After five NFL seasons, Sav Rocca is still looking for new ways to get the most out of his punts. He’s experimenting this summer with a sideways-end-over-end punt designed to roll forward and diagonally toward the sideline.
He used it once in eight punts during last Thursday’s preseason opener against Buffalo.
“It was OK,” Rocca said. “I wanted to get it a little bit deeper, but it rolled 10 yards. That is something we might be able to use, as well.”
Rocca is aware of “a couple” other punters who have experimented with this type of punt, but he’s unsure if any have used it in a game yet.
If kicked properly, the ball spins end over end, clockwise, and it darts toward the sideline when it hits the ground. He’d use it only when punting a relatively short distance, he said.
There’s a significant risk involved, though, because the drop is a bit awkward.
“It is a lot tougher because if you don’t hit the ball right in the right spot, you can either get too much side spin and no distance, or if you hit the ball too far in the middle, it will go straight,” Rocca said.
At age 38, Rocca is five years into his second career following a storied 14-year career playing Australian rules football. He learned to punt an NFL football to continue to earn a living, and the process continues.
“We’re toying with it,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”