Cory's Corner: A Punter Trade Was Chef's Kiss

Bojorquez brought more than just a strong leg to Green Bay. He brought accountability to the front office. 

Arguably one of the least talked about positions in football is the offensive line. 

The absolute least talked about position in football is punter.

And amazingly, that’s the position where the Packers made a huge splash. JK Scott, the unceremonious fifth round pick in 2018, was a top five punter in 2019 and 2020. The 25-year-old even had the best average hang time last year at 4.57 seconds. Many people even nicknamed Scott “The Weapon” for his ability to flip the field and help the defense out immediately. 

But along the way, he had plenty of hiccups. His probability for shanking a punt increased and his net punting average saw his lowest number of his career. What’s worse, his precision also got worse as Scott only had 15 punts inside the 20 last year, the worst of his career, and the bottom half of all punters. He also had nine balls sail out of bounds.

When you have a future Hall of Fame quarterback, the last thing you think about is addressing the punting position, but the Packers sent a sixth rounder to the Rams in exchange for Corey Bojorquez and a seventh rounder. It’s not just that the Packers made a trade for a punter, it’s that the Packers made a trade for a punter on Sept. 4 — eight days before Green Bay’s season opener with the Saints. 

“We’re always looking for a chance to get better,” Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said. “And obviously Corey had a fantastic year in Buffalo last year. Just watching him this preseason, we thought this was a chance to get better.” 

In Buffalo, not exactly the most ideal place to punt, Bojorquez saw a net average of 44.0, which was fifth in the league last year. 

The Packers know how important this year is, especially with the bitter taste of a home NFC title game loss still lingering from last year. The last thing they want is a punter that stands between them and a Super Bowl. 

At the dawn of a new year, we always extrapolate about bloated expectations. But this year is a little different. Thanks to the bumpy offseason this past spring, we don’t know how this offseason will play out, so this team might as well win the whole damn thing. 

Now the last thing that I thought that would be the final chef’s kiss would be a punter. But Bojorquez learned and got better from four-time All-Pro Johnny Hecker in LA and really understands how important and magnified each punt will be this season. 

The Packers didn’t just get better, though. By making this trade, Gutekunst is also admitting he made a mistake. The 2018 draft class is good because it netted one of the best corners in Jaire Alexander and a solid No. 2 wideout in Marquez Valdes-Scantling. However, it also produced flops like Josh Jackson, Oren Burks, J’Mon Moore and Scott. 

This move wasn’t just about adding a punter. It was about reinforcing what Gutekunst said when he was hired about the status quo. 

Trading for a punter seems like an exercise in the mundane, but it’s actually a signal to everyone else that you have to produce. 

Remember, accountability doesn’t have to be thought of as a negative. The Packers got better by this trade but it also made the entire organization stronger. 

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (46)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
HarryHodag's picture

September 11, 2021 at 06:40 am

No matter which team is picking, the draft usually only secures a 50 percent success rate.

In Scott's case I think his downfall centers on a case of over-thinking.

At Alabama Scott was lights out. Punting and place kicking are plays that don't change much from college to the pros. His first season in Green Bay Scott was good. But each successive year and change in coaching staff found his performance drop. I don't know all the details but it sure looked like a case of over-coaching. Thinking too much instead of doing.

At a watering hole one night a coach told me an interesting idea about punting. He asked: 'Why do teams do all the f'in around? Kick right, kick left, kick high, etc. Why not tell the punter to kick the ball as high and far as he can but kick it out of bounds? 50 yards total, out of bounds, no return. I suspect the coaches want to justify their jobs so they have all these designs for coverage. Kick the ball as far as you can out of bounds or out of the end zone. When you think about the other team's returns, you end up with less total yardage anyway with the potential of a return for a touchdown. No returns if the ball is kicked out of bounds.

Here's another thing to ponder. When a place kicker hits a field goal, they say the length of the goal is from the point he kicks it. But for a punter, they count the length of the punt from the line of scrimmage. Why?
The reality is the punter is generally 15 yards back, so a 40 yard punt in reality is 55 yards.

Just sayin'.

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PhantomII's picture

September 11, 2021 at 09:37 am

I guess 1 statistic is for glory, putting points on the board. The other is a failure to make a first down and to save face.

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jont's picture

September 11, 2021 at 09:47 am

"Out kick the coverage" means your cover guys get too spread out. This suggests that some coordination of ball placement, gunners, and the rest of the cover guys is needed.
My version of that coach's barstool rant is that a punter should perfect one good kick and try for it everytime while the cover guys focus on a pattern that surrounds that kick-- kick it deep and to one side so the cover guys can shrink the field by moving that way from the snap.
Obviously this wouldn't work or teams would've at least tried it.
It all suggests this is much more complicated than it seems.

