Former Texas A&M punter Shane Tripucka is not your ordinary punter. His father, Chris, played football at Boston College but his family lineage doesn’t stop there. His grandfather is former NFL quarterback Frank Tripucka (Denver Broncos) and his uncle, Kelly Tripucka, played for the Detroit Pistons and the Utah Jazz. DraftNasty’s Corey Chavous caught up with the former Aggie during the week of 2018 East-West Shrine practices to discuss his meticulous approach as a specialist.
DN: How have you enjoyed the experience down here (2018 East-West Shrine practices) and what are your goals for the week?
Tripucka: It’s been great so far. It’s kind of cool to get out here, you know, go through a little bit of the NFL systems and learn some stuff. I just want to come out here, do what I do, kick some ball, learn a little bit and hopefully come out here and punt well.
DN: The kicking tradition at Texas A&M is kind of long. Most recently Josh Lambo (Chargers, ), but there a lot of other ones who’ve come out (Shane Lechler). Drew Kaser (Los Angeles Chargers) is another guy. What did you learn from those guys mentally…let’s say for instance if you have a shank?
Tripucka: I learned a lot from those guys. I was at A&M and I sat behind Drew Kaser for a few years. So I got to watch how he goes about his days and goes about practice to learn just the little things. Feedback with each other. If one of us is struggling, to be able to tell the other, ‘Hey, I think you should maybe look at this and do stuff.’ So, it was good to have that feedback between each other. It really helped me.
DN: In looking at some of the kicks we charted on you (2017), we’re seeing punts with 70 yards distance, 4.69 hang time. We see 4.72 hang times with a 1.12 catch-and-kick time. What was your hang time average for the most part this year?
Tripucka: I was usually in the mid-to-high fours, 4.6. I’m usually in there. For me, that’s solid.
DN: That’s NFL-like. Matt Bosher-like (Atlanta Falcons).
Tripucka: That’s how my punting game is. I’m more of a hang time, directional kind of punter…instead of you know, a little bit longer-hitting, long punts, big punts. I’m a consistent guy. So, that’s something I strive to do every day.
DN: Would you say you’re 2 ½-step, three-step? What would you say in that regard?
Tripucka: I’m honestly just a regular two-step punter within three yards. I’m very compact in what I do. I think that really helps with get-off times and in my punting too. The shorter I am, the better the punt is going to be.
DN: Finally, if you had to say there was one punter that you kind of look up to in terms of who you’ve patterned your game after, who would that be?
Tripucka: I’m a big Johnny Hecker fan (Los Angeles Rams). I watch a lot of Johnny Hecker film. He punts a lot like I do. Obviously, he’s the best in the game. He’s someone I try to watch the film and kind of model my game after.
DN: That’s one heck of a person to model your game after. Hey man, good luck this year and good luck in the NFL Draft.
Tripucka: Thank you. I appreciate it.
DN: No doubt.
Tripucka: It’s good talking to you.
DN: Good talking to you too.
-Corey Chavous, DraftNasty Staff reports
2018 East-West Shrine practices, Day 2