Friday, April 30, 2010 is a remarkable date for a few reasons (today, rookie minicamp begins, running through May 2, 2010, and we get the first look at JPP, Linval and the rest of the Giant rookie class); I go with my wife to another baby doctor appointment to check in on our little linebacker in the making, and the Giants bid farewell to one of the all-time punting greats, Jeff Feagles.
There will be a press conference today during the first day of the Giants rookie camp, with Jeff Feagles officially announcing his retirement from pro football after 22 years of making sweet directional punts. The 44 year-old Feagles (yes, he is 44 years old), made two pro bowls during his career and spent the last 8 seasons kicking for big blue, Jeff is a class act, a great punter, and will be missed.
The Giants expected Feagles to return, especially after he inked a new deal for $900,000 earlier this off-season after a little back and forth negotiation that happens with all contracts. But, Tom Coughlin got word from Feagles during the draft of his intentions to retire, and the Giants acted accordingly and drafted punter Matt Dodge in Round 7 (to add to off-season addition Jy Bond). Who thought Jy Bond would really have a legitimate shot to win the starting punting job when he signed earlier this off-season? Not this guy. But, likely Dodge or Bond (both have pretty good names and apparently above average leg strength) will assume punting duties in 2010 (unless of course they both show terrible and an a yet to be named veteran comes in and takes the job).
Back to Feagles, who launched over 1,000 kicks in his career. If ever a punter was a leader, this guy was it. And Giants fans will look back fondly on his funny looking directional punts which often pinned back teams inside the 20 yard line. Special teams can not be over-rated, they are important and the field position which results often determines wins or losses. Feagles did right by the G-men, the G-men did right by Feagles. A nice end to a great career, see you soon Jeff, and stay blue!