The Giants offense hasn’t been pretty to watch this preseason, to the point where punter Brad Wing was the standout of New York’s 21-0 loss to the Bills last week. In that game, the Australian boomed a 57-yard punt and had two more which pinned Buffalo inside the 10-yard line. The usually overlooked punter was the player worth talking about.
“Yeah, that’s weird,” Wing told NY Sports Day after the Giants beat the Jets 21-20 on Saturday. “You never want that to happen but it’s good people are saying that, I guess.”
Wing made a name for himself at LSU when he was punting for a Tigers team that won the SEC title and made the National Championship Game. In the regular season and conference title game, opponents combined to return only 17 of his punts for six yards. Wing was named Second-team All-SEC and helped LSU beat Alabama in November of 2011, when he boomed a late punt over 70 yards to flip field position, and take Alabama out of field goal range in a game the Tigers won in overtime.
Wing also made the blooper reel that season. It looked like the punter had run for a 52-yard touchdown but Wing had held the ball out to taunt a Florida player and the touchdown was nullified.
After playing with the Steelers in 2014, Wing joined the Giants. After a solid 2015 season, Big Blue signed Wing to a deal through 2019.
The punter has been happy with his performance so far in 2016. “Yeah. I think there’s always room for improvement but it is the preseason and I think we’ve put some good stuff out there to improve upon.”
Because of the struggles of the offense, Wing has had less time to practice on the sidelines and more time to actually punt in games.
“You don’t have to warm up as much when you’re punting a lot, so that makes a difference,” Wing said.
“You don’t have to do as many balls into the net to stay warmer longer when you’re just punting a lot and that’s about it.”
Things went back to normal on Saturday as Wing was (fortunately) not the star of the game for the Giants when they beat the Jets in front of a mixed crowd.
“I think there was a lot of excitement,” Wing said. “It was obviously a good, close game so the fans enjoyed that. We were fortunate enough to be on the winning side of it, so it’s good.”