News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Pro Sports

September 4, 2011

N.Y. Giants pick Steve Weatherford as punter

Wins preseason battle for position with Matt Dodge

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.Y. — The New York Giants switched punters Saturday, keeping Steve Weatherford and cutting Matt Dodge from the 53-man roster.

The best competition in camp was for the punting job — and Weatherford edged Dodge, who was inconsistent as a rookie. Dodge’s biggest mistake was failing to punt out of bounds on the final play in the December meltdown against Philadelphia, a blunder that resulted in DeSean Jackson returning the punt 65-yards for a game-winning touchdown.

Weatherford, a seven-year veteran who spent the past two years with the Jets, averaged 46.2 yards with a 43.9 net in the preseason. Dodge, who was booed by fans in the Giants’ preseason home opener, averaged 46.4 yards with a 34.9 net.

The former Terre Haute North High School and University of Illinois standout thanked the Giant fans Saturday afternoon through his Twitter account:

“Thank you to all my tweeps for the warm welcome to the Giant Nation,” Weatherford said. “I promise to give you my best every Sunday. N.Y. Fans — best in the world.”

Weatherford is a directional punter, something that obviously appealed to coach Tom Coughlin.

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