Jets Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 17th, 2008 at 10:09 am and is filed under Football, Jets Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

After one too many whiffed punts, Mangini has sent Ben Graham packing.  The Aussie looked bad Sunday against the Patriots and with the Jets having a terrible time getting their special teams’ act together I’m guessing the last thing Mangini wanted to worry about was crappy punting.  I understand where he’s coming from but I never got to see Ben Graham’s individuality utilized on the field.

When the Jets picked him up, Graham was coming off of an incredible career in Aussie Rules Football.  It was this experience the Jets hoped to tap into.  If Graham’s “drop kick’ style could create an awkward spin on the ball, opposing teams would have difficulty returning it.  Actually, we hoped they wouldn’t be able to catch it all.  Not so much.  I’ve been waiting for teams to fumble the Jet’s punts for years now.  I guess the wait is over.

Aussie Rules is a very violent sport.  It’s a tough, bruising game and everyone on the field runs the ball and breaks tackles.  Ben Graham was an Aussie Rules legend.  Part of his skill set is the ability to run hard.  For the past three years I’ve been waiting for a fake punt.  That’s the idea right?  Get a hard ass Aussie who can kick the crap out of the ball and run it as well.  Too bad we never tried it once.  Would’ve been fun.  Maybe.  If the fake worked.

While letting a punter go shouldn’t be a big deal, I feel I need to point out that this is the Jets we’re talking about.  Every move the Jets make has an effect.  Our Special Teams, usually a strength, has been abysmal and has hurt our chances of winning in both games.  We’ve got placekicker issues.  Graham was Mike Nugent’s holder so letting him go might upset the synergy between the two.  On the other hand, Nugent is hurt and couldn’t hit a chip shot the last time he tried a field goal so maybe the point is moot.

It was a great idea in theory.  Bring in the tough-as-nails Aussie with the big boot and maybe we can change the punting game forever.  Graham was a decent punter all things considered but not earth-shattering.  When he stopped being able to do the job, Mangini was forced to move on.  A coach has to know that if his offense doesn’t get the first down, his punter can kick it farther than Graham’s 27.3 yard average (last week against the Pats).  Field position was ugly for the Jets on Sunday and a big reason they lost.  It seemed like the Patriots always started with the ball in Jets territory and 12 of the Pats 19 points came off of field goals.

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  1. 1 On September 17th, 2008, Rob de Santos said:

    I’m not sure I would describe Ben Graham as a “legend” but he was very good in Australia. Looking at his NFL stats over 49 games, he was doing fine. If you release a guy on one bad day, what does that tell the rest of the team?

    If any readers want to see an Aussie rules site by and for Americans, stop by We’re happy to answer questions. The game is not as violent as everyone thinks. In fact, the injury rate is very low by NFL standards. Something about 350 lb guys wearing 40 lbs of pads running headlong into each other. You don’t see that in the Australian football league. Collisions yes, but rarely deliberate line up and hit ’em stuff. It’ll get you suspended.

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