Cards have one Zasty punter

Posted by Darren Urban on September 20, 2013 – 10:12 am

Back when the Cardinals brought in punter Dave Zastudil at the tail end of 2011 training camp, it raised some eyebrows. And there was definitely some fan backlash when favorite Ben Graham was released, and a little more when Zastudil’s past leg injuries crept back here and there that season. The Cardinals — and then-special teams coach Kevin Spencer — believed Zastudil had a lot left though. They were right.

Finally healthy last season, Zastudil was put to the test much too often because of a faulty offense and he was very good. He averaged 46.5 yards a punt, netted 41.4 and set an NFL record with 46 punts (out of 112, easily a career-high) inside the 20-yard line. His 46.5 average was second all-time in franchise history, behind Graham’s 2009 year of 47.0. Zastudil also had a career-best 70-yard punt last season, and both his gross and net averages were career-bests.

His average is slightly down through two games this season (44.6) but that’s in part because Zastudil is getting a shorter fields on which to kick thanks to a much-improved offense. But his net is still stellar (42.0) and already he has had seven punts inside the 20.

Zastudil benefits from the emergence of star gunner Justin Bethel, who has been amazing in locking down most punt returns (Opponents have three yards on four punt returns in two games). But it starts with the punter, and Zastudil has been impressive.


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Posted in Blog | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Cards have one Zasty punter”

  1. By Dynosoar on Sep 20, 2013 | Reply

    I hated seeing Graham go, but I’m just as pleased with Zastudil as I was with Graham.

    Our Special Teams is as good as any in the league. Loved the block last week.

    Darren, thanks for pointing out how a shortened field due to an improved offense can actually hurt statistics and Zastudil’s production (yards/punt).

    I’m continually impressed at how well he can place the ball inside the twenty.

    Time for our LSU players to shine once again in the Bayou. Let’s win this one.

  2. By James Miller - ecoglass on Sep 20, 2013 | Reply

    Zasty#9 is a Great Guy – very nice – very down to earth….

    Go Cards !!!

  3. By hminus on Sep 20, 2013 | Reply

    Special teams play has been stellar…now its time for the offense to establish consistancy & take some pressure off the “D”.

  4. By ored on Sep 20, 2013 | Reply

    speaking of our LSU connection,too bad minter is’nt in there,now we need okafor to step up and he and acho represent Texas,maybe next year we get an ASU player to match up(hint).nice story line…college team mates on the same NFL team,not just mates,but difference makers.

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