Seahawks All Access
I started this after the “Canada Day” Seattle Seahawks game but never got around to finishing it, all I managed to accomplish was the title. The reason why I chose Jon Ryan to be the subject of this piece was two fold.
First, he’s Canadian so he seemed to be the perfect subject following Canada Day at CenturyLink and second, he became this first punter since 1946 to average 60-yards per punt in a game (3 punts minimum).
When I think of punters and kickers I think of small guys. Usually they are the only people in an organization who are smaller than the teams ball boy.
Usually they are about as athletic as a program designer at Microsoft or an engineer at Boeing (had to give a little love to the local companies), but not Jon Ryan, at 6’0″ 216 pounds he is not your typical punter.
In high school Jon was Sheldon-Williams Collegiate High School’s running back, kicker and punter.
Of course, when you attend a high school that currently has 650 students enrolled, you will probably have to pick up some slack. Then, in college, he was the University of Regina’s (About the size of Eastern Washington University) leading receiver as well as handling the teams punting duties.
To further attest to his athleticism, he was fast enough to be a sprinter for Regina’s track team.
After college, Ryan was drafted by the Canadian Football League’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers, as both a receiver and punter.
After two season in the CFL he had gained the attention of NFL scouts.
In January 2006, he signed with the Green Bay Packers and did very well.
Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, inconsistency lead general manager Ted Thompson to release Ryan and go in a different direction (Derrick Frost).
That was on September 1, 2008, and the Seahawks signed him 8 days later. Exactly three months after Jon’s release, the Packers released Derrick Frost and Ryan went on to have the NFL’s 9th best average per punt in his first season with the Seahawks.
Jon Ryan has been one of the top ten most consistent punters in the NFL since joining the Seahawks.
He struggled in 2010, but other than that season he has been one of the best.
Tim Ruskell is not the most popular figures in Seattle sports history. I would say he definitely one-upped one of the best general managers in the league when he signed the player that was too inconsistent for Ted Thompson.
The Green Bay Packers have yet to find a punter as good as Jon Ryan.
I guess they underestimated the power of a ginger!