Tһomаs Morsteаd tаlks re-sіgnіng wіtһ NY Jets аnd аnswers fаn questіons

The NY Jets fulfilled the wishes of many NY Jets fans when they made the decision to bring back standout punter Thomas Morstead this offseason. Morstead signed a two-year, $5.1 million to return to the Jets following an outstanding 2023 season with the team.

The 15-year NFL veteran led the league in both total punts and punt yards, finishing with his highest yards per punt since his Pro Bowl 2012 campaign. Morstead’s 36 punts downed inside the 20-yard line were also far and away the most in his NFL career to this point.

Morstead has developed a strong connection with Jets fans during his two stints with the organization. Part of that is a result of his constant commitment to interacting with fans and the greater Jets media landscape.

We were fortunate enough to catch up with Morstead shortly following his return to the Jets this month. We discussed his decision to re-sign with the Jets before Morstead answered a series of fan-submitted questions.

Below is only a partial transcription of our interview. To watch the interview in its entirety, be sure to click here and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on any additional content.

Justin Fried: “How does it feel now that you’re officially back with the Jets?”

Thomas Morstead: “It’s super exciting. I’m glad to be back. My family is excited, and I’m excited to be back with the same crew of specialists all working together. Glad to be back for sure.”

JF: “Talk to me about how your Jets return came to be. Were you always going to re-sign with the Jets, or were there other teams interested?”

TM: “The place that we landed financially was a fair place to land. Everyone is excited and grateful it worked out. Now, I’m just looking forward to the next season.”

JF: “What is your favorite Jets memory thus far?”

TM: “Wow, there’s a lot. Honestly, I think my favorite Jets memory is from the 2021 season. It was being a part of the Mike White game where he threw for 400 yards and they were chanting his name throughout the stadium. We ended up beating a really good Cincinnati team that day. It was just an awesome experience. I remember being in the moment thinking, ‘This doesn’t happen right here.’ It was just a cool experience to be a part of.”

JF: “Can you kick field goals better than Greg Zuerlein can punt? Which one of you is better at the other person’s job?”

TM: “I’d like to say me because I kicked field goals at a reasonably efficient rate in college, and I still keep my leg ready to do that. I haven’t seen Greg punt too many footballs, so I don’t know [about] that. I hope we don’t have to find out. I think we’re both pretty good at our roles, and I hope we can both stay healthy and keep being productive.”

JF: “Is Greg the emergency punter?”

TM: “He can be the emergency punter. I know there are a few other guys on the team who punted in high school, so I don’t know the exact answer to that. They don’t even put a No. 2 on the depth chart for punter. Maybe they try to keep that a secret in case they ever want to do something.”

JF: “What makes [special teams coordinator] Brant Boyer so good at what he does?”

TM: “He played professionally for over a decade and was a core special-teamer. He understands the game and he understands what it’s like to be a player in this league. He just gets it. His ability to compartmentalize being your boss and being your friend. He knows when it’s time to work and when it’s time to have a beer with you on a Sunday night after a game. He gets all that. He’s able to compartmentalize that better than anyone I’ve ever been around. He also wears his heart on his sleeve, which is sometimes difficult for him to deal with, but you always know where you stand with him. Players always want to be told the truth, and he’s not afraid to do that. I can go on and on. The best way to put it is I just trust him, and he trusts me. When you can honestly say that about both sides of a relationship, you’re going to get the best version of each other and it hopefully synergizes into great results. I just love being around him. He’s the reason I’m here.”

JF: “If you weren’t a punter, what position would you play?”

TM: “I would say linebacker. Not because I think I’d be a good one, but those are always my buddies on the team. Maybe it’s because a lot of them are on the punt team. I think I have the mentality of a linebacker, but I’m just stuck in a punter’s body. I have always hung with the linebackers. I’ve also generally hung with a lot of the offensive linemen