If there is a player that can get ignored on a team it is a punter. For the Arizona Cardinals, one of their best performers in 2012 was their punter, Dave Zastudil, which typically is a bad sign for a team. Zastudil was busy, almost setting a league record for number of punts. He did find himself in the record books, though, as he had 46 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. The previous record was 42.
However, while he is happy to be in the league's annals, he actually sounded like he was more impressed by what another punter did, according to what he said to Prointerviews.org.
"I think anytime you can put your name in the record books, especially in this profession, it is pretty special," he said. "That year was interesting because the punter for the Kansas City Chiefs was Dustin Colquitt, and he finished with 45. He got to 45 with considerably less amount of punts than me, so what he did was all as equally impressive."
He also recognized his teammates for getting him the record.
"I could never have done that without the guys on the team," he said. "And we had gunners last year, Mike Adams and Justin Bethel who were just fantastic at downing the ball."
Something you might not know about Zastudil is that he was once a quarterback. he played QB in high school, in addition to kicking and punting, but only punted in college. He is still waiting for the day that he is called upon to make a throw down the field on a fake punt. "I told every coach that I play with that I used to play quarterback, so its one of those things where if they're ready for me to call that play and be ready, I'll be ready," he joked.
But don't expect a Jay Feely like run. "I throw better than I run, let me put it that way," clarified Zastudil.
Since he is a teammate of Patrick Peterson, he doesn't have to worry about returns for touchdowns. He does, though, say that Peterson "will scare you."
"He's just such a special player," Zastudil said about Peterson. "He's a fantastic athlete, he's smart, he takes the game real serious and honestly, last year guys were just kicking away from him too much that it was hard for him to really get going, but if a punter makes a mistake to this guy and accidentally hits one down the middle or short, he's going to make you pay. He's about as good as a returner as I've ever seen in my time in the NFL and it's really been fun to watch him."
Zastudil, at age 34, may not have much longer in the league. He is in the final year of his contract and is due to make over $1.4 million. He has some competition in the offseason and in training camp, as the team has brought in Will Batson to battle him for the job.
2012 was a great year for him. However, Cardinals fans should hope that he punts much less than the 112 times he did it last season. That might actually mean that the team is winning more.
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