Punter Drafted as Insurance

It was more than a little surprising when the Giants spent their seventh and final draft choice on a punter, East Carolina's Matt Dodge. That surprise lasted only a few more minutes though as we learned that long-time veteran Giants punter Jeff Feagles was seriously considering retirement.

The 44-year-old Feagles wants to continue his career, but is concerned that his physical condition will make that an impossibility. Should Feagles finally hang up the spikes, Dodge will compete with offseason signee Jy Bond for New York's punting post.

"(Feagles) is really not sure that physically he'll be able to do it again," Giants GM Jerry Reese said.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said that Feagles both called and came in to visit him and told the coach of his concerns.

"We talked about where he was about what his thinking was … about possibly retiring," Coughlin said. "I was surprised. Jeff was trying to do the right thing. He did the honorable thing."

When asked why he felt Feagles was considering call it a career, Coughlin responded, "He's 44 years old."

The Giants are hopeful that Feagles will give them his decision in the next week or so, although it seemed as if they'd be surprised if they heard anything other than that he planned to retire. There were very grateful that Feagles alerted them before the draft, so that they could cover themselves, which they did by selecting Dodge with the 221st overall pick.

On 220 punts in 41 games at East Carolina, Dodge averaged a lofty 43.6 yards per punt. He ranked second in the entire nation last season with a 45.8-yard average.

"He's got a big leg, powerful," Reese said. "This guy can hit some moon shots. I think he can be a good punter for us."

At 6-1, 224 pounds, it's not surprising that Dodge has been known to throw himself into the mix on punt coverage as well. He's also done some work on kickoffs, although the Giants don't really expect him to help out in that department, at least right away.

"He can kick off but I wouldn't call him a kickoff guy," Reese said.

Should Feagles retire, the Giants would also need a new holder, which would be backup QB Jim Sorgi. Dodge did not hold for kicks at ECU.

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