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!(/team/roster/antrel-rolle/806c147c-662b-4dbe-a95e-989083829b4f/ "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!(/team/roster/lyle-sendlein/5416055b-56a6-4ab9-93f5-cf26412e3be6/ "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.