One of the more underappreciated positions in sports is specialists. Punters and kickers are either heroes or zeroes in this league. Fans don’t think about them until they blow or win a game, which makes them incredibly important. The Falcons have one of the best place kickers in Younghoe Koo, who was just extended this offseason. But the punter situation hasn’t exactly been roses, which is why Atlanta brought in Bradley Pinion. And Arthur Smith has lofty expectations for the veteran free agent signing.
Falcons HC Arthur Smith said they have big expectations for P Bradley Pinion, who was signed in June, and made it sound like they expect him to be the guy.
But Seth Vernon is going to get opportunities.
— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) August 1, 2022
Pinion joins Seth Varnon, a 2022 UDFA, in the punting competition in Atlanta because the Falcons waived Dom Maggio earlier this offseason.
Pinion began his career with the 49ers after San Francisco selected him in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Most recently, he spent the last three seasons with the Buccaneers but was released earlier this offseason.
Pinion had a down 2021 season due to injuries; however, he has been a solid punter throughout his career, boasting a 43.7 yards per punt average. He’s also been known to handle kickoff duties, posting a respectable 78.9% career touchback rate.
Pinion clearly has the leg up. He’s experienced and is incredibly effective when healthy, so Falcons fans should expect him to be the team’s punter unless an unforeseen injury occurs.
Photographer: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire