College: University of Miami
Drafted: 6th round, 192th overall
Notable: Averaged 41.7 yards per punt with the Hurricanes.
After ranking near the bottom of the league in net yards per punt last season (35.6, 26th in the NFL), the Atlanta Falcons are looking for a replacement for Michael Koenen.
The answer may have come in form of Matt Bosher, the team's fifth-round pick in April's draft. The former Miami Hurricane, who earned All-ACC honors as both a kicker and a punter in his college career, is in a battle to take over as Falcons punter, kickoff specialist and even the holder for placekicker Matt Bryant.
He spoke with The Times sports editor Brent Holloway after practice Monday about his training camp and preseason experiences so far.
Question: You got your first NFL action under the lights last week. What were you feeling out there?
Answer: Really excited. It was great to be out there, great to be out there playing football again. It's different, playing in the NFL, a little bit, but football's football, so I just go out there and kick the ball.
Q: What was different?
A: Just the feel, you know the comfort level after being in college for so long. It's just a new team, a new feel, obviously a little bit faster pace. But I feel like I'm catching up on the learning curve and doing well.
Q: They've got you pulling a full load with kickoffs, punts and holding on PATs and field goals. You were also a kicker in college, so obviously you weren't doing any holding. Did you have any experience with it before coming in?
A: Outside of in practice, holding for other kickers, not so much. But I've been working a lot with Matt Bryant and Joe Zelenka. Joe, he's a great long snapper, so he makes it easy for me. And Matt, he's a great teacher and he's really helping me out and (special teams coordinator) coach (Keith) Armstrong is really helping me out and get used to everything and work on my hands.
Q: It's kind of a unique spot. Nobody every notices you as the holder unless you mess up.
A: Yeah, the holder can never be the hero, you can only be the zero. So you just have to work hard to make sure people don't notice you.
Q: You're in a bit of a battle for the punter spot here in camp. What are your goals for this season?
A: I want to make the team, but as of right now I'm just focusing on getting better and making sure that when the next preseason game comes along, I can improve as far as where I was last week.
Q: What are you looking for as far as your numbers go? You had a 48 (yard average) gross last week and 40 net. Where does that rank with what you're shooting for?
A: I think our goal as a team, as a punt unit is to get a net that's always around 40. Our goal is to get good hangtime, and (fellow punter) Ken (Parrish) and I are both going out there and trying to get that good hangtime and force fair catches.
Q: How about on your kickoffs - are you looking for more hangtime or longer distance?
A: A good combination of both. You don't want to drive the ball down there and have the guy run it out. You don't want to just put it up and short. So you have find the best of both worlds.
Q: Are you pleased with how you did Friday night (in the preseason opener)?
A: Yeah, it was a good start. I just need to keep working to better.