Hitting bombs isn’t the primary goal for Green Bay Packers punter Corey Bojorquez. He’s learned, through several years in the NFL and studying other punters, that disrupting the returner and limiting return yards is the name of the game.
Bojorquez said Friday that his preferred punt is a 50-yarder out of bounds. He said he learned from Tennessee Titans punter Brett Kern just how valuable it can be to take the returner out of the game.
“That’s what I want to do. I want to piss off that returner, just not let him do anything today. Just ruin his day is my plan,” Bojorquez said.
Bojorquez is averaging 48.0 gross yards and 43.4 net yards per punt. Four of his 10 punts have been returned, but he also leads the NFL in punts out of bounds with four and 50 percent of his punts have ended up inside the 20-yard line.
He said “maturing as a punter” and not out-kicking his coverage by focusing on distance is increasingly important.
“I want to be more of an effective punter than just a big ball punter,” said Bojorquez, who hit a 70-yard punt this preseason.
Directional punting has been a major strength for Bojorquez. His ability to hit with distance and hang time – his 4.55-second average ranks third, according to Pro Football Focus – while also mixing in the directional aspect of the punt has helped the Packers flip fields early in the season.
He said he’s happy with the way he’s hitting the ball to start 2021.
“But there’s a lot of room for improvement for me, and I’m always going to think that,” Bojorquez said.
How can he get better?
Bojorquez says he would like to force more fair catches by increasing his hang time. Only one of his 10 punts has resulted in a fair catch this season.
“More hang time on punts. Trying to force fair catches. Even if I’m hitting a punt 50 yards but he’s getting a 10-yard return, 40 net isn’t bad but it’s not what I want to do. So if I can cause fair catches at 50 yards, those 10 yards can cause a huge difference.”
The Packers acquired Bojorquez from the Los Angeles Rams for an exchange of draft picks before the season. He is replacing JK Scott.