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Special teams coordinator Cam Achord has ‘full confidence’ in Patriots punter Jake Bailey

Related: Patriots will reportedly ‘assess their options’ with punter Jake Bailey struggling

Chicago Bears v New England Patriots Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

It hasn't been the start to the season that Patriots’ punter Jake Bailey was looking for. After a down statistical season last year — which was believed to be due to an undisclosed injury — Bailey has gotten off to a rough start in 2022.

Through seven weeks, Bailey currently ranks 31st in yards per punt, 32nd in net punting average, and 32nd in average hang time, according to Pro Football Focus.

Despite the current struggles, New England is not worried about their punter.

“I think right now, we’re just working through some things,” special teams coordinator Cam Achord said Friday. “Jake’s gonna be ok. Jake’s a pro. We’ve seen Jake hit the freakin 5.0-5.2, 70-yard balls. Those are still there. He still has all the talent right now.”

Bailey’s performance was again under scrutiny Monday night, where he averaged just 40 yards per punt over four punts — including one line-driver resulting in a 27-yard return. According to Achord, the punter continues to show promise on the practice fields, which they are hopeful will translate to results on Sundays.

“Jake’s doing a good job in practice, and that’s the biggest thing that we go off of, day-to-day at practice,” Achord said. “That’s what we’re looking at and as long as its showing up at practice, that’s what we’re gonna work for.”

After receiving All-Pro honors in 2020, Bailey has proved he has the ability. Now, the Patriots are evaluating the whole operation to get him back to where he was.

“I wouldn't say it’s anything we’re trying to change,” Achord told reporters Friday. “The things when you go back there is consistency in your steps, stand short. The operation times from catch to foot — if it’s in great conditions you’re usually around the 1.32-1.36 — but each punter is different. That’s the biggest thing. Some punters move at a good operation time 1.41 but now you’re stressing the protection a little bit. So we like to be at that low to mid-1.3’s, which gives you the full operation time of around 2.0.

“The timing of that, along with just the drop table — where you're dropping the ball and releasing the ball — has a lot to do with ball contact off the foot. So, it’s really goes from the catch to setting the drop table to actually seeing the ball off your foot makes the biggest difference in the world. Seeing the ball, making good contact, those are the little things we harp on every single day.”

Within the operation, Achord’s biggest focus has been ball contact.

“His times have been well, he’s moving well,” he said. “I think it’s just really the ball contact here and there. It’s never going to be perfect, every given punt. So, that's the things we’ve been talking about.”

The Patriots rewarded Bailey with a new four-year, $13.5 million contract this offseason. His recent struggles has caused New England to bring in a handful of punters this past week for workouts, including Jake Julien who spent the summer with the team.

While the competition is welcome, Achord is not concerned about Bailey’s performance moving forward.

“There is no lack of confidence in Jake. I have full confidence in Jake,” he said. “Does everything I’m asking for. Just got to continue to work everyday for him.”