The NFL is flooded with star players: elite quarterbacks, field stretching wide receivers, bone crushing linebackers, shutdown corners, and many other exhilarating play makers. One position however, that most people tend to overlook and understandably so is that of a Punter. No one wants to see their team’s punter because that can only mean a sputtering offense.
What most people do not realize is that a good punter can not only bail out that sputtering offense, but he can also set up your defense for a great series. What the Dolphins have been able to do that outside of Miami may go unnoticed, is set themselves up with a tremendous punter in Brandon Fields.
Fields just finished his 6th season with the Dolphins. A season that saw his highest yards average as well as net yards average. 2012 saw Fields punt each ball on average 50 yards. He also put opposing teams inside their own 20 yard line 29 times this season.
Fields is one of those dependable players that the coaches need not worry about on a week to week basis. He is often mistake free, even though we did see a dropped snap against the Patriots to begin their first meeting in Miami. Since joining the team in 2007 Fields has increased his averages each season. For a punter, 6 seasons into his career, he can still be considered growing.
In 2012, net punting yards average in the NFL places Fields at #6 with a difference of only 2 yards separating him from the top spot. Overall average yards puts Fields #1 in the NFL. Fields ranks #1 in touchbacks for the seasons and #11 for punts inside the opposing 20 yard line. These are both key stats for any punter to set up his defense to succeed.
When talking about any punter it is again important to remember that if your team is punting then obviously the offense is not doing what they need to. That being said, a team is built around all its members. Every team has to punt at some point or another, so why not have one of the best in the business if that team is you.
The Dolphins punted 74 times this season. To put that in perspective, Arizona punted a league high 112 times and the Giants punted a league low 58 times. This puts them pretty much in the middle of the pack. Fields on those punts totaled 3,715 yards while the low for the league is Zoltan Mesko at 2,585 yards over 60 punts.