DAVIE — It should have been eight.
Dolphins punter Matt Haack came away from last weekend’s game against Denver with a team-record seven punts inside the 20.
On one hand, it was a gratifying day.
On the other hand, he’s still lamenting the one that got away.
“I feel like I could have had eight,” he said of his lone touchback.
Still, it was a breakout performance by the rookie and Miami’s punt coverage team. It kept the Broncos pinned in their own end all afternoon in a 35-9 blowout. Haack’s punts also helped the Dolphins record a team-record two safeties and should have earned AFC special teams player of the week honors.
“Coming out of that game, I was thinking to myself, ‘That’s something that should be regular,’ ” Haack said. “Punting from midfield, pretty much every punt should have that result.”
Haack, from Arizona State, beat out Matt Darr this summer. He admitted his rookie season has been “up and down” to the point that he has blocked out some performances to forget.
“I know I’m better than that,” he said.
Now, he’s showing it. Haack is averaging 44.7 yards per punt with a net average of 40.9, which puts him in the middle of the pack in the NFL. But he’s fourth in the league with 26 punts inside the 20 and has proven to himself he belongs.
“You have to be convinced of that,” Haack said. “Otherwise you’re cutting yourself short.”