I don’t know about you, but I’m rather interested in what Mitch Wishnowsky repertoire entails. How many different kicks does this guy have at his disposal? The punter the San Francisco 49ers selected in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft could be a game changer for field position, and the 49ers defensive line can benefit.
Well, Matt Maiocco had Wishnowsky on his recent 49ers Insider Podcast, and in the discussion, they talked about Wishnowsky’s skill pool and how he decides on punts:
“It depends on what gunners are covered, how many players the punt return team has in the box. Whether I want to hit a 55-yard ball or I want to hit a 44-yard ball and make sure there’s no return. It depends on the punt returner, it depends on field position or hitting a different ball. Like, plus 50-punts [inside/outside the 50-yard line]...So obviously distance is less of a priority, it’s more trying to put it on the 6 or the 7. But with good hang time, good direction, the gunners know where the ball is gonna be. Also wind, if there’s a heavy cross when you try to kick with the wind, let the wind carry the ball.”
Alright, you got his definition of punts. But he also gave a taste of a few specific punts. Now, let’s go through those punts he listed on the 49ers Insider Podcast:
The end-over-end punt
“The stock-standard end-over-end punt is a lot more accurate but you can’t get quite as much height or distance on it.”
“The spiral is obviously the biggest ball. It goes the highest and the furthest.”
The helicopter punt
“It’s great, very hard to catch. You can’t kick it quite as far as a spiral, but if you slightly mishit it, it’s going the opposite direction that you want it to. ”
The knuckle punt
“The knuckle punt is almost like if I slightly mis-hit the balls.”
Those are the punts outlined. Are there more? We’ll see. The point of all this is we get to talk about punters on a Sunday, and any punts, even if it’s just a taste of this guy’s repertoire is a good discussion. I only hope we see some dropkicks on Sundays.
Wishnowsky has a lot of stuff he goes over with Maiocco including the Australian punter invasion and why we are looking to punters. The last time there was excitement for an Australian like this was Jarryd Hayne and that didn’t work out as well as we would have hoped.
The podcast is time-stamped below. You can listen using the widget above. If it doesn’t appear, you can click here to listen as well.
03:00 - Shocked at his positioning?
04:25 - Going to the 49ers
04:46 - Interactions with 49ers leading to the draft
06:27 - Interest from the Patriots
07:22 - History and interest in football
10:52 - Difference in altitudes between Utah vs. California
11:47 - His styles of punts and decisions on what to use
14:10 - What he learned from the blocked punts in college
15:33 - Getting accepted in the locker room
16:12 - Contact with Robbie Gould/Jonathan Brown
17:10 - Key for an Aussie to have fun and get through the USA
17:55 - Sports he’s adopted in America
18:50 - Biggest adjustment coming from Australia to America
19:30 - Plan to get set up for first season
20:21 - The Australian invasion of punters