Live from Tampa: Former punter says Falcons weren’t fun

Michael Koenen, shown kicking a Georgia peach. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Michael Koenen as a Falcon, here kicking a Georgia peach. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Tampa  — Michael Koenen used to punt for the Falcons. Now he works for Tampa Bay. Anwar Richardson of the Tampa Tribune asked Koenen to compare and contrast cities. In shocking revelations, Koenen declared that he prefers Florida oranges to Georgia peaches and that Atlanta has worse traffic.

Asked about Mike Smith, who coaches the Falcons, and Raheem Morris, who coaches the Buccaneers, Koenen said: “The atmosphere is way different … Up there, it’s a lot tighter. There is a little more nervous energy, but here it’s light-hearted and just fun energy.”

Wow. Who knew the coach who bears a passing resemblance to the comic/actor/author/musician Steve Martin wouldn’t be a wild and crazy guy?

Then again, Koenen can afford to crow — a bit. By way of a different comparison, he seems the greatest punter in 21st Century Falcons annals. Koenen left as a free agent and was lavished with a $19.5 million contract by the Bucs. Through two games, Koenen is seventh among NFL booters in yards per punt and third in net punting.

The Falcons, meanwhile, have deployed Matt Bosher, who enlivened last week’s festivities by punting out of bounds on his own 20.20-yard-line. (The Eagles would score to take a 10-point lead.) Bosher’s numbers: Next-to-last in yards per punt, 26th in net punting.

And now you’re asking: Do I, keen analyst, believe this game will be decided by punting, net or otherwise? No. I like the Falcons to win for a rather basic reason: They’re the better team. That said …

It has been raining for the past hour and the field is so wet nobody has ventured out to warm up. (Not even the punters.) This could be one of those slick-ball turnover-rich extravaganzas, which means: Don’t even bother trying to handicap it.

So I won’t. I’ll turn it over to you instead. I’ll be here all game, and I welcome your input. (Oh, and here’s an actual bit of pregame news: Falcons linebacker Stephen Nicholas is inactive; Mike Peterson starts in his place.) Join me, won’t you? See which punter walks off with bragging rights!

By Mark Bradley

1,825 comments Add your comment

j.j.m.

September 25th, 2011
3:23 pm

Thought I would never miss a punter

Hillbilly D

September 25th, 2011
3:23 pm

I think the Falcons are going to live to regret letting Koenen get away.

Innocent Bystander

September 25th, 2011
3:24 pm

Mark Bradley

September 25th, 2011
3:24 pm

Come on. He’s a punter. There are other punters. (Perhaps not the current one, though.)

CB

September 25th, 2011
3:26 pm

Of course Raheem Mora Jr. has an easy-going, likeable locker room.

J.J.M.

September 25th, 2011
3:26 pm

lol if theres other punters why havent we signed a better one? or is it too early to give up on the rookie punter?

tulsabravo

September 25th, 2011
3:26 pm

Maybe this will force the Falcons to focus on their running game. I hope so.

brad

September 25th, 2011
3:28 pm

Steve

September 25th, 2011
3:29 pm

I heard Tampa has not sold out a game since 2009. And I thought Atlanta fans were fair weather fans. Wow.

brad

September 25th, 2011
3:30 pm

Haha! Rainey? Plenty of Turner!

Robert08

September 25th, 2011
3:30 pm

Bring back Mike … Koenen that is.

Mark Bradley

September 25th, 2011
3:31 pm

I would think another substandard performance would result in a punting change for the local 11.

J.J.M.

September 25th, 2011
3:34 pm

lol brad super late

J.J.M.

September 25th, 2011
3:35 pm

lets hope sam baker has a much better game so he can earn a new contract!

Hector

September 25th, 2011
3:37 pm

Braves are in trouble. 1 run yesterday. 0 today. This thing is far from over.

Mr Charlie

September 25th, 2011
3:37 pm

Vick quits again.

J.J.M.

September 25th, 2011
3:38 pm

Texans about to choke

Mr Charlie

September 25th, 2011
3:40 pm

OK, Eagles fans, lets start the “well they were ahead by 2 when Vick went out. Look like another hypothetical win for the Eagles. Vick the same has been never really was.

