Punters are not athletes; simply frail little guys.
So think many people who have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to athleticism and size in the NFL.
Washington Redskins punter Tress Way stands 6-foot-1 weighing 220 pounds.
How many reading this are smaller?
Rick Snider who is even older than myself, will appreciate this.
If you don’t think, punters are continuing to become better, stronger athletes, after six NFL seasons and averaging 46.6 yards per punt, Tress Way ranks sixth among all career-leading NFL punters, which is well beyond former Raider and Hall-of-Fame punter Ray Guy 42.4 (1973-1986).
Yet it was not always a successful NFL career for Tress Way.
Way did not hear his name announced during the 2013 NFL Draft; but was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Chicago Bears.
However as the Bears trimmed their roster late in the preseason, Tress Way was one of the casualties, being released August 26, 2013.
One season later, after all of the physical workouts, practices and preseason games, the Bears again chose to waive Way during the 2014 preseason roster cuts.
However, the very next day (August 20, 2014) the Redskins signed Way.
Doesn’t the fact that the Redskins signed Tress Way the very next day, strongly suggest someone in the Redskins organization knew Way was an athlete they should sign right away, before someone else signed him?
My dad told me a few times when I was a kid, “One man’s trash, another man’s treasure.”
I don’t know about you, but I am glad the Bears twice thought Way was expendable, because he has certainly been nothing less than a prize for the Redskins.
Inside the Numbers:
Tress Way was born April 18, 1990 in Tulsa, OK.
Way is one of four who played at Union High in Tulsa, OK to make it to the NFL:
Jeff Leiding LB (Indianapolis 86-87), Dominique Franks (Atlanta, Baltimore 2010-14), and Carson Meier (Atlanta 2019).
Tress Way was the four-year starting punter for the Oklahoma Sooners (2009-12).
You may have been unaware that during his freshman season, Way also doubled as the place-kicker.
Way successfully converted each extra-point making all 11 of his attempts; however was only successful once in his six field goal attempts.
In Tress Way’s Redskins’ career he has thus far 437 career punts (20,386 yards and 40.7 net avg) with a long of 79 yards and 162 punts inside the 20 yard-line.
In Way’s first Redskins season (2014), Tress had a long punt of 77 yards, which stood as his NFL career-long punt until he had a 79-yard bomb in 2019.
In each of his first six seasons, Way has had at least one punt over 60 yards.
Way has yet to miss a game in each of his six NFL seasons.
Way not only punts, but is also the holder on extra points and field goals for Redskins place-kicker Dustin Hopkins.
Even more, consider how impotent the Redskins offense was in 2019.
Which means Way was punting 79 times (4.94 punts a game) yet number 5 still averaged a very impressive 49.6 yards per punt.
No, that was NOT a misprint.
For his consistent performance on fourth downs, Way was selected to his first NFL Pro Bowl following the 2019 season, was voted second-team All-Pro and the Redskins again promptly acted quickly regarding Way, signing him December 30 to a four-year contract extension.
The base salary for Way in 2020 will be $1.6m.
A prorated bonus of $850,000 and a roster bonus of $150,000 brings the cap number for Way in 2020 to $2.6m.
Undoubtedly the Redskins believe Tress Way is one of the best punters in the NFL and are paying him well.
Video Analysis / Highlights:
Tress Way Converts a Fake-Punt Pass for a 31-yard gain vs the NY Giants in 2016:
Tress Way Displays His Locker:
What They’re Saying:
On Making his First Pro Bowl:
"My mom and dad flew with us down to Orlando on the first day. Mom started crying on the plane." - Tress Way
Commanding respect around the NFL:
“He (Tress Way) knows now that when you reach that level, people may look at you differently. You can be the benefactor of more respect and with that comes pressure to continue doing well as he has. I’ve never been more proud of a player.” - Redskins Special Teams Coordinator Nate Kaczor
Regarding the Redskins Extending Tress Way:
“Great job by the Redskins to reward Tress Way for his pro bowl season with a 4-year extension. Marks two straight years they've re-upped with emerging studs. I really liked the extension with Matt Ioannidis in 2018, too. Lock up your best core guys.” - Grant Paulsen
Check out Ivan's other "Skins Spotlight" series profiles:
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Ivan Lambert is a lifelong die-hard Washington Redskins fan, raised in Berryville, Virginia. He is married and the father of two fine young men. He is currently a sports correspondent for The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida and can be found on Twitter @IvanLambert18