The Bills’ newest left-footed punter should recognize Isaiah McKenzie
The Buffalo Bills swapped out their punter this offseason, saying good bye to Corey Bojorquez and hello to a former divisional foe. While Bojorquez was often maligned during his tenure for issues with holding or inconsistency while punting, he continued to improve his craft each year, ultimately leading the entire NFL in average yards per punt in 2020 with 50.8 yards per boot.
Bojorquez’s replacement is less a boomer and more a tactician—for Bills fans of a certain age, you’ll remember Chris Mohr never being high in the average-per-punt standings, but always ranking near the top in punts downed inside the 20—so this indicates a slight shift in philosophy for the special teams in 2021. Or, perhaps it’s just a budgetary issue—as it’s possible that the Bills didn’t want to pay Bojorquez on a long-term deal given his lack of consistency.
In any case, our focus in today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days” is on Buffalo’s new punter.
Name: Matt Haack
Height/Weight: 6’ 205 lbs
Age: 26 (27 on 7/25/2021)
College: Arizona State
Acquired: Signed with Buffalo on 3/18/2021
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Buffalo signed Haack to a three-year deal worth a total of $5.475 million. The Bills gave Haack a $1.05 million signing bonus. For the 2021 season, his cap hit will be $1.575 million, and his dead-cap number of $2.25 million essentially ensures that he will be on the roster this season.
2020 Recap: Haack maintained his job as Miami’s punter for the fourth consecutive season. He punted a career-low 68 times, dropping a touch over 38 percent of those kicks (26) inside the 20-yard line. Also of note is the number of punts that opponents had to fair-catch, as 22 of his punts were fair-caught. He also hit 21 punts over 50 yards. On the downside, he allowed 24 punts to be returned for a total of 297 yards and two touchdowns. One of those touchdowns was run back by Isaiah McKenzie in the regular-season finale.
Positional outlook: Haack is the lone punter on Buffalo’s roster, so barring an injury or a horrendous camp, the job is his.
2021 Offseason: Haack is healthy and he attended OTAs.
2021 Season outlook: If you’re hawking the site to see if the punter can hack it, kudos to you. Remember, his name is pronounced “hawk” although it looks like it would be pronounced “hack.” Buffalo chose to move on from Bojorquez, who hit 18 of his 41 punts inside the 20 last year, though only six of his punts went for a fair catch. The team is going with hang time and consistency this year over the boomer. Let’s see if it helps the Bills to win the field-position battle come September.