'Kick the damn ball': Bruce Arians criticizes punter Drew Butler; Cardinals could make a change

Posted at 1:57 PM, Dec 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-05 15:57:43-05

In late September, Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians ripped into rookie long snapper Kameron Canaday after he made a crucial mistake on a field-goal attempt.

It's not a coincidence that Kanaday was released by the Cardinals two days later.

On Monday, Arians was critical of another member of the Cardinals' special-teams unit: punter Drew Butler.

The fifth-year pro has struggled, to say the least, in recent weeks. Butler's yards per punt are the lowest in the NFL, and his 28-yard boot that gave the Redskins excellent field position Sunday resulted in a chorus of boos from the home crowd.

"You can't have guys kicking 28-yard kicks when you sit out there in practice and hit (50-yard punts) every day," Arians said. "Drew brings a lot of other things but he still needs to kick the damn ball."

Arians said the Cardinals will work out a possible replacement for Butler on Tuesday, but he said that replacement would also have to be able to hold on field-goal and extra-point attempts, which is one of Butler's duties.

"If the guy doesn't hold -- he could be a hell of a punter, but if he doesn't hold, he ain't getting the job," Arians said.

Butler missed several games this season with an ankle sprain, but he returned to the team after his replacement didn't prove to be terribly impressive, either.

What does Arians believe is the source of Butler's struggles?

"You'd have to ask him," he said. "Kicking is a funny game, and most of it's mental."