49ers roster, 90-in-90 breakdowns: Andy Lee


Breaking down the 90 players on the 49ers offseason roster in 90 posts (over 90 or so days or in however long we feel like it). Today we focus on punter Andy Lee.

Each year, we like to run a series of posts called "90-in-90." The idea is that we'll take a look at every player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few ways. This roster will certainly change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not exactly 90 players in 90 days. At this point, it's a name we're keeping around for street cred.

Every year, I try and do whatever write-ups we have available on punter Andy Lee. I do this because I'm afraid if I let Fooch do them, he'll get into some really twisted fanfiction due to his overwhelming man-crush on Lee. Publicly, he's toned down his love for the All-Pro punter, but I think it's all there, just below the surface. Waiting to scar each and every one of us.

But really, Lee has been a fantastic punter for 10 years, since the San Francisco 49ers brought him in as a rookie in 2004. His high came in 2011, when he averaged 50.9 yards per punt, while the 2012 season saw him put 53.7 percent of his punts inside the 20-yard line.

This past season, he didn't hit career highs or anything, but he still put up very good numbers. With 79 punts, Lee had an average of 48.2 yards per punt (the second-highest total of his career, behind the aforementioned 2011 season and a fraction of a yard more than 2012) with 34.2 percent of his punts downed inside the 20-yard line.

With returns factored in, his net was still very good at 41.3 yards per punt.  He had the second-highest average in the league, behind Miami's Brandon Fields and Oakland's Marquette King, and the fourth-highest net, behind Fields, Johnny Hekker of St. Louis and Thomas Morstead of New Orleans.

In other words: he was really good, once again.

Why he might improve:

Lee is a four-time All-Pro and a three-time Pro Bowler. Seeing Lee "improve" in total punt yardage isn't something we really want to see, but there's no reason he can't once again approach a career-high in average yardage and net yardage. As to figuring out why he might improve, that's really kind of ambiguous for a punter. He's 31, which isn't ancient for a punter, so it is what it is.

Why he might regress:

You shut your mouth.

Odds of making the roster:

1000 percent. Actually, scratch that -- I've given up predicting what the 49ers are going to do with specialists. They seem to move on from special teams players without a whole lot of fuss, though I obviously think Lee doesn't necessarily fit that bill. Then again, I was shocked when Brian Jennings lost his job. So let's call it like .. 800% or so.

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