Knorr will have to fend off Graham
Micah Knorr
Micah Knorr

Posted Jul 10, 2005

One interesting battle to watch during Jets' training camp is at punter. While veteran Micah Knorr is likely to come away with the starting job, keep an eye on 31-year-old Ben Graham.

Ben Graham, a former Australian Rules football player, has intrigued the Jets since last season, when they worked him out and considered brining him in to replace the struggling Toby Gowin.

Graham has had to make the conversion from an AFL fullback to an NFL punter and while he's handled the changes, he has a hard time just standing around watching while a vast majority of the game is being played without him being on the field.

"When it comes to punting I had to learn the technique a little bit and refine it from what I was used to," Graham told the Jets' team website. "But it's what I have been doing all my life. I get to catch a football and kick it. That's what I love doing."

Graham played 11 years in the AFL and could have kept playing for a few more seasons, but after being told by former Jets assistant coach Eric Mangini back in 1997 that he could have a future in American football, Graham finally decided to switch continents for a chance at a new career. Graham's got a strong leg and will get a chance to compete in training camp.

Punting has been a problem area for as long as Herman Edwards has been the head coach and the Jets will go into this season with their fifth punter in as many years.

The Jets were last in the NFL with a 38.2-yard punting average and were 29th in the league with a 33.5-yard net average with Gowin. Micah Knorr goes in as the leading candidate for the job, signing as a free agent after posting a 41.5-yard average in 12 games for the Broncos last year.

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