Saturday, September 3, 2011
Out of Dodge
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The New York Giants have released second year punter Matt Dodge, the team's former seventh round pick in the 2010 NFL draft.
Dodge will forever be remembered for his part in the "Miracle at the New Meadowlands." Despite warnings from the Giants coaching staff to keep the ball out of the hands of Philadelphia returner Desean Jackson, Dodge inexplicably booted the ball to the league's most prolific returner who high stepped his way for the winning score as time expired. Big Blue's Week 15 meltdown was more a product of their defense providing no answers for a running and gunning Michael Vick, but Dodge shouldered the blame for the late game collapse. Deserved or not, Dodge was labeled the "goat" a punching bag for pundits and fans.
The Giants have announced that former New York Jet Steve Weatherford has won the starting job. Weatherford committed a special teams gaffe of his own in a Week eight contest between the Jets and Packers. In the first quarter of the game, on 4th and 18 from the Jets 20 yard line, Weatherford elected to forgo the punt and dashed towards the sideline diving for the first down marker. Packers coach Mike McCarthy challenged the spot of the ball and replays indicated Weatherford stepped out shy of the first down. The Packers would gain possession converting a field goal en route to shutting out the Jets 9-0.
The Giants can only hope that 2011 will bring them improved special teams play, an area that haunted Big Blue a season ago.