Saints punter Thomas Morstead is on pace to break a record that has stood for 76 years
By Dean Mullen
The 2016 season for the New Orleans Saints has been anything but consistent. There have been breakdowns in coverage, turnovers, and heartbreaking losses. However, there is one player that is having an incredible year. Saints fans may know him as “The Leg.”
Does any of these movies ring a bell like: Casablanca, The Maltese Falcons, or even Yankee Doodle Dandy. Perhaps you could ask Frank Sinatra, if he was still alive. That’s how long this punting record has been around. The record has stood by a guy you’ve heard of but probably didn’t think of as being a punter. That guy was named Sammy Baugh.
Known by many as “Slingin” Sammy Baugh by many from his generation; His name is engraved into the NFL Hall of Fame, The College Hall of Fame, and the NFL’s 1940’s All-Decade Team among many others.
Baugh was probably remembered for the numbers he put up in the passing game. He also wasn’t a bad punter either. Baugh went to college at TCU where the practice facility is now named after. Obviously, the guy was a pure legend.
Just to give you an idea how good of player he was in college, here is some of the accolades that’s been given to him since:
- ESPN- 5th greatest college player of all time
- Sport Magazine- 4th greatest college player
- CFN- 3rd greatest college player of all time
Baugh was also known as the 36th greatest athlete of the 20th century by ESPN. The list goes on and on.
So in1940, when Baugh set a record of 51.4 yards a kick, it was simply unheard of. Notice in this list, there was no one on this list near his era in the top 15, except for Glenn Dobbs in 1948.
The only person that tops him is Pat Macafee from the Indianapolis Colts through the first quarter in this current season ongoing. He is averaging 51.8 yards per kick so far.
Thomas Morstead is right there in the mix. He’s averaging 51.1 yards a punt right now through four games. Morstead already owns the 8th best season at 50.1 yards per punt. Morstead is among a handful of players that have averaged over 50 yards a punt in a season. Look for “The Leg” to be in the Hall of Fame one day for sure.
Regardless of what happens in the 2016 season, Morstead should be recognized if he keeps up the pace that he’s set at the moment. Even if he doesn’t break the record, the consistent booming of punts have saved the Saints several times this season.
Watch “The Leg” from the helmet cam below. It is pretty amazing how fast it all comes together.