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Bills punting competition heating up, Micah Hyde leaves practice

Day five on the field has wrapped up in Rochester.
Credit: AP
San Diego State kicker Matt Araiza (01) participates in a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)

PITTSFORD, N.Y. — While we know Tyler Bass will be kicking field goals for the Buffalo Bills this season, the punter position is still up for grabs here at Bills training camp.

Matt Haack was with the team last year but looked inconsistent in one of the worst weather seasons in Bills history, despite the weather, his play prompted the team to go out and give him competition by drafting Matt Araiza one of the top punters in college football last year. 

Araiza, given the name punt god, due to having one of the best legs in the NCAA says the biggest surprise has been the Bills fan base. 

Araiza was asked about his first training camp and talked about Bills Mafia, "It is pretty much what I expected, the amount of fans have caught me off guard there are more fans here than home games of my senior year."

 Araiza also said he is on a mission to prove the league wrong. 

"I was the fourth specialist drafted and I believe I am the only one competing for a job so for me it is about proving people wrong than proving people right. I don't feel a great burden to go out and prove people right. I want to prove I was the best specialist in the draft," Araiza said.

Haack has his work cut out for him but he's focused on taking it each day at a time. 

"To me it is about putting my best foot forward," Haack said. "I can't worry what anyone else is doing I have to focus on my job and do better what I did the day or the year before it is all about getting better every day and putting my best foot forward."

Haack went on to say that the competition is never ending in the NFL. 

"The way I view it in the NFL you are competing even if someone is there or not there are a ton of guys on the street who want to take your job so whether you are the only guy here or 10 guys here you have to treat it the same," he said.

Special teams can make or break a season and when it comes to the punting position, Bills long snapper Reid Ferguson understands the importance of being accurate for all reps making sure he is doing his part to make sure the right guy wins the battle. 

"You know whether it is punt day or kick day or alternating holding, I am trying to give them each the best hold if they are alternating punts back there. I am trying to put it in the same spot every time it is my job to make it as perfect as possible. I have to do my job right," Ferguson said. "But also don't want to be aiming at the wrong spot for one guy, I want to put it on the hip every time."

One other note from camp on Friday, Micah Hyde left practice after falling to the ground while intercepting a Josh Allen pass. It is a hip/glute injury, we will keep an eye on that as camp progresses. Other team notes, Dion Dawkins was not at practice as he was excused for personal reasons.

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