Typically, Patriot fans only want to see the punter when he is holding for extra points and field goals. With Mike Brandtner in the game, however, the fans can rest a little easier knowing that they are in good hands. Chris Hanson will be an unrestricted free-agent, meaning that the Patriots might look to spend a 7th-rounder on a punter. The best fit will be found in Ames, Iowa. When asked if, as a punter, he liked dome football, Brandtner stated, “I think I’d be more of a midwest or northeast states guy… More appealing to play there.”
Brandtner, who averaged 41.6 yards per punt at Iowa State, states that his accuracy is the biggest strength in his game. “I played in the Texas vs the Nation game last weekend, we put two punts at the 1-yard line, one punt went out at the 5-yard line, and we downed one at the 12-yard line.”
His accuracy also comes in handy dealing with dangerous punt returners. “Dez Bryant, Yamon Figurs, Quan Cosby… we just directionaled everything out of bounds, kept the field narrow for the coverage guys.” Brandtner didn’t give in either, as punt returners only had 34 return yards all year.
If a dangerous returner did get his hands on the ball, Mike wouldn’t be totally lost trying to make the tackle. “Coach Rhoads put all the specialists through tackling drills each week. I’m not a headhunter, but I could probably trip someone up.” Brandtner is pretty athletic, leading the Cyclones with 20 first-half rushing yards against Nebraska after a fake-punt.
Brandtner has never had a punt blocked during his career at Iowa State, and is very adept at holding. “We had a left-footed kicker at the Texas v Nation game… now I can hold for both lefties and righties.”
He might not have the strongest leg in the NFL Draft this year, but he just might have the smartest.
Tags: Prospect Interview