The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed all of one unrestricted free agency during the first few days of free agency. That free agent was Michael Koenen, who was given a six-year, $19 million contract. This caused some controversy around the Tampa Bay area for some reason, but it looks like Michael Koenen has been a very good signing so far.
Throughout preseason he was consistent on kickoffs and punts, never once causing me to slam my hand into my skull in amazement at incompetence. That's something I did all too frequently the past two years when the Bucs punted the ball.
And Koenen was excellent in his first game as well. Koenen's three kickoffs all went for touchbacks, including one that was kicked from the 20-yard line after a 15-yard Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty on Aqib Talib for being too celebratory after his touchdown.
As if that wasn't good enough, the punter was excellent at actual punting too. He boomed his five punts for a gross average of 52.2 yards and a net average of 45.4. It's not just those averages that are impressive, though, as Koenen was extremely consistent. Only one punt didn't make it to 50 yards, and that was a 45-yard punt - hardly a poor effort. The worst thing about the Bucs punters in recent years wasn't necessarily their lack of a leg, it was their inability to produce consistently. Koenen won't produce those mind-boggling 20-yard punts we saw on occasion these past years.
The only mark on Koenen's day was the onside kick. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great either. Then again, onside kicks almost never come up, and when the opponent expects them they are very rarely converted.