JagNation Hot Topic - Adam Podlesh

When the Jaguars offense bogs down and is forced to punt, attention in 2007 will focus on rookie punter Adam Podlesh.

It will be the first time in six years that someone other than Chris Hanson has held the job on a regular basis, other than the last 11 games in 2003, when Hanson was placed on injured reserve after injuring his leg in a locker room accident five games into the season.

When the Jaguars drafted Podlesh in the fourth round last spring, it became clear that Hansen was on his way out, especially after posting a 40.6 average in 2006, his lowest in six seasons with the team.

Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis said he's worked with rookie punters in the NFL before. It won't be easy for Podlesh, DeCamillis said.

"It's a challenge, no question. (Podlesh) is going to go through some ups and downs just like all young guys," DeCamillis said. "All young players do but he's got a lot of talent so we're looking forward to working with him."

Podlesh is confident of his ability but knows it's a different atmosphere punting in the NFL than on the college level.

"It will take some adjustment, getting to know the snapper, blocking scheme and how the defense comes at you," said the Maryland graduate. "Actually punting the ball is the same at both levels. But the surroundings, the intensity and the fans make it different than what it was like in college."

The biggest adjustment Podlesh will have to adjust to is the emphasis placed on directional punting in the NFL. That's essential because of the number of quality punt returners at this level compared to college where it may be a handful of top returners that a punter would face over the course of a season.

"We're running a different scheme than what he did in college," DeCamillis said. "What he's being asked to do now is going to be a little bit more difficult from the standpoint of where we want the ball placed. It's just better.

"You know you're going to get better rushes, you're going to get better people coming after you and of course better returners. Every single week here you're going to have a great returner. It's just the level of competition."


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