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Dodge whiffs, able to smile about it

New York Giants punter Matt Dodge kicks during

New York Giants punter Matt Dodge kicks during rookie mini-camp in East Rutherford, N.J. (April 30, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

You have to hand it to Matt Dodge, he’s able to maintain a sense of humor about things.

After a game in which he botched a punt by dropping the snap and probably fouled up a field goal attempt by being unable to place the ball, Dodge was able to come up with a quick self-deprecating one-liner about his whiff punt. He picked the ball up and rolled out to his right and it looked like he might have had a chance to actually run for the first down.

“My 5.2 speed is pretty solid sometimes,” he said, “but actually I was like ‘Oh God, just kick it.’”

It's unlikely that Tom Coughlin will share Dodge's jovial take on his performance.

"Anytime you have a lump in your throat over what should be routine things, you;re going to have that issue (of being disappointed)," Coughlin said.

Dodge said the ball just fell out of his hands on that first punt.

“Sometimes you’re so focused on kicking it there, don’t let him catch it, then you forget yourself to catch it,” he said. “It’s just a case where it slipped out of my hand. Just a little lack of concentration on that.”

Dodge did a lot better in the second half. Even late in the first half he kicked a 35-yard punt out of bounds (he was booed for it, but that might have been force of habit from the Giants fans). He also had an Aussie-style punt that went about four yards in the end zone for a touchback, but was glad that it felt good. He finished with an average net of 35.4 yards with two touchbacks and one inside the 20 (he should have had two but D.J. Johnson was spun around and lost the ball and was unable to down it at the 5). The Giants also “held” Devin Hester to two returns for 6 yards (although one big one was called back on a penalty).

“It’s a great feeling to hear the New York fans cheer for you for a change,” Dodge said. I’m excited. I have some confidence going into next week.”

Next week? Again with that sense of humor!
 

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