Friday, September 2, 2011
Dodge or Weatherford? We'll see Saturday
By Mike Mazzeo
Here's how not to start an interview when you may get cut, courtesy of punter Matt Dodge.
How will you spend tomorrow?
"Vacating my apartment. I was supposed to do that two days ago, but I'm going to do that today and tomorrow."
Where are you going?
"My lease just ran out."
So where are you going?
"Well, I've got the hotel until Sunday."
I thought you were cutting yourself for a second.
"The apartment people, they'll cut you real quick."
So will Giants fans if, say, you punt a ball to DeSean Jackson with no time left that he returns for a game-winning 65-yard touchdown, as Dodge did last season.
On that note, here's Dodge on how he feels about his preseason punting battle with Steve Weatherford.
"I feel the same. I'm confident," said Dodge, who punted 11 times during the preseason for an average of 46.4 yards and had three punts inside the 20. "Whatever's supposed to happen is gonna happen, and we'll just go from there."
Dodge will find out what’s going to happen on Saturday, when the Giants get down to 53 players.
"I'm excited," Dodge said. "Saturday, I'm either gonna be back here or going back home or whatever, so it's a pretty exciting time."
Dodge's counterpart, the veteran Weatherford, who punted for the rival Jets last season, punted 10 times during the preseason for an average of 46.2 yards and had four punts inside the 20.
"Hopefully I'm not cleaning out my locker, but who knows?" Weatherford said. "I feel good about what I've done in camp and the preseason. Obviously I wanna be here, but if that's not in the cards, I feel confident about having a job, which is most important for my family and I.
"We'll see how it plays out, but one thing I'm sure of is that the Giants are gonna have a good punter this year, whether it's me or Dodge. He's really made some strides as a punter and it was impressive to watch. Very receptive to the advice he was getting from (special teams) coach Tom Quinn and myself."
Weatherford said this is his sixth punting competition in what is his sixth NFL season.
"It would feel weird if I (wasn't competing)," Weatherford said. "I think it’s good for everybody. Would it be al little less nerve-wracking to come into training camp knowing it’s your job and that you’re the guy? Sure. But I don’t know how my season would go if that was the case."
While Dodge sounded a little unsure about a future job in the league should he be the one to go, Weatherford sounded confident.
"I feel very confident that I’m gonna have a job, that I’ve punted the way that I wanted to punt," Weatherford said. "There’s really not much I can do. My confidence can only take me so far, and as a specialist that’s all you really have, so you gotta ride that wave."