One of the more hotly contested position battles of the preseason has been between 2nd year punter Chas Henry and former all pro Mat McBriar. Henry came off an inconsistent rookie year and McBriar was coming off an injury plagued 2011.
Henry was a great punter in college, while McBriar had been a great punter in the NFL. The question was, who would find that form again? The answer wasn't exactly clear, but when the dust settled, Chas Henry has won the job. According to his agent, the Eagles will release the veteran punter tomorrow.
That Henry won the job is a mild surprise, but in the end, neither guy stood out as notably good or bad. Both looked like they'd be fine. McBriar punted for a higher net in the preseason, but Henry put more inside the 20. Neither stat means all that much out of context though, as they really depend a lot on field position.
If the battle ended in a tie, it makes sense that the younger guy with more experience as Alex Henery's holder ends up as the winner. Here's hoping Henry makes the most of the opportunity, but either way... I don't think the season will hinge one way or the other on the punter.
Eliot says that we shouldn't discount Henery's role in the decision.
I think Alex Henery's experience w/Henry holding played a big part in Henry winning job.— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) August 29, 2012
#Eagles & Henery didn't want big change in 2nd yr
Even when McBriar came to Lehigh, Henry/Henery were tied at hip. McBriar was always off to the side.— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) August 29, 2012
#Eagles can't break up BFF's like that
And frankly, its as good as reason any to tip things in Henry's favor. The reality is, Alex Henery is going to have a lot more influence on how this season turns out than either punter.