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Bucs’ signing of punter doesn’t signal change at position

Veteran Bradley Pinion was “trying to be too careful” on Sunday, Bruce Arians said.
 
Bucs punter Bradley Pinion struggled mightily in Sunday's 33-27 overtime win against the Bills, with one of his five attempts traveling only 20 yards.
Bucs punter Bradley Pinion struggled mightily in Sunday's 33-27 overtime win against the Bills, with one of his five attempts traveling only 20 yards. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published Dec. 15, 2021

TAMPA — Though Bradley Pinion’s right hip is ailing and his psyche might be a tad bruised, the veteran punter doesn’t appear in danger of losing his job.

At least not based on the tone of his coach.

A day after the Bucs signed Armwood High alumnus Sterling Hofrichter to their practice squad, coach Bruce Arians said Pinion’s mediocre effort (five punts, 37.4-yard net average) in Sunday’s overtime win against the Bills may have resulted from the veteran trying to be too precise.

“I think it was a just a little bit of wear and tear, and being too careful,” Arians said Wednesday.

Pinion’s second punt of the day, which landed out of bounds at the Bills 20, traveled 20 yards. A second-half attempt went 35 yards to the Bucs 46.

His overall average on (42.4) on 45 attempts ranks 27th in the NFL.

“The one down the left sideline, it should’ve been an inside-the-10 ball,” Arians said. “He hits that every time; he was a little too careful trying to pin him over there.”

Pinion, nursing an unspecified right-hip injury, was listed as a full participant in Wednesday’s practice while Hofrichter, the Falcons’ seventh-round pick in 2020, was seen working with the scout team. Arians said Hofrichter was signed in the event of a repeat from last season, when all three of the team’s primary specialists were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list at the same time. None missed any game action.

“We’re pretty much doing the same things we did last year right now as far as lining up for the long haul in case we lose somebody,” Arians said.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls

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