Tress is the Best!

ChrisRussell

Tress Way has been booming punts for the Redskins since the 2014 preseason. He continues to be the Redskins not-so secret weapon that consistently bails out a bad offense. 

For his performance Sunday in Charlotte, he is the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week and the second consecutive winner of the award from the burgundy-and-gold. 

Stephen Sims Jr. won the award for his heroics last week after the win over Detroit and with Way's accomplishments - it's the first time in franchise history that the Redskins have had two players win the award in consecutive weeks. 

The rest of the NFL might not know how good Way has been over the last five years but many Redskins fans and people in the building know. 

Sure, he had the 79-yard punt on Sunday in Charlotte and a couple downed inside-the-20 but it's the consistency that he's shown for several seasons that makes him effective. 

Overall, Way nailed five punts for a total of 290 yards, an average of 58.0 per punt and a net of 47.0.

On the season, Way has punted 60 times for nearly 3,000 yards (2,996) for averages of 49.9 (gross) and 44.4 (net) to lead the NFL in both categories. He has 22-of-his-60 punts downed inside-the-20. 

Last year, Way averaged 45.3 (gross) and 41.5 (net) on the season, much lower than this year but led the NFL in punts downed inside-the-20 with 41. 

Sometimes, the raw numbers can be a bit misleading. A better offensive team often leads to lower numbers for your punt unit. 

It's the second time he's won the award in his career but that doesn't tell the story. 

Way struggled for consistency earlier in his career. He consistently out-kicked his coverage which would lead to longer punt returns and in some cases touchdowns. 

Former special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica (now with Atlanta) worked with him for the five years they were together to adjust his game. 

I was never told this but I believe the Redskins were close to moving on at least one point, if not more. 

A team with no margin for error almost ran out of patience like they have with so many field goal kickers over the years. 

Finding, developing and keeping Way now represents one of the best "finds" the Redskins have had in this era, if not the best. 

Now, the Redskins have one of the best punters, a consistently reliable placekicker, a very good long-snapper and an explosive returner in Sims Jr.  The latter could take over both return roles on a full-time basis this week. 

For the first time in more than a decade, the Redskins seemingly have what they need to win games in this important area. 

Chris Russell is the Publisher of Maven & Sports Illustrated's Washington Redskins channel. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Radio.com. Chris also hosts the "Locked on Redskins" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at russellmania09@Gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621.

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