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STS*: Tanner Purdum's Latest Snappy Year

Posted Dec 28, 2013

*Special Teams Saturday

Barring at least two misses on Sunday, Nick Folk will break Mike Nugent’s franchise record for the highest field goal percentage in a season.

Ryan Quigley, meanwhile, enters Week 17 tied with Robert Malone’s 2012 campaign for the highest gross punting average (45.8 yards) in a Green & White season and behind only Curley Johnson from way back in 1965 for the highest net average (39.7 for Johnson, 39.0 for Quigley).

No doubt, it’s been a rather successful season for our kicking and punting units this year, but perhaps the most important guy who is rarely talked about within that unit is fourth-year long snapper Tanner Purdum.

“Tanner’s one of the best long snappers in the league, hands down,” Quigley said Friday afternoon. “As a punter, I never have to worry about the snap when I go back there because he puts it on the money every time. And as far as field goals go, it shows with Folk since he’s only missed two kicks. I don’t think we’ve had one bad snap all year.”

Purdum credits his individual success this season to his work in the weightroom, where he’s managed to increase his strength and decrease his body fat since the start of September. His long list of praise for those around him didn’t end with the strength and conditioning staff, though.

“Folk and Quigley are the most consistent kicker and punter combo I’ve had in my four years here,” he said. “We all work well together. Louie [Aguiar] and Ben [Kotwica], they coach us differently but still do a very good job. We just seem to be a pretty cohesive unit as coaches and players. We all can talk, listen and share ideas to try to get the best outcome possible.”

That cohesive unit will soon take a hiatus, however, with the offseason rapidly approaching.

Purdum’s path to another near-flawless season will soon lead him out of the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center gym and into the boxing ring — a training regimen he’s been doing since his second year in the league.

“For me, the speed bag has helped give me some endurance for my elbows, while the mitts and heavy-bag training helps with the explosion needed to punch and block,” he said.

Whatever he’s been doing, it seems to be working. Purdum’s name has stayed out of the headlines — and that’s a good thing for a long snapper, playing a position where no news is good news.

Despite a united group and statistical seasons near the top of our franchise ranks for both kicker and punter, however, Purdum is not and never will be happy with how things have gone for him personally on the field.

“I’m a perfectionist. If it’s off even a ball length or ball width, that’s off for me,” he said. “I try to hold myself to a higher standard than most coaches would.”

He might never reach his own bar, set impossibly high, but as long as Folk’s kicks keep going over the crossbar and Quigley’s hands don’t have to reach too far to retrieve the snapped football, the Jets and their fans will be quite happy.

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