Cardinals’ GM Steve Keim ‘not satisfied’ with punting situation
Dec 5, 2016, 9:50 AM | Updated: 11:15 am
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
The Arizona Cardinals got a much-needed win Sunday when they downed the Washington Redskins 31-23 at University of Phoenix Stadium.
While getting back in the win column can do wonders for a lot of what has been ailing an underachieving team, it’s not a cure-all.
One issue that has plagued the Cardinals all season was still present in their most recent triumph: punting.
Drew Butler averaged just 39.7 yards on three punts Sunday, mostly failing to affect field position when the Cardinals saw drives stall.
Most notably, Butler’s final punt of the day, which came with 7:26 left in the second quarter, fell short of where it needed to be. Leading 7-3, the Cardinals faced a 4th-and-15 at their own 20-yard line. Butler’s punt traveled 28 yards, out of bounds, allowing Washington to start a possession in Arizona territory at the 48-yard line. Eleven plays later, Washington got a field goal from Dustin Hopkins to pull to within a point at 7-6
Steve Keim, the team’s general manager, isn’t exactly happy with what he’s seen.
“Not satisfied at all,” Keim told Doug and Wolf Monday morning on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “Like any other position, there are expectations, and at that spot right now, we’re not living up to expectations.
“It’s a results-based business, and if you’re not getting the job done, we’ll look and see if there’s someone who can.”
Butler won the punting job in training camp, but struggled early in the season with ineffectiveness and injuries. He was actually waived in early October with an injury settlement and replaced by veteran Ryan Quigley. The punting game didn’t get much better with Quigley handling the job, and Butler was brought back in mid-November.
Butler’s 41.3 gross average and 35.4 net average rank dead last among NFL punters.
“You’re in some critical situations, and it’s not like you have a backup punter you can put in if a guy is having a rough day,” Keim said. “We’ll certainly talk about that today and see where it goes moving forward.”