LIONS INSIDER

Sam Martin hopes to work out with fellow punter Johnny Hekker

Posted May 19, 2017

Sam Martin is looking into working out with Rams punter Johnny Hekker this summer.

Sam Martin has developed into one of the best punters in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean he’s stopped trying to find ways to become even better.

Later this summer, he's hoping to work out with Los Angeles Rams punter and three-time Pro Bowler, Johnny Hekker.

“I’ve talked to Hekker a few times since I hung out with him at the Pro Bowl with Prater and I’ll probably be getting with him at some point,” Martin said earlier this week at the Taste of the Lions event at Ford Field.

Martin was a Pro Bowl alternate last season, while Hekker earned the nod for the NFC.

Hekker led the NFL in net punting average (46.0) last season, while Martin finished second (44.2). Martin’s overall punting average of 48.5 was third in the league. Hekker’s 47.8 average was fifth.

Two of the best punters this league employs working out together ahead of training camp should certainly benefit both players.

Hekker is an Aussie-style kicker, which means he has a different approach to punting than Martin. He excels at kicking line-drive punts that make it difficult on return men to field.

One of the big things Martin said he's emphasized this offseason in his individual workouts is getting good at a variety of different punts.

“Like we’ve talked about before, the punting game is evolving and you have to do more than just hit a directional hang-time punt nowadays,” Martin said.

“I think I’ve done well in that part of the game and now I just want to excel in the other aspects of different kinds of punts and really trying to confuse a return team with different kinds of kicks.”

That’s one area Martin would benefit from working out with Hekker, who landed 51 punts inside the 20-yard line last season. That was 13 more than Kansas City’s Dustin Colquitt, who finished second in that department with 38. Hekker’s 4.3 average per return was also tops in the league.

“I think we’re similar in the sense of having the ability to do different types of things,” Martin said of Hekker. “But he’s been doing different types of things a little longer, so that’s where I kind of want to pick his brain.

“He’s just a cool dude, we got along well and getting together would be fun and we’d benefit from it.”