Mr Charlie

September 25th, 2011
3:40 pm

Mr Charlie

September 25th, 2011
3:42 pm

Vick looks like a beaten man.

Paddy

September 25th, 2011
3:43 pm

Vince Lombardi had a nice frendly locker room. If you lived in prison! Not a necessary aspect to having a winning team. Just be fair with your players and tell them the truth.

Mr Charlie

September 25th, 2011
3:43 pm

Yea, I think the clock in ticking on Bosher.

Delbert D.

September 25th, 2011
3:43 pm

What did they ever see in Bosher? I would really like to see the evaluation sheets on kickers and punters for the 2010 draft. Didn’t they realize that his stats from Miami are misleading, due to the faster rotational velocity of the earth that far south?

DHunt

September 25th, 2011
3:46 pm

What’s going on with St. Nick?? Mike Pete should be fine in relief, but are we looking at a long term issue or what?

Robert08

September 25th, 2011
3:46 pm

Matt is overrated … bring back Mike … Koenen that is.

Mr Charlie

September 25th, 2011
3:47 pm

You can never trust any stats from Miami, if there is a way to cheat, Miami will figure it out.

Mr Charlie

September 25th, 2011
3:48 pm

Notice Supporter, Noodle, Chandler and all the other losers are absent today. They made it look like a fluke that Vick did not finish the game last week, It looks like that will be the norm in 2011.

Mo

September 25th, 2011
3:48 pm

Look at buffalo! Chan is doing well

Mo

September 25th, 2011
3:49 pm

Hope schaub can lead the texans to a win over no

FalconFan

September 25th, 2011
3:50 pm

That explains why the Falcons are better than Tampa. Football is not fun. It’s business man!

Mr Charlie

September 25th, 2011
3:51 pm

How do you even know that Vick has a concussion?

Mark Bradley

September 25th, 2011
3:51 pm

In every pro football game ongoing, no team has more than a seven-point lead.

Mr Charlie

September 25th, 2011
3:51 pm

Dream team, LOL, more like Cream team.

Mr Charlie

September 25th, 2011
3:52 pm

NY has a 13 pt lead of the Cream team.

J.J.M.

September 25th, 2011
3:52 pm

lol texans got lucky

jojo

September 25th, 2011
3:52 pm

trade up next year and draft Drew Butler for punter

J.J.M.

September 25th, 2011
3:53 pm

giants have a 2 touchdown lead

Delbert D.

September 25th, 2011
3:53 pm

“In every pro football game ongoing, no team has more than a seven-point lead.” Save that one for, “On this day in history.”

Mr Charlie

September 25th, 2011
3:53 pm

Watch the birds roll today, and the torch will officially be passed to Matty Ice.

jojo

September 25th, 2011
3:54 pm

Vick has a broken right hand

Delbert D.

September 25th, 2011
3:55 pm

I think the strength and conditioning program affected Butler and Walsh adversely.

Mo

September 25th, 2011
3:55 pm

Houston scored too soon

Mr Charlie

September 25th, 2011
3:55 pm

Now that the Vick vs Ice debate is officially over, what are we going to argue about?

Mr Charlie

September 25th, 2011
3:57 pm

Vick knocked silly, broken hand. Nothing gives you bad karma like torturing animals.

J.J.M.

September 25th, 2011
3:57 pm

brees making it look too easy

Hillbilly D

September 25th, 2011
3:58 pm

In every pro football game ongoing, no team has more than a seven-point lead.

Pete’s Parity lives on.

Mo

September 25th, 2011
3:59 pm

Houston should just let NO score. They will anyway and then they wont have any much time left.

J.J.M.

September 25th, 2011
3:59 pm

braves just need to pack it up. even if they did make the playoffs they would just get swept

FalconFan

September 25th, 2011
4:00 pm

Ryan is not only a better QB than Vick, but he’s tougher than Vick. Vick isn’t tough at all.

Delbert D.

September 25th, 2011
4:00 pm

Smart move for the Texans to let them score in that situation.