Lions' Fox punts his way to Player of the Month honors
Although not technically a rookie, Jack Fox is making one heck of an impression in his debut season with the Detroit Lions. The second-year punter, who has opened a wide lead in the important statistical categories at his position, was named the NFC's Special Team Player of the Month on Thursday.
Undrafted out of Rice a year ago, Fox earned a roster spot after edging out rookie Arryn Siposs in a training camp battle. Nothing against Siposs, but it's clear the Lions made the right choice.
Through three games, Fox is averaging 53.1 yards on his 13 punts, and far more impressively, 51.1 yards net, a metric that factors out return yards and touchbacks.
For added perspective, the next closest punter to Fox's net average is Philadelphia's Cameron Johnston, at 45.5 yards. And the best single-season in NFL history is Johnny Hekker, who averaged 46.0 yards in 2016.
But for as good as Fox has been, Lions special teams coordinator Brayden Coombs has even loftier expectations.
“Me and Jack are kind of on the same page in terms of the more success we have, we’re just going to keep raising the bar,” Coombs said earlier this week. “We’re not really looking back right now and talking about anything that we’ve done. As he continues to go out and do better, then we’re just going to raise the goals higher and try to accomplish more.
"He knows that I’m very, very confident in him," Coombs said. "I just don’t want he, or us, ever to feel satisfied or like we’ve arrived. We’re just going to keep trying to reach higher and higher and see how far we can take it.”
Fox's Player of the Month honors come a day after Lions kicker Matt Prater was named the NFC's Player of the Week. He converted all four of his field goal attempts —including the game-winner as time expired — in Detroit's 26-23 victory over Arizona last Sunda