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Slim11's picture

September 11, 2021 at 12:17 pm

You hit on part of something I've known for a long time. My perspective comes from being a punter (and kicker) in high school and one year of college.

You tied coverage into the process of punting well. Go back to Justin Vogel. He punted well in Green Bay but also had excellent coverage, primarily because of Jeff Janis. When Vogel asked for...and received...his release, he didn't do well departing Green Bay. In large part, it was because he was separated from Janis' capabilities as a gunner.

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flackcatcher's picture

September 11, 2021 at 01:24 pm

Neither McCarthy nor Lafleur seemed to care much about ST coverage. To this day, Green Bay has not replaced Janis as their gunner, and every year both McCarthy and now Lafleur have moaned about how bad their ST game had gone during the season. Both being offensive minds seemed not care as long as their field position was decent. And that attitude has bitten this team over the years. Goes along with both treating defense as an afterthought.

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Oppy's picture

September 11, 2021 at 10:24 am

"When a place kicker hits a field goal, they say the length of the goal is from the point he kicks it. But for a punter, they count the length of the punt from the line of scrimmage. Why?"

In the case of the field goal, the result of the play is either 3 points or 0, and the length of the kick is reported as an indication of difficulty, not as a result of the play.

With a punt, on the other hand, the result of the play is change of position, and the length of punt is reported as an indication of what amount of that position change occurred as a result of the kick itself, before the return and coverage teams affect the play.

It makes sense.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 11, 2021 at 01:15 pm

Punt the ball as close to the sideline as you can.

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Since'61's picture

September 11, 2021 at 02:27 pm

Totally agree. I don’t understand why that is not SOP.
Thanks, Since ‘61

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stockholder's picture

September 11, 2021 at 07:56 am

One NFL Draft Analysis said he would have never drafted Scott. Drafting punters in that draft was a dumb thing to do. We can point to Gute admitting making mistakes. Yet he still gets praise on this site for making them. The fact that he hits on one guy won't make any team a champion. But it's that old college try, even if it's wrong. That could put this franchise back into the 80s. Instead of trying to build a dynasty. Gute's moves still look like Status Que. They give you a hope of a champion, while sticking the knife in others. And yes I'm referring to the Drama in Green Bay this past off season. Sure this has become a business. But Lombardi built a dynasty. Wolf brought them back. And thats what I want more then a college try.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 11, 2021 at 08:20 am

Lot of bad happens to you lately? It shurely looks like it is.

How dare GMs to miss on draft picks? If you are one, you'll pick every round a guy who would be 1st rounder. Even with the conditional 7th round pick.

That is sure thing.

I do not understand people. They lean to opinion on reporters and their judgement on players position on draft boards. If those reporters have any value in prospect assessments, they would surely got at least invitation to interview for GM position. The best example is Raiders GM (Mayock) who got that position and he missed on almost every pick for Raiders in 2 consecutive drafts. That should tells you everything.

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jannes bjornson's picture

September 11, 2021 at 08:20 am

Needles and Pins for those who love a participation ribbon.

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CoachDino's picture

September 12, 2021 at 05:54 am

why bother beieg a fan with that mind set? considering the staggering odds each season wheres the enjoyment derived from?

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Demon's picture

September 11, 2021 at 09:39 am

Don't you just love being berated by the guy who's sister is the #4 prostitute in all of Kazakhstan?

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Oppy's picture

September 11, 2021 at 10:26 am

Shut your filthy whore mouth, Demon.
How many languages do you speak?

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Demon's picture

September 11, 2021 at 11:58 am

Filthy whore mouth? Damn that's
harsh!

Actually since you asked,, I do speak another language fluently, Tagalog.

The difference is I don't go to another countries blogs to pop off and berate people about things I know nothing about while murdering their language.

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Oppy's picture

September 11, 2021 at 03:29 pm

Not everyone who is a Packers fan is a native English speaker or immersed in an English speaking culture. There's nothing wrong with people attempting to communicate with others. The point gets across.

Unless you were raised bilingual- which is a probability- you definitely have had conversations with people who speak either tagalog or english where you've murdered the language. It's how you learn a language and improve.

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NickPerry's picture

September 12, 2021 at 06:03 am

Common Demon, that was a bit harsh. Croat has been making comments here on CHTV for YEARS, hell for as long as I can remember anyways. IIRC he was also over on another site Jersey Al had before merging it with CHTV which was at least 11 years ago or so. Those of us who have read Croats comments over the years KNOW he loves the Packers and that's what matters. Oppy's one of those Packers fans who has been here for a long time, and clearly from his response appreciates Croat as do I.

Packers fans are WORLDWIDE and not everyone of them will be your cup of tea. Those who bust balls, give negative replies, or whatever the case might be just PASS on by. Just a suggestion friend.

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croatpackfan's picture

September 11, 2021 at 11:52 am

How large ignorant you are, you show us with no knowledge in geography. But that is your problem.

