Part two of the annual 90-in-90 series is here as we continue an in-depth look at the Miami Dolphins’ roster. Throughout the next few months, we will break down each player on the roster, looking at what they did in 2017, the expectation of growth in 2018, or the possible regression, and whether or not we think the player will make the final 53-man roster.
Yesterday, we started the series with a look at wide receiver Leonte Carroo. Today, we continue with punter Matt Haack, who is entering his second year in the league.
Haack joined the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent out of Arizona State and ultimate beat Matt Darr for the punting position on the roster. The left-footed kicker, who actually writes, throws, and eats with his right hand, had an inconsistent 2017 season for the Dolphins, though he settled into his role as the season wore on. He finished the year with 83 punts for a 44.5 yards-per-kick average and 30 punts inside the opposing 20. He set a team record in Week 13 with seven kicks pinning the Denver Broncos inside their 20-yard line, out of nine punts he had that week (and Miami actually won that game 35 to 9 and had two safeties thanks in large part to Haack’s kicking).
Why he will progress
That should be enough to assume Haack will improve. He already showed he has the massive leg that was reported in his draft profiles, and he is starting to find more of the directional kicking that was listed as a negative prior to his rookie year. Now, with a year of Rizzi being able to coach him, you have to assume Haack will be a better punter in 2018 than he was in 2017.
Why he will regress
If the early season inconsistency from 2017 returns into 2018, Haack could struggle. His leg should continue to be a huge factor for the team, but he has to continue to be able to place the ball where he wants, and he has to avoid out-kicking the coverage, an issue he had in college at times.
Chances of making the 53-man roster
The Dolphins seem to like Haack, who is the only punter on the roster. He does not appear to have any competition right now, and he should be a lock for the roster.