Ah, through the constant offseason talk of contracts and disgruntled players, a little fun. That's what the punt contest was today at the end of the OTA, worth bragging rights between the offense and defense and also a little less running when it was all said and done. It started a little interestingly, when the wrong JUGS machine was brought out to simulate the punts and kicker Neil Rackers had to step in to offer his services (CJ dodges a bullet, no?). Then coach Ken Whisenhunt raised some eyebrows when Steve Breaston – the team's punt returner for two years – was selected as the first guy to go. "I was kind of confused," Breaston said. "I was thinking, 'Piece of cake,' then they were like, 'One hand,' and I was 'Oh, that's the catch.' "
Breaston started it the right way, though. Rackers' punt was launched over Breaston's head and he circled back and – while it was two-handed – he made a spectacular over-the-shoulder play as he slid to the ground. "It was a little more circus than you want but we got the group excited," Breaston said. "Neil, he had the white jersey on but I don't know what team he was playing for, booting it over my head. But I made the catch."
The play sparked a perfect offensive showing. Sure, Antrel Rolle made his catch one-handed (the rules changed when the big boys were called in) but the defense took a blow when Clark Haggans settled under his punt and it bounced off his chest. Perhaps the defense should have known where it was going when center Lyle Sendlein dove to make his catch. "Everybody gets lucky every now and then I guess," Sendlein said with a grin. When it was over, tackle Mike Gandy couldn't contain his unbridled enthusiasm. Hey, that's what happens when you save a sprint or two.