In a year filled with ups and downs and the recurring question on who would make the next big play, no one expected it to consistently come from a punter. But that is exactly the type of season Tress Way had, serving as one of the biggest weapons for the Redskins in 2018.
Way finished the season with a staggering 41 punts inside the 20-yard line, which led the NFL, and ranked him tied for seventh all-time for most punts landed inside the 20 in one season.
Way also finished with zero touchbacks. Yes, zero touchbacks. Not one. He was just the third punter to accomplish that feat since 1991, as Ryan Quigley did so for the Vikings in 2017, and Sav Rocca did for the Redskins in 2013.
"It's cool to have no touchbacks," Way said. "It's a little bit more special leading the league in inside-the-20 and having no touchbacks. A huge part to do with that was our coverage. Our coverage guys, there was a lot of balls that I had punted from our own end of the field and it's a 50-60 yard ball into the 10-yard line and our guys were there to smack him in the face and that counts as an inside-the-20."
His talents however aren't just in his leg, as Way has completed two passes in his NFL career. The Oklahoma Sooner alum credits baseball, not football for his arm strength and tight spiral.
"I played a lot of infield as a kid so I'm natural," Way stated. "When I was playing college ball Landry Jones (former Sooner quarterback) used to always give me crap about throwing sidearm. Colt [McCoy] and Alex [Smith] and those guys they tease me because I throw sidearm but it's how I'm accurate and how I throw a spiral so it's just like playing infield."
Way's season as most expected would earn him a trip to his first pro bowl, unfortunately he was snubbed. With major improvements to his game, Way has elevated himself to among the NFL's best, but the fifth year punter, and Redskins special teams captain sees much more room to improve.
"I'm looking forward to taking that next step. Making sure every time I step out on the field, the opposing special teams coach and the opposing returner have no idea where I'm going with the ball. And that is my next step for this off season."
Way passed Redskins legend Sammy Baugh (15,245) for number three in franchise history in punting yards this year. He was also named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week in Week 10 after punting five times for a net avg. of 47.8 yards, while landing four punts inside the 20 aiding the Redskins in a 16-3 win in Tampa Bay.
"You just hope that you feel decent about how you did in the season and then make a step toward the next one," Way said.