When the Redskins signed punter Sav Rocca as a free agent just before training camp, they hoped to bring some stability to a position that has been anything but stable in recent years. What they got Sunday: Rocca’s normal contributions in the kicking game, plus a game-ending tackle.
“Coming from Australian football, we had to tackle all the time,” said the 6-foot-5, 265-pound Rocca. “I have no problem with it.”
With 10 seconds left, the Redskins faced fourth and 19 from the Arizona 41, and Rocca punted to returner Patrick Peterson, who fielded the ball in the end zone. He then tried to make a return.
“I was a bit upset that he ended up taking it out of the end zone,” Rocca said. “I thought I better get down and make the play.”
Rocca did just that, leveling Peterson at the 27 – ending the game.
Through two games, Rocca is averaging 41.8 yards on nine punts. Six of those kicks, though, have landed inside the opponents’ 20 yard line – two of his three on Sunday.
“Obviously, that’s very important,” Rocca said. “But my focus is to land it on the 10, and then hopefully pin [the opponent] inside the 20. Last week, even though we had four inside the 20, I had a 17 [yard line], a 15 and a 14. So my stats say it’s inside the 20, and it looks good. But for me, they’re not the best they can be. Two weeks in, I can’t take anything for granted.”
Last year, in his final season with Philadelphia, Rocca landed 28 of his 73 punts inside the 20 and averaged a career-best 43.8 yards per punt, with only two touchbacks.