After releasing Bryan Anger, the Bucs’ punter for the past three seasons, the team was in need to fill the position.
In steps former San Fransisco 49er Bradley Pinion. The 24-year-old punter signed a four-year deal with the Bucs on Wednesday after being selected in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL draft and spending the last four seasons in San Fransisco.
Tampa isn’t unfamiliar territory for Pinion though, as he’s previously trained with former punter Jay Feeley’s father, Tom Feeley, in the area.
Pinion stayed busy with the 49ers, averaging 83.5 punts per season in San Fransisco, while leading the league with 100 total punts in 2016. His 43.7 yards per punt last season ranked him 29th in the league, and his 22 punts inside the 20-yard line ranked him 19th, just ahead of Dustin Colquitt and Johnny Hekker.
Pinion likely won’t just handle punting for the Bucs though, he’s also got experience kicking off – something that isn’t Cairo Santos’ strong suit – and working as the holder for field goals.
When asked about punting in Tampa, Pinion said he loves punting in Tampa’s humidity and has good memories of his play in Raymond James Stadium.
“I had a great game here last year, so I was pumped about it,” Pinion said. “I love playing here, I love the humidity. I think the humidity makes the ball go farther, it just kind of carries it. I love the stadium and I love the weather down here.”
Pinion also spoke about the Bucs’ locker room and his new head coach, Bruce Arians.