New England Patriots: Bill Belichick praises the efficiency of Ryan Allen

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16: Ryan Allen
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16: Ryan Allen /

New England Patriots punter Ryan Allen is coming off one of his best performances of the season in the team’s 26-6 victory over the New York Jets. 

When you have a quarterback like Tom Brady and one of the more explosive offensive units in the NFL, punting the ball doesn’t happen a whole lot within a season.  But when it does, New England Patriots punter Ryan Allen has stepped up to the plate.

He is not talked about often, but following Sunday’s game in which he strategically placed five of his eight punts inside the New York Jets 20-yard line, Allen drew praise from head coach Bill Belichick who complimented his situation punting and efficiency.

"“Punting is such a situational play; it’s not just standing there and kicking it as far as you can,” Belichick said in his weekly conference call.  “It’s making the right kick in the right situation.  Sometimes part of that is the rush, sometimes part of it is the coverage, sometimes part of it is the field position and game situation, time left and so forth, and certainly the elements and field condition come in to play.”"

HOUSTON, TX – FEBRUARY 05: Ryan Allen /

Punters aren’t praised often in the NFL, but they can and sometimes do become difference makers in games like Sunday.  With frigid temperatures, his ball placement really stood out in his ability to allow his coverage team to get down field and make the necessary plays that pinned the Jets deep in their territory a number of times.

Again, Ryan Allen doesn’t stand out as one of the top punters in the game ranking 30th with a gross average of 43.4 yards, but in placing 41.4 percent of his punts inside the 20-yard line, his importance in switching the field during situational points in the game makes him valuable.

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As he pointed out after Sunday’s performance, it’s not how much power you kick the ball with, it’s how you kick the ball to get the best possible outcome in helping the team win.

"“You have to put your nose down and keep working on it and be diligent about it,” Allen said, via the Providence Journal.  “That’s kind of the approach I’ve taken.  It’s still not perfect and it’s still not where I want to be, but the great thing about it is you have to keep working each day. …It’s one day at a time.”"

In his continued praise of Allen, Belichick echoed his sentiments about hard work and doing the necessary things to help the team win.  Overall, he called Allen a smart kid who is very coachable and makes the necessary adjustments to be better and do better the next time he gets an opportunity.

With the playoffs now here, Ryan Allen could be more of a factor, especially in games where the weather conditions are a factor like in Sunday’s game.  Playing in New England, he certainly has the experience.  He also knows he always has to be ready to do the little things the coaches ask him to do.

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In an NFL playoff game, it could just come down to the placement of a punt being the difference in a game.