Saturday, February 04, 2006

Packers sign a big leg from Canada.

OK, Packer fans, it's hard to get too jazzed by a street free agent signing -- especially when it's a punter. But given the sorry state of the Pack's punting ever since former GM Ron Wolf let Craig Hentrich depart, this signing may have finally filled a big hole in special teams. The Pack signed Jon Ryan, who the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel describes as "a record-setting punter from the Canadian Football League." That's pretty good, considering he's only been in the CFL for two years!

Ryan had a long punt of 82 yard this past season punting for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and a punt of 92 yards in his rookie season. He had a CFL record 50.6 gross yards average this past season (compare vs. current Packer punter B. J. Sander's gross of 39.2 yards). His strength is distance not hang time...but if you're booming it that far down field it has to take a bit of time, too, right? Obviously, kicking in the CFL means Ryan is also used to kicking in bad weather, a definite plus for success in Green Bay. You can read Ryan's Blue Bomber player bio here.

Ryan joins Sander and two other free agents in battling it out during training camp for the starting job. You can read the full story here.