Tim Masthay first signed with the Green Bay Packers in 2010. He has set team records, won numerous NFL special teams awards, and has a Super Bowl ring. But for the second year in a row, the former Wildcat punter found himself in a head-to-head competition to hang on to his job.
For the 2016 off season, the competition came in the form of Peter Mortell. He grew up in Green Bay and played his college ball at the University of Minnesota. His father works as the clock operator at Lambeau Field, just like his father before him. Mortell spent his childhood helping his father in the press box. It seemed like becoming a Packer was his destiny.
Special teams coach Ron Zook has given both punters equal time in camp, creating a level playing field for the competition. Both Masthay and Mortell have been productive and made progress, but they have also both suffered from inconsistency.
Ultimately, it seems that hang time may have been what put Masthay over the edge in the end. Mortell’s average hang time during camp was 4.04 seconds, while Masthay, focusing specifically on improving that part of his game, averaged 4.43 seconds per punt.
While there are still cuts to be made and Masthay is not guaranteed a roster spot, he is the only punter remaining in camp and Coach Mike McCarthy insists that he is “in the driver’s seat.”
Regardless, Masthay remains hungry and humble. His comments yesterday match the work ethic Kentucky fans have seen from the Murray, Kentucky native since he arrived on campus in 2005.
“One, I don’t feel like I’ve won anything yet. And two, I’m not here to just win a job, I’m not here to survive cut day,” Masthay said. “I’m here to help the Packers win football games. That’s what I’m interested in doing. That’s what I’m focused on doing.”
It looks like Masthay has earned another season of helping the Packers win football games. You can see him suited up in green and gold on Thursday as the Packers take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium at 8:00 p.m.