The Eagles signed punter Brad Wing as an undrafted free agent out of LSU to quite a bit more fanfare than you'd expect for a UDFA punter.
That said, the amount of fanfare for a UDFA punter you'd expect is... none at all.
Wing was a notable addition because he's such an interesting character. He was a fine punter at LSU averaging over 44 yards per kick and being known for getting big hangtime. But he was also a problem child with multiple suspensions, and arrest and some failed drug tests. He was basically kicked off the LSU team.
NFL organizations are willing to take on some character risks if the upside is right, but to do so for a punter is probably a stretch for most. Despite that, the Eagles have given him a shot and special teams coach Dave Fipp is excited about his potential.
"Brad's got an explosive leg," said Fipp. "He's got an ability to drop a ball down the field far, which is always good when you're a punter. He's a great kid who's has some things in the past, but I think he's overcome a lot of those things.
"He does a great job with situational punting. Talk about plus 50 punting, downing the ball inside the opponents 10 yard line, 5 yard line, he's done a great job with that."
Wing was one of the best punters in the nation and maybe one of the best college punters in of the past decade. But that really hasn't shown to mean much in the NFL. It's very typical to see very good college kickers bounce around the league for a while before finding their football. Fipp says that it takes young guys at the position time to be consistent.
"Ultimately you're talking about the 32 best players in the world at one position. When you're talking about that, it becomes about being consistent... When you can hit the same punt every single time no matter what the snap was, no matter what's happening in front of you, no matter what the wind conditions are... and that takes time to develop."
Wing has plenty of talent in his leg, but Donnie Jones, who the Eagles brought in from the Texans this offseason (and another LSU guy), has been a good, consistent punter in this league for the past 10 years. He will be very tough for a young guy to unseat.