In an interview with Chris Fisher of Bucs Brief, a self-proclaimed #PatMurrayGuy, Murray talked about how we were going to see a new Michael Koenen this year. Unfortunately, we’ve also seen a new Pat Murray. As convinced as some are that this must somehow be Chris’ fault, please pull your head out of your ass long enough for us to look at the facts of the situation.
FACT: Pat Murray has missed two field goals in two games
This is the whole reason anyone is freaking out, and arguably the only reason that Connor Barth was signed. Murray has proven his accuracy in the past, but two missed field goals and a missed extra point don’t inspire confidence.
FACT: Connor Barth was has been cut by two teams in two seasons
As nostalgic as Barth’s return is, he’s lost his job two seasons straight. After being cut by the Bucs last year, Barth didn’t get signed by the Broncos until late in the season. When push came to shove, Denver didn’t hesitate to cut him to make room for someone else.
FACT: Murray beat out Barth for the kicker position last season
Connor Barth is great, but he still got beaten out by Pat Murray last year. There’s no changing that. Barth can try his hardest, but if Murray steps it up he can win it just like he did last year.
FACT: Pat Murray and Connor Barth have both punted before
No, it’s not their primary focus. Neither man is a pure punter, but both have some experience doing it. If the team is still looking at replacing Michael Koenen, running with Pat Murray and Connor Barth splitting both kicking and punting duties might not be out of the question.
FACT: Mike Glennon can also be a holder
Even though Murray has called Koenen the best holder in the NFL, Glennon has also been a holder at times for the Bucs. It’s hard to justify keeping a player only for the reason of holding, and Glennon can handle the duties fine while also being the backup quarterback.
FACT: Murray & Barth have never missed an extra point attempt in regular season play
While Murray did miss one this last preseason game, he never has when it truly counted. Both players have had proven accuracy in the past, and this isn’t going to change. Either man will do his job well.
FACT: Michael Koenen is still the best punter on the roster
As much fun as I have with punting stats and salary analysis, by the numbers Koenen is still the best option. There is a possibility that the combo of Murray, Barth, and Glennon beats him out, but none of it is certain. As a pure punter, Koenen is still in the lead.
FINAL FACT: It’s a competition, and nothing has been decided yet
Connor Barth getting signed to a two-year deal means that Connor Barth got signed to a two-year deal. Don’t go mentally firing Pat Murray and attacking his supporters. Nothing is set until the 53-man roster is finalized. Enjoy watching the competitive nature of this entire kicking and punting unit push them, and don’t worry about it. The best men will make the roster, and that’s all there is to it.