Inside The Bills

Powell’s leg strength simply superior

Posted by Chris Brown on August 13, 2013 – 8:13 am

It’s not all about leg strength when it comes to punting in the NFL, but when you have it there’s no question it helps. Shawn Powell possesses that gift and once he married it with some consistency it made his main competition Brain Stahovich expendable.

Stahovich, who was released Tuesday, was a capable punter, and relatively consistent, but he just could not match the physical power of Powell’s kicking. So the punter competition is the first one that comes to a conclusion at training camp among the position battles.

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Powell has good day, Stahovich not far off

Posted by Chris Brown on July 29, 2013 – 9:05 pm

Bills incumbent punter Shawn Powell had a good day at Monday’s practice, the first in which there were specific punting segments during the special teams periods of practice.

Powell and his challenger Brian Stahovich were both punting for distance more than hang time as they tried to reach the end zone from their own 35-yard line. Powell was more consistent driving the ball for distance on Monday. On most kicks he also had superior hang time, not that it carried as much weight as when special teams coordinator Danny Crossman has them hang 40-yarders to let the coverage unit run underneath it. That’s when hang time counts most.

Today’s exercise was one in leg strength and distance.

Now Powell did have one shank in his series of attempts and Stahovich mis-hit two of his kicks.

Stahovich did finish strong as three of his best punts were among his last four attempts. He drove the ball for distance and got three of the longest hang times between them on my watch (unofficial of course). He had a 4.56, 4.64 and 4.53 on three of his last four kicks.

Powell at 6’4″ and 243 pounds has superior size and what appears to be a stronger leg than Stahovich (5’11” 197). But Stahovich made it clear in practice Monday that he’s not going away quietly.

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Powell thankful for battle with Moorman

Posted by Chris Brown on July 4, 2013 – 9:03 am

As we profiled with the beginning of our daily Top 25 questions until Training Camp on today, the punter competition figures to be even stiffer than it was last summer. Brian Moorman edged out then rookie Shawn Powell at the start of the season, but Powell got a call back a month later. Now the shoe is on the other foot for Powell, who as the incumbent has free agent Brian Stahovich breathing down his neck.

Powell believes the competition he had with Moorman served him well in preparation for the current competition he’ll face in training camp.

“There are going to be good punters out there. In this business everywhere you go there’s going to be stiff competition,” Powell said. “With Brian, it really helped me with the competitive edge and being able to understand what competition is all about.”

Of course Stahovich gained similar experience competing in Colts training camp last season, only to lose out in a battle with Indianapolis incumbent punter Pat McAfee.

Powell appears to have the ability to kick with superior hang time, but he’ll have to do it consistently to beat out a quality candidate in Stahovich. This very quietly is shaping up to be a very entertaining competition.

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Punters update

Posted by Chris Brown on June 13, 2013 – 9:34 am

The Bills punters were in action at minicamp Wednesday and Shawn Powell may have had his best day this spring.

Powell began the special teams segment with two booming punts, both of which had unofficial hang times of five seconds (an elite figure). First-year punter Brian Stahovich has proven to be formidable competition through the spring, so Powell will be pushed.

Both punters got 8-10 attempts during the segment. Powell’s average hang times were better overall, again unofficial, but Stahovich has put together some good sessions through the spring practices.

Granted a punter competition might not be the most exciting news in the world, but this will be a very open competition and figures to come down to preseason performance in August.

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Bills new punter has strong leg

Posted by Chris Brown on April 18, 2013 – 5:16 pm

Bills newest punter Brian Stahovich was one of five tryout players that signed a contract with the Bills following the team’s three-day voluntary veteran minicamp. Stahovich certainly earned that contract with an impressive three days of punting.

Stahovich, a San Diego State product, was booming kicks in the Bills Healthy Zone Fieldhouse during the three practice sessions. Unofficially had his hang times consistently between 4.6 and 4.9 seconds.

In practice he did have a mis-hit ball or two where hang time and direction were not ideal. He also isn’t lightning quick from catch to kick, but there is potential in the two-time Mountain West Conference 1st team punter (2010, 2011). There is natural leg strength there. His intangibles check out well as he’s been described as a dedicated player.

He’ll serve as legitimate competition for Bills incumbent punter Shawn Powell.

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Posted in Inside the Bills
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