So what does a punter do during his first day back on the job following the NFL’s 136-day lockout?
Punt, of course.
That’s exactly what Jon Ryan did Tuesday, after he and other players returned to Virginia Mason Athletic Center for the first time since the lockout began on March 11. By midday, Ryan was launching punts toward the ceiling of the team’s indoor practice facility, with his distinctive “thump” serving as a metronome.
“I’m looking to just improve a little bit in consistency,” Ryan said. “If you asked 30 punters, all 30 would say the same thing. I think I made good strides last year in my pooch punting. Now, just keep building on that and helping this team win.”
Consistency has been Ryan’s calling card since the Seahawks signed him a few days after the season opener in 2008. In fact, the Canadian-born punter has been one of the team’s most consistent performers in three seasons that have seen the Seahawks post records of 4-12, 5-11 and 7-9.
His averages in those three seasons have been 45.6, 46.2 and 41.7 yards, with net averages of 37.9, 38.7 and 37.3. The averages in his first two seasons rank 1-2 on the club’s all-time list, while is net of 38.7 yards in 2009 tied Rick Tuten’s single-season record from 1992.
Ryan also is the holder for field goals and PATs, and he excels in that role, as well. Kicker Olindo Mare had a club-record streak of 30 consecutive field goals in 2009-10 – 14 more than the previous record. And Mare always points to Ryan’s contributions as part of his success.
Ryan had a one-word answered when asked how it felt to have the lockout settled: Relieved.
“Everything was up in the air for so long, and we didn’t know what was going to happen,” he added. “Now we know we’re back. We know we have a CBA in place for 10 years. It’s a relief to know that’s all behind us.”
Now Ryan can concentrate on his punting.