Zoltan Mesko and Ryan Allen have taken turns showcasing their legs through preseason and although there will be that awkward period come cutdown day when one has to concede to the other there is a mutual respect between the Patriots’ two punters. “Everybody is here to compete for a job” Allen said. “That’s what the NFL is about. Competing with another person in the same spot there is no bad blood. It’s mature and friendly competition. That’s what is going to make you better too. There’s no bitterness and there should never be anyway.” Mesko has been with the Patriots for the past three seasons and with his salary cap number higher by nearly $1 million in this the final year of his contract it’s easy to say that he has more to lose than Allen an undrafted free agent from Louisiana Tech. The business of the NFL hasn’t gotten in the way of a bond between two guys going after the same job. “I feel like the first few moments of anything is awkward” Mesko said. “You learn to befriend the person. Once you cross that white line and get on the field then it become business. In the end in the locker room you are friends and you learn about each other’s lives and get along like human beings should.” Allen has two Ray Guy Awards for best college punter to Mesko’s none. Allen has the more powerful leg while Mesko has the proven track record in the NFL. Opponents have only gained more than 200 return yards against him once (220 in 2011) in his three seasons with the Patriots. Allen has been trying to pick up things along the way just by watching Mesko. “I’ve learned a lot how mechanically consistent he is” Allen said. “That’s what I’ve picked up. I’ve only been punting going on six years now. I’m constantly improving and I feel I’m in the right spot. It’s good to see somebody who has improved and had success so far in the league and established himself and just to see how he does it.”
Zoltan Mesko: Punter or punted?
Boston Herald | Aug 21