not even that easy to find good a punter, most teams consistently year after year try new guys. If Martin keeps improving a 5th rounder will be a hell of a bargain. Even the Patriots drafted a punter in the 5th round just 3 years ago, though I do hope it works out better with Martin than it did with Mesko in NE.


October 9th, 2013, 11:27 pm
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Post Re: Punter Sam Martin blooms into NFL's No 2 punter
rao wrote:
What will really be funny is if he's still punting for them 10 years from now. It's not even that easy to find good a punter, most teams consistently year after year try new guys. If Martin keeps improving a 5th rounder will be a hell of a bargain. Even the Patriots drafted a punter in the 5th round just 3 years ago, though I do hope it works out better with Martin than it did with Mesko in NE.


i dont think mesko was let go bc of performance, he was nearing the end or was at the end of his rookie deal and they had found a good undrafted punter in ryan allen and figured why pay mesko 1.5 million when allen can do it for 450k? mesko was snatched up quick. just the way the pats operate i guess


October 10th, 2013, 9:06 am
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Post Re: Punter Sam Martin blooms into NFL's No 2 punter
The Legend wrote:
rao wrote:
What will really be funny is if he's still punting for them 10 years from now. It's not even that easy to find good a punter, most teams consistently year after year try new guys. If Martin keeps improving a 5th rounder will be a hell of a bargain. Even the Patriots drafted a punter in the 5th round just 3 years ago, though I do hope it works out better with Martin than it did with Mesko in NE.


i dont think mesko was let go bc of performance, he was nearing the end or was at the end of his rookie deal and they had found a good undrafted punter in ryan allen and figured why pay mesko 1.5 million when allen can do it for 450k? mesko was snatched up quick. just the way the pats operate i guess


And wjb would argue that the Lions could have used that 5th round pick for someone else at a position of need, and then drafted Ryan Allen in the 7th, or signed him as a UDFA.

He would never admit he was wrong on that subject. Never.

I will admit that when they picked Martin, I was scratching my head too. I knew they needed a punter, but I wasn't sure that using a fifth rounder was smart....particularly for a guy from a smaller school like App. State.

It was a bold move that seems like it will pay off.

Now if only the Lions could hit on a few players in the draft during rounds 2-4 at some other positions.

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October 10th, 2013, 9:19 am
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Post Re: Punter Sam Martin blooms into NFL's No 2 punter
the one thing to remember when talking about Martin taken in the 5th is, it was the LAST pick of the 5th ( a comp pick I believe). He might as well have been a 6th rd pick. Thats right around when kickers and punters start getting picked up. If it was a reach, it was a very minute one.

It was a decent move and im glad we are getting SOME production out of a later pick. It's a nice change!

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October 10th, 2013, 9:25 am
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Post Re: Punter Sam Martin blooms into NFL's No 2 punter
Its silly to be critical of taking a guy in rd 5 who works out and fills the role you picked him for. Who was the last rd 5 pick for the Lions who did that?

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October 10th, 2013, 8:58 pm
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Post Re: Punter Sam Martin blooms into NFL's No 2 punter
The Legend wrote:
rao wrote:
What will really be funny is if he's still punting for them 10 years from now. It's not even that easy to find good a punter, most teams consistently year after year try new guys. If Martin keeps improving a 5th rounder will be a hell of a bargain. Even the Patriots drafted a punter in the 5th round just 3 years ago, though I do hope it works out better with Martin than it did with Mesko in NE.


i dont think mesko was let go bc of performance, he was nearing the end or was at the end of his rookie deal and they had found a good undrafted punter in ryan allen and figured why pay mesko 1.5 million when allen can do it for 450k? mesko was snatched up quick. just the way the pats operate i guess


I hope your right about Mesko. I just saw he wasn't with NE and assumed he was playing bad, but I really can't say I follow punters enough to know. Always nice to see a UofM player doing well in the NFL.


October 10th, 2013, 9:26 pm
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Post Re: Punter Sam Martin blooms into NFL's No 2 punter

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October 14th, 2013, 1:37 pm
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Post Re: Punter Sam Martin blooms into NFL's No 2 punter
Actually the Lions had him graded as a 6th round pick, but when the Vikings picked the other punter, they felt they had to move. I know a lot of us scratched out heads in the chat room, but his performance so far has validated it. Even the scary returners we face aren't getting much to work with. He was the biggest addition to the ST unit and it's turned that unit around. Switching field positions on a 3 and out isn't really a concern lately.


October 14th, 2013, 2:07 pm
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Post Re: Punter Sam Martin blooms into NFL's No 2 punter
jrd66 wrote:
Its silly to be critical of taking a guy in rd 5 who works out and fills the role you picked him for. Who was the last rd 5 pick for the Lions who did that?


FB Jerome Felton (2008 I believe), maybe Mike McMahon if you like running QBs... :)

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October 14th, 2013, 2:34 pm
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Post Re: Punter Sam Martin blooms into NFL's No 2 punter
njroar wrote:
Actually the Lions had him graded as a 6th round pick, but when the Vikings picked the other punter, they felt they had to move. I know a lot of us scratched out heads in the chat room, but his performance so far has validated it. Even the scary returners we face aren't getting much to work with. He was the biggest addition to the ST unit and it's turned that unit around. Switching field positions on a 3 and out isn't really a concern lately.


he s been an absolutely huge upgrade, i had been wanting them to draft a punter since 2004. hated nick harris, guy had no leg strength and then would just boot it out the back of the end zone when we re trying to pin em deep. martins kickoffs also are impressive, big upgrade over the last couple years of hanson. when the lions took martin i had no idea who he was, since he went to app st., was hoping for ryan allen or brad wing


October 14th, 2013, 5:20 pm
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Post Re: Punter Sam Martin blooms into NFL's No 2 punter
thelomasbrowns wrote:

I was pissed when we made the pick. I guess I'll eat some crow for that. Martin has been great

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October 15th, 2013, 12:49 pm
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Post Re: Punter Sam Martin blooms into NFL's No 2 punter
Though he did pick a hell of a time for his worst punt of the season

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October 20th, 2013, 4:55 pm
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