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STS*: Next for Malone Is Dome Sweet Dome

Posted by jlholt32 on November 17, 2012 – 12:01 pm

Most football players have a preference between competing in an outdoor stadium or a dome.

All nine of the Jets’ games this season have been held outdoor stadiums. Their final six will be also. The Green & White will play their lone indoor game in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on Sunday.

For Jets punter Robert Malone, the excitement of the venue is clearly evident.

“Most kickers and punters would prefer to kick inside a dome,” Malone said Friday afternoon after practice, “because, I mean, you don’t have to worry about weather conditions. Being out here in New York, where it’s cold and windy, it’s not the most ideal place to punt. So it’s nice to be able to get in a dome where you don’t have to worry about that too much and you can kind of just focus on what you have to do.”

One Jet who isn’t as big of a supporter toward a dome’s environment is Malone’s personal protector, Tim Tebow.

“I prefer grass,” No. 15 said. “I prefer playing in elements on grass. I feel like that’s how football should be played. But really, it doesn’t bother me too much at all.”

Malone said he’s played two games in domes during his time in the NFL. When he was a member of the Buccaneers, he faced the Saints in the Superdome and also played in the Georgia Dome vs. the Falcons.

“Some people can get pretty excited to be in there and try to swing for the fences and that’s when mistakes can happen,” the punter said. “So you’ve got to be careful. You’ve got to be smooth. You’ve got to stay with your rhythm, because there’s definitely been some mis-hits in domes, too.”

The 24-year-old enters Sunday’s contest against the 3-5-1 Rams looking to build off an impressive outing last week at Seattle. In that game, he had seven punts for a 45.9-yard gross average and a 40.1 net. Three of his punts resulted in fair catches by Leon Washington and four were inside-the-20 punts. The only other game this season he’s had four inside-the-20s was Sept. 23 at Miami.

“I wouldn’t say it was my best game,” Malone said. “I was happy with the performance. There were a few things I could have done better. I would probably say the Colts game was my best game as a Jet. But I felt solid. There’s definitely a few things I can improve on. But I can’t complain with the net and the four inside-the-20s.”

Malone’s net production hasn’t gone unnoticed either. Head coach Rex Ryan praised the effort and production during his news conference Wednesday.

“We have a young man, I think this might be the best net punting we’ve ever had here,” Ryan said. “I think that’s been a success.”

Malone attributes a lot of his positive net punting — his 39.3 net for the season isn’t far from Curley Johnson’s franchise mark of 39.7 in 1965 — to special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff.

“He’s just a big believer in doing your job, focusing on your job and doing what you can for the team,” Malone said. “He puts a lot of pressure on you, which is good because when it comes to the game, there is a lot of pressure. So in practice, that’s kind of how he does it. He tries to make you prepared.”

After a positive start, the Jets’ special teams have struggled over the last two games. Punt returner Jeremy Kerley muffed a punt against Seattle and one of Malone’s punts against Miami in Week 8 was blocked and returned for a touchdown. Westhoff has shown his disappointment and it hasn’t been fun for Malone either.

“Obviously like any coach would be,” Malone said, “you know if things aren’t going well he’s going to show his frustrations. The players are just as frustrated. So we’ve got to do our best to not get that feeling anymore.”

The Orange, Calif., native said his knowledge of the game and anticipation in punting situations are the two things he’s improved most since he was signed Sept. 4. And with only seven weeks of the regular season remaining, No. 3 is striving for one thing: consistency.

“It’s a long season,” Malone said, “and you’ve just got to try and keep your legs fresh. It’s harder to stay fresh out here just because it’s so much colder than most places. You’ve got to keep swinging your leg. You’ve got to warm up a lot more. Just staying fresh, staying consistent throughout the season and finish strong.”

*Special Teams Saturday

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Posted in John Holt | 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “STS*: Next for Malone Is Dome Sweet Dome”

  1. By Charliejet on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    Q: What do you call 53 millionaires around a TV watching the Super Bowl?

    A: The New York Jets.

  2. By scjoe on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    Just want to throw this out there for all interested, it is something I have been saying for more then 4 years now and there has been an ongoing debate about it. In Woody Johnson’s interview just recently he stated, and I quote, “Mike-Tannenbaum- Has- The- Final- Say- On- ALL- Football- Decisions!” OK, maybe now we can put to rest that theory that Rex Ryan is not a very good talent evaluator! Because it wouldn’t matter much if he is or if he is not!!

  3. By Bennett on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    Just some observations and a blanket response to a few days worth of posts. You cannot usually ground and pound with an average third round back as your feature, Team depth IS important and a sign of a good GM. Sanchez is just not a good QB, weapons or not, protection or not, way to many basic flaws. Rex in an attempt to fire up his team actually fires up the opponents. Sporano is one awful OC. A good colleage player doesn’t necessarily translate into a good NFL player..Penalties are indicative of poor coaching right from the top on down. Teamate to teamate sniping is the sign of a lack of leaders in the locker room. The Jets may not be in the superbowl in my lifetime and I am at the point where I don’t think I really care.

  4. By joeydefiant on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    Talking about the punter.. god help us.

    Thinking about the draft. Since people on here think Mike T and Rex take suggestions from the comments here are my thoughts:

    Assuming Jarvis Jones is gone by the time the jets pick they need to draft a OLB. I’d love to see Chase Thomas or Mingo picked in round one. Then in round 2-3 take Ezekiel Ansah and Khaseem Greene. Then grab a RB and O-Lineman with the rest of the picks.

  5. By SCfromNY on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    ALRIGHT! We have a good kicking duo. Something we have rarely had. Now just to get a Qb, RB, 2 OL, 2 LB, safety, and TE and we will be set to make a run.

    I hope the Jets are not looking past the Rams to the Pats on Bird Day. Remember the last time that happened?

  6. By Byrdman on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    Yeah Malone is decent for a Jet punter but I’d rather have a Reggie Roby (75 yard blast) or a Ray Guy (punts out of bounds on the 1/2 yard line from the 50) Why can’t punters do that anymore? Jets don’t have the team speed or STS maniacs that fly in and BLOW-UP the returner. Like almost any other position on this team we’ve got a what Parcells used to call “JAG” just another guy. Doesn’t usually stink up the joint and not an ESPN highlight reel either.

  7. By Byrdman on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    We have to ask ourselves that tough question – at this point what good does winning these games really do? Wouldn’t an 8-8 record virtually guarantee more of the Rex/Tanny/Sparano/Sanchez tragic-comedy that we’ve been watching? On the other hand if they blow a diaper and wind up with the first pick – they’ll draft a wideout :D If they’re in the 15 to 25 range, they mortgage the future to move up to #5, draft a QB with 4th round talent. Hopefully we are in the 6th – 12th pick range next April, and someone slips a copy of Mike Mayock’s mock draft under the door to the Jets war room. I would trust ANY competent football analyst making the decisions over T-Rex, even ole Helmet Hair – Mel Kiper Wouldn’t you ?

  8. By Jet Fan Since 64 Tom of Few Words re Few Wins on Nov 17, 2012 | Reply

    I know it’s almost piling on to say it, but Mr T’s claim that we’re “a few plays away” from a good season is laughable. We’re about 20 playERS away from anything resembling a good season, much less a bright future.

  9. By SCfromNY on Nov 18, 2012 | Reply

    Bennett usually you do not get a elite RB in the 3rd round. However, RBs are the most likely position to grab a winner in later rounds and remember Arien Foster was not drafted.

    Byrdman, yes Guy and Roby were outstanding. But Roby was really good and guy, a 1rst round pick was a freak.

    Jet fan 64; My estimate coincides with yours . . . about 20 new players added. It is also about time we get some hidden gems. How long can your scouts and GM whiff on picks, draft or FA?

  10. By MIKE on Nov 18, 2012 | Reply

    Sick of the articles on the big mouths in the Jets locker room, especially when it’s LT saying this. A hall of fame RB with a hall of fame mouth. This guy may of been the greatest RB ever and tries so hard to carry himself like Curtis Martin and other class acts in the NFL. He isn’t in that class. This guy was part of the problem with the Jets soap opera when he was here and was a problem when he sat on the sidelines and pouted as the Chargers played in the AFC championship.

    Somebody should interview LT and ask him why he can’t stay out of it. There is an ugly cloud over this team right now, things are not looking good.

  11. By Mike Jet Vet on Nov 18, 2012 | Reply

    Dome stadiums and St’s,. Yes our Kick game is finally in decent shape, Problem is rest of the team bombs. True to Jets history, it’s either one or the other never the whole package. D is good O stinks. so on so forth … Now, these are only my opinions, Take this year, St’s for instance, I haven’t seen a Mike Westoff coached Special team play as bad as this group since I can remember, I believe Mike-W saying he may retire at seasons end, opened the flood gates to underachievers, as a result,Concentration over next. Dome stadiums. I rather play outdoor every game gets you ready to play any where under any condition’s

  12. By Jet Fan Since 64 Tom of Few Words re Few Wins on Nov 18, 2012 | Reply

    As long as easily-pleased Jet fans make excuses for a lame franchise, SCfromNY — though I see even joeyduhthejetsneedhelp has realized that it’s okay to express his dissatisfaction. He’s still a little slow on the learning curve, though, thinking that I meant Rex and Mr T read these posts. What I meant was if Jet fans stop going to watch a pathetic team, Woody won’t need to read these posts.

  13. By russ on Nov 19, 2012 | Reply

    Unless you play and win against a team with a winning record, it’s called a bye week….

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