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Is the battle for punter over?

Do we have a winner?
Going into camp it seemed like the only mano e mano one man stays the other goes battle in camp was for the punter job. It seems that as it turns out so was middle linebacker... but right now only the punting slot is up for grabs. After last night, most Eagles followers seem to think that Rocca has the job won.

Reuben Frank has called it for Rocca

It looks like this punting battle is just about over. Through no fault of Dirk Johnson.

Sav Rocca put on another display last night, dropping three straight punts inside the Steelers' 10-yard-line (though one was negated by a penalty). Among them was a booming 59-yarder that was so high it left returner Willie Reid off-balance because he had to retreat so far. Reid fumbled and although he recovered, he lost five more yards for a net gain of 64 yards for Rocca.

Phil Sheridan put it pretty bluntly.

If Sav Rocca didn't clinch the punting competition, then there wasn't a punting competition.

Sam Donnellon says it wouldbe crazy if Rocca doesn't win this job.

Reid last week described the competition between his two punters as "So close right now, it's crazy," and didn't waver from that after the game despite Rocca's air show.

Let's hope this is just another example of the coach holding his cards close to his vest. Otherwise, crazy is an ironic word choice.

Because right now it seems crazy to think Johnson, not Rocca will be the choice when the Eagles play for real two Sundays from now in Green Bay. Rocca's average, after a dozen preseason punts, is just over 46 yards. Not factored in this measurement, but clear to the eye, is that he sometimes hits a 42-yard punt as if it is a pooch, and that the height of his boots are often as impressive as the distance.

Finally, the Courier-Post concours...

The Eagles' much-ballyhooed punting competition may well be over.

Thirty-three-year-old Australian rookie Saverio Rocca made an authoritative case in his half of opportunities Sunday night at Pittsburgh.

I have to say I agree. I can't see any reason he wouldn't make the team. He's been consistent with no shanks or bad kicks, he's held for Akers well, he's shown the ability to not only kick long but high with hang time as well, and he's shown he can pooch a punt inside the 10. I can't see one thing Dirk has done better, although Dirk has done nothing wrong. He's done a fine job, he just hasn't matched up to Big Sav.

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