Panthers punter Michael Palardy found himself in a sticky situation Sunday – that had nothing to do with the field surface at Gillette Stadium.
Palardy punted only once against the Patriots – a short, 35-yarder in the fourth quarter that gave Tom Brady a short field for a touchdown drive that tied the game at 30.
Palardy, who played at Tennessee, couldn’t remember another game where he’d only had one punt, and said it’s impossible to get in a rhythm with such a light workload.
But Palardy is not complaining.
“I always say I’m not selfish to where I want to be on the field and I want to punt a lot. Because that means the offense is going three-and-out or the offense isn’t doing well,” Palardy said Thursday. “I tell people all the time I would much rather hold (for kicks) the entire game because that means the offense is doing great and we’re scoring points.”
Palardy replaced an injured Andy Lee last season, then won the training camp competition with Lee this summer.
Palardy’s been OK through the first four games, ranking 28th in the NFL with a 43.7-yard average and 22nd in net punting (40.4). Lee, now with Arizona, is 10th overall (46.7), but 27th in net (39.3).
Palardy said he wasn’t pleased with his lone attempt against the Patriots, although head coach Ron Rivera said Palardy has helped the Panthers win field position in three of their four games.
“He’s punted the ball well for us,” Rivera said. “He’s really helped flip the field and given us chances as a defense to keep them pinned in.”