Everyone knows that the Green Bay Packers have been struggling on special teams for the last few years. The unit has regularly finished in the bottom third of the league, and they have not produced a top-10 unit since 2007. There is work to be done at all levels. Everyone not named Mason Crosby is expendable.
This lack of production has led general manager Brian Gutekunst to do what he does best: build a championship-contending roster on the margins. Earlier this week, the Packers sent a 2023 sixth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams for punter Corey Bojorquez and a 2023 seventh-round pick. In turn, Green Bay cut the former fifth-rounder J.K. Scott.
Bojorquez now has the opportunity to breathe new life into a special teams unit that could use all the help it can get. Still only 24 years old, he could be the franchise punter for the foreseeable future. The bar is low for him, and he brings a unique skill set to the team. Bojorquez’s background will allow him to be a quality contributor when called upon.
If you haven’t heard the news, Bojorquez is an ordained minister.
The special teams room upgraded their religious integrity by jettisoning a well-documented Christian in Scott and acquiring the full-blown minister in Bojorquez. The added legitimacy speaks volumes towards Green Bay’s commitment to excellence and success. If the man can commit to ministry, he can commit to his training regimens to be the best punter he can be.
This connection shone through in Bojorquez’s play last season with the Buffalo Bills. As Bojorquez punted the ball, he did indeed raise it (the ball) up on eagle’s wings. Bojorquez kicked the longest punt in the league last season (72 yards) and also led the NFL in yards per punt (50.8).
Considering the Packers acquired Bojorquez at a marginal cost, it could certainly be viewed as divine providence that he has been relocated to Green Bay. If the team needs a big punt? He’s there. Someone’s getting married? He’s there. The ability to do both and everything in between will provide Bojorquez a large window of opportunity to have an extended stay with the team.
Cold Weather Adaptability
The fact that Bojorquez is coming off a season as the NFL’s best punter in Buffalo is noteworthy. As the cold weather condenses the air, the air pressure drops, and it requires more effort to kick the football the same distance. On average, punts in colder weather are three yards shorter than in warmer weather.
Fortunately, the air in Bojorquez’s punts is filled with the fire of the Holy Spirit. The cold weather was no match for the laws of the physical world. To lead the league in yards per punt, particularly playing so many home games in Western New York during the colder months of the season, is an impressive feat.
Green Bay is not much warmer than Buffalo, ranking a few spots lower on a list of coldest cities in the NFL. Scott was able to regularly place amongst the league leaders in hang time, so this is a feat that the strong leg of Bojorquez should be able to replicate. The marginally warmer weather will play to his advantage as he gets used to the environment in Lambeau Field. However, his ability to play in the cold will pay dividends as the Packers make another deep playoff run with home-field advantage.
Is the move to acquire a punter exciting? Not entirely. As the Packers will expect to rank among the league’s best offenses again, their punter shouldn’t be utilized to the same extent as other teams.
However, it is this limited usage that makes it imperative the team capitalizes on those opportunities. Acquiring a punter of Bojorquez’s caliber is a smart move by a team looking to take as much pressure off the defense as they can. This was another great acquisition by Gutekunst, and it should pay dividends in 2021.