When long-time Saints punter Thomas Morstead was released by the New Orleans Saints last March, the Saints clearly knew something that we didn’t. It was Blake Gillikin time in New Orleans.
From day one, Gillikin had some big shoes to fill by replacing Morstead and that he did in spectacular fashion. To say the 24-year-old had a pretty impressive season is really an understatement. Gillikin averaged 47.7 yards per punt, which was the team’s highest since their 2016 season and he was ranked 7th among all punters in NFL. With a total of 83 punts for the 2021 season, 29 of them landed inside the 20-yard line. Gillikin also earned the honor of being named the NFC’s Special Teams Player of the Month in October, which he averaged 49.6 yards per punt for the month.
Gillikin was truly a bright light in the 2021 season, and he remained one of the few players that the Saints could consistently depend on. I think we can safely say that his position is one of the few which should not be of any concern at this point. There is no reason that we should not expect the same productivity from the young punter when the 2022 season kicks off in September. Gillikin should only continue to improve in what already seems to be a very promising career with the Saints.
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