You may be ashamed when you grow up and mature for your comments.

I am not offended by your attitude or your remark, because it is common to children when they do not have argumets to try to offend other side.

Thank you for your comment, it will push me to improve my English...

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PhantomII's picture

September 11, 2021 at 09:42 am

Until we recruit a top level, proven DC and a top level ST coach we will be low ball gambling over a few measly bucks instead of building a solid foundation.

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ricky's picture

September 11, 2021 at 08:09 am

The first time the new punter shanks one (and it will happen) expect there to be a ground swell of anger and resentment.

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HarryHodag's picture

September 11, 2021 at 09:27 am

Just like when the 'fire everybody' crowd comes out after a Packer loss.

Here's a stat to remember about Gute and Matt LF: 26-6 over two seasons.

Not many mistakes with those numbers.

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LambeauPlain's picture

September 11, 2021 at 11:12 am

And total body of work = 28-8. So far Gutey has been bringing in solid young talent and Matt and his coaches know how to train them to make plays on the field.

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Oppy's picture

September 11, 2021 at 10:52 am

Lord forbid JK Scott goes elsewhere and ends up figuring it out (which I think will probably happen at some point.)

He's got an an NFL leg, he needs to get his head straight.

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Coldworld's picture

September 11, 2021 at 08:11 am

I think you read too much into this. Gute’s already showed a willingness to get rid of mistakes, such as J’mon Moore and, a contradictory willingness to retain others such as Burks. I don’t think this brings accountability that was lacking. I think they just saw an opportunity to bring in a more consistent punter with a good cold weather record for next to nothing. I also think it’s possible Scott’s attitude had irked his coaches, based on failure to hydrate and fear of tackling. Admittedly, that supposition is just speculation, but it ties with his inability to correct his issues. You

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PhantomII's picture

September 11, 2021 at 09:45 am

A football player is a football player. Scott is someone who can kick a football....inconsistently, who is not a football player.

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Guam's picture

September 11, 2021 at 08:43 am

Calling a punter acquisition "FO accountability" is a bit of a reach. Gute's front office has already demonstrated accountability with Josh Jackson, J'mon Moore, Montravious Adams, (the QB from Notre Dame via Cleveland who's name I can't remember), etc. etc. All higher draft choices (or acquisitions) than Scott and all no longer with the team. Gute gives his draft choices/acquisitions a fair shot, but has a proven record that Scott just added to of cutting/trading players who don't measure up.

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Packer_Fan's picture

September 11, 2021 at 09:19 am

Did anyone watch the game Thursday night? The Tampa Bay punter first punt was over 60 yards and went out of bounds on the two. That punt saved three points for the ensuing Cowboy drive ended up just short of field goal range. I don't ever remember a punt like that from Scott. Time to move on...

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TarynsEyes's picture

September 11, 2021 at 09:27 am

"Remember, accountability doesn’t have to be thought of as a negative."

This must-have or I at least hope it hit home with many here. Since the negativity that I'm often accused of is because I hold the players and FO accountable for their inadequate contributions and dealings in regard to what they're paid to do weekly, monthly, and yearly.

The blind-optimist denies accountability and views it as a negative.

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HarryHodag's picture

September 11, 2021 at 09:30 am

Losing perspective of the overall picture is also a negative.

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TarynsEyes's picture

September 11, 2021 at 10:57 am

Whose perspective and whose picture?

Those who believe a playoff spot or Division Title is a successful season in a division that has had 2 of 3 rivals finish in the bottom 10-15 league-wide every year, which is screamed about with NE and their 'actual and real' success, by the same people here, while having the presumptive best QB the last 10+ years. Will anything less than an SB appearance be considered a successful season with the upheaval that will surely come from things the FO has done with players and salary cap issues?

My perspective and picture, especially when you have the GOAT QB for 10+ years is Super Bowl or Bust every year you have one, and the things that have been allowed over that time by the FO has been more detrimental than good for the team and expected results.

Fans can say what they want, but Brady and NE have spent half of his years at season's end playing in an SB (10) and winning 7 of them. That's a perspective and picture that GB has allowed themselves to be dismissed or be denied while maintaining blind optimism or simple ignorance to the failures.

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LambeauPlain's picture

September 11, 2021 at 11:24 am

Just about every Division winner has 2 or 3 rivals finish in the bottom 15....mentioning a distinction for the North without a difference among the other 7 Divisions.

I also know you can manage an organization while being both positive and accountable...Matt and Gutey display this, in my view.

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Oppy's picture

September 11, 2021 at 10:37 am

In baseball, tracked performance over decades has shown that even the best hitters fail 2 out of 3 times at bat. This sets the bar for performance that we judge all baseball players by- a metric by which we hold players "accountable" in terms of batting.

However, for whatever reason, there's some around here who ignore the realities when it comes to historical (if subjective) "success" rate for GMs when drafting / acquiring pro personnel. For whatever reason, they feel that the GM needs to be "held accountable" for failing to live up to what certainly seems like an inflated and unrealistic standard.

2018 was a poor draft overall. That shit happens. This team is deeper than it has been in a long, long time, and the team has been winning. That didn't happen randomly. The front office has been doing their part.

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TarynsEyes's picture

September 11, 2021 at 12:02 pm

Except for Rodgers's first season and two with injury, this team has been 'winning, but winning isn't enough when you have a Rodgers at QB because most QBs can win games. When you have the widely heralded best QB in the NFL winning isn't enough and not sniffing an SB over 11 years is not success but failure, and before you say it, I'll reply, you have to be in the SB to sniff winning it, not watching other teams play in it. The loser in the SB got to sniff it, the winner gets to own it, and all others got to look at it from afar.

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porupack's picture

September 11, 2021 at 01:35 pm

How exactly did Taryn hold them accountable? Complaining? Ok. It really worked I suppose.

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TarynsEyes's picture

September 11, 2021 at 04:01 pm

Has any fan here been able to hold the FO and players accountable? No. So your response to me is asinine at best as it's the most illogical and improbable expectation to place on a fan. It's a conversation with two sides, and yet many arses attempt to make it more, as you have.

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PearlyBakerBest's picture

September 12, 2021 at 08:31 am

Your exact words were that you hold the players and front office accountable. Now you say you don’t hold them accountable when asked how. Which one is it? If anything is illogical, it is your condescending and insulting reply to a perfectly valid question. A childish attempt at deflection to a question to which you have no answer.

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HarlanHuckleby's picture

September 11, 2021 at 09:47 am

I was half paying attention to his camp battle with Hekker and hoping we picked up the runner up, I’m glad we did. Also, this way every time I see a Rams game I can continue to say “Heck that heckin’ Hekker” and similar epithets. When I get to the afterlife I will no doubt be placed before a tribunal of Hekker ancestors and be sent straight to Heck.

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Johnblood27's picture

September 11, 2021 at 10:32 am

Listen here Harlan Heckleby, you can sure as heck go straight to heck without any heckin side trips to the Hekker family reunion.

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HawkPacker's picture

September 11, 2021 at 11:35 am

Who the heck cares?

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LambeauPlain's picture

September 11, 2021 at 11:31 am

Maybe a perception, but it seemed Scott's best season was as a rookie and he declined every year thereafter. I think Zook and Mennenga did him no favors.

Drayton was coaching him all this time too. Hope having full control of STs will let Mo turn the team around and that Bojo thrives under his coaching.

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13TimeChamps's picture

September 11, 2021 at 02:13 pm

What exactly goes into "coaching" a punter at the NFL level?

Asking for a friend.

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Oppy's picture

September 12, 2021 at 12:24 pm

I know this was rhetorical, but I'll answer anyways.

Film study of the secure ball, approach, and punting mechanics.

I believe with JK Scott specifically, they thought his approach was a bit to long(distance) and lengthy(time until release), and I'm sure they worked with his mechanics to try to compact it.

Beyond that, trying to fine tune the height/distance ratio based on the coverage called and position on the field.

a tenth of a second and third of a yard are significant measurements at this level.

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LayingTheLawe's picture

September 11, 2021 at 11:51 am

<<Many people even nicknamed Scott “The Weapon” for his ability to flip the field and help the defense out immediately. >>

I think only your bosses ever joked about calling him The Weapon.

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Badacidtrip's picture

September 11, 2021 at 02:18 pm

Off topic a bit, but why are folks allowed to post BS hustles on this board? (Make good money at home, yadda yadda yadda, my ass.) Isn't there some way they can be banned from Cheesehead TV? Please, administrators!

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flackcatcher's picture

September 12, 2021 at 11:58 am

In Al's defense, CHTV screening and blocking software has gotten very good over the past 1/2 year. I guess for every 1000 attacks, one get though and gets blocked after. (Probably a far higher percentage) In reality there is very little text ads getting though. At the height CHTV was being bombarded with 6-7 text ads on average getting though per post. This is a very popular website and blog. Credit Al and his web team with not only recoding CHTY on the fly, but knocking out over 90% of the spammers.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

September 12, 2021 at 12:29 am

I'm only speculating here, but I strongly suspect far too often special teams coaches who influence place kickers and punters alike to make changes in their methodology often times results in a negative impact.

I think most of these specialists (kickers and punters) have kicked thousands of times before they ever put on an NFL uniform. Their technique is well ingrained and perhaps unique to them. Change it and more likely than not, the player is then thinking as opposed to using the muscle memory that got them on the team in the first place.

Kickers, punters, and golfers are three talented groups of people who learn to do their speciality in their unique way. For the most part, I believe it is best to demand as little change as possible.

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