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Ravens extend Sam Koch (2 years)

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According to Football Outsiders rankings, our punting unit has been below average 3 of the past 4 years. Of course, that could be due to the coverage rather than to Koch himself. But last year Koch had the lowest net punting average in the league (39.8 yards). 

I hate to say it, but Koch is getting close to being washed. He can only get good distance by hitting a line drive, which kills the ability to cover.

How valuable is it to keep the wolf pack together if we have the worst punt coverage in the league next year? I know Harbaugh loves Koch to death, but this is the kind of sentimental signing that could really hurt the team. 

 

EDIT: Koch's net of 39.8 yards is not the lowest in the league, but it is close to the bottom. Finding reliable punting stats can be a bit tricky.  

Edited by AngusMcFife
stat correction

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15 minutes ago, AngusMcFife said:

According to Football Outsiders rankings, our punting unit has been below average 3 of the past 4 years. Of course, that could be due to the coverage rather than to Koch himself. But last year Koch had the lowest net punting average in the league (39.8 yards). 

I hate to say it, but Koch is getting close to being washed. He can only get good distance by hitting a line drive, which kills the ability to cover.

How valuable is it to keep the wolf pack together if we have the worst punt coverage in the league next year? I know Harbaugh loves Koch to death, but this is the kind of sentimental signing that could really hurt the team.  

He’s also the only holder Tucker has ever had, so I wouldn’t want to be too cavalier About his importance. 

also, what is the typical point on the field he’s punting from? We often dominated the field position game, so he could be punting from locations on field that don’t give as much ability to pump up the average. We almost set the record for fewest punts in a season, so this could be a sample size issue as well. 

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6 minutes ago, sp6488 said:

He’s also the only holder Tucker has ever had, so I wouldn’t want to be too cavalier About his importance. 

also, what is the typical point on the field he’s punting from? We often dominated the field position game, so he could be punting from locations on field that don’t give as much ability to pump up the average. We almost set the record for fewest punts in a season, so this could be a sample size issue as well. 

Yes you are right, if we are punting with good field position and there are few punts, it is possible the numbers regarding net average are skewed. Although the Football Outsiders stats adjust for field position.

If it was just last year, I wouldn't be as worried, but this has been a multi-year trend. 

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2 hours ago, AngusMcFife said:

Yes you are right, if we are punting with good field position and there are few punts, it is possible the numbers regarding net average are skewed. Although the Football Outsiders stats adjust for field position.

If it was just last year, I wouldn't be as worried, but this has been a multi-year trend. 

Not concerned. Would much rather have a washed up punter that we rarely ever need than a terrible holder that costs us games because we need him to score points and he holds us back.

Plus looking at Koch I think he has consistently delivered punts within the 20 and 10 regularly with accuracy. Could care less if a punter can boom punts halfway across the galaxy if they can’t place the ball consistently within the 10 and 20, anecdotal evidence says Koch hasn’t had any issue with these things.

Looking it up real quick he has the second best rate in the league for punts inside the 20 at 52.5%, pinning an opponent is what I most care about. That and not screwing up the hold for the kicker. We’ve also seen Koch deliver on trick plays... he’s easily worth his weight in gold.

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39 minutes ago, diamondbull424 said:

Not concerned. Would much rather have a washed up punter that we rarely ever need than a terrible holder that costs us games because we need him to score points and he holds us back.

Plus looking at Koch I think he has consistently delivered punts within the 20 and 10 regularly with accuracy. Could care less if a punter can boom punts halfway across the galaxy if they can’t place the ball consistently within the 10 and 20, anecdotal evidence says Koch hasn’t had any issue with these things.

Looking it up real quick he has the second best rate in the league for punts inside the 20 at 52.5%, pinning an opponent is what I most care about. That and not screwing up the hold for the kicker. We’ve also seen Koch deliver on trick plays... he’s easily worth his weight in gold.

Looking at the stats again, Koch actually has the worst touchback % of all punters who played the majority of last season. 10% of punts resulted in touchbacks, I could only find one punter worse (Ryan Allen of ATL, who only played 8 games).

I hate to break it to you but Koch has become one of the worst punters in the league. Aside from his holding ability and occasional trick play, he's hurting the team.  

I'm not saying we should cut him. But I would have been much happier if we brought in some competition for him in training camp so he has to compete for his spot, rather than extending him. 

Yes a bad hold on a FG can cost us a game. So can a line drive punt that results in a return TD. He is deteriorating, this looks like a bad extension to me. 

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41 minutes ago, AngusMcFife said:

Looking at the stats again, Koch actually has the worst touchback % of all punters who played the majority of last season. 10% of punts resulted in touchbacks, I could only find one punter worse (Ryan Allen of ATL, who only played 8 games).

I hate to break it to you but Koch has become one of the worst punters in the league. Aside from his holding ability and occasional trick play, he's hurting the team.  

I'm not saying we should cut him. But I would have been much happier if we brought in some competition for him in training camp so he has to compete for his spot, rather than extending him. 

Yes a bad hold on a FG can cost us a game. So can a line drive punt that results in a return TD. He is deteriorating, this looks like a bad extension to me. 

Number of games played doesn't matter a ton when you're talking about percentages other than that lower numbers of games (and thus punts) would make the sample more sensitive to swings from individual punts (28 for Ryan Allen). Allen also had the third highest inside the 20 rate (just behind Koch) for 2019, so it would seem that these things are intertwined/inversely correlated. More pinning in the 20 also leads to more opportunities for the ball to go into the end zone for a TB on occasion. 

Just two seasons ago, Koch has one of the best TB% in the league.  I think it's a bit tough to say he's proven bad now or something. 10% is 4 punts for 2019. Due to him only punting 40 times (most punters are in the 60-80 range), every punt was worth 2.5 percentage points of that total. If two punts are fair caught instead of being allowed to bounce into the end zone, for example, he's at 5%, which is a lot different. 

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13 hours ago, sp6488 said:

Number of games played doesn't matter a ton when you're talking about percentages other than that lower numbers of games (and thus punts) would make the sample more sensitive to swings from individual punts (28 for Ryan Allen). Allen also had the third highest inside the 20 rate (just behind Koch) for 2019, so it would seem that these things are intertwined/inversely correlated. More pinning in the 20 also leads to more opportunities for the ball to go into the end zone for a TB on occasion. 

Just two seasons ago, Koch has one of the best TB% in the league.  I think it's a bit tough to say he's proven bad now or something. 10% is 4 punts for 2019. Due to him only punting 40 times (most punters are in the 60-80 range), every punt was worth 2.5 percentage points of that total. If two punts are fair caught instead of being allowed to bounce into the end zone, for example, he's at 5%, which is a lot different. 

I agree statistics can be misleading for punters. But my eyes tell me he is hitting line drive punts to get distance. Ravens special teams are allowing the 4 most  yards per punt return (9.5). That doesn't corroborate the claim that he is constantly pinning the opposition down by the goal line, where there are no returns.  

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I remember a few years ago, there was an article about how Koch had like 40 different punts. I wonder if he’s overthinking a little bit instead of just using hang time and direction to his advantage.

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1 hour ago, AngusMcFife said:

I agree statistics can be misleading for punters. But my eyes tell me he is hitting line drive punts to get distance. Ravens special teams are allowing the 4 most  yards per punt return (9.5). That doesn't corroborate the claim that he is constantly pinning the opposition down by the goal line, where there are no returns.  

I would be interested to see the distribution of those returns. Is there any source you're aware of where it's easy to see where fielded and where returned to?

On the bolded, I think being #2 in Inside 20 metric corroborates that claim. 

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16 minutes ago, sp6488 said:

I would be interested to see the distribution of those returns. Is there any source you're aware of where it's easy to see where fielded and where returned to?

On the bolded, I think being #2 in Inside 20 metric corroborates that claim. 

I'm not aware of any source. But since its only 40 punts it wouldn't be too hard to go look at all of them (with Gamepass). I'm not super motivated to do so, but maybe if I'm still off from work next week I could take a look. 

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Looks like his cost relative to the total cap will probably decrease drastically in 2021 and 2022 as well.

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Similar contract to Koch's.

By comparison on the stats being discussed above:

Martin had a 9.2% TB% on 76 punts (vs. 9.8% for Koch on 40 punts)

Martin had a 40.8% inside 20% (vs. 51.2% for Koch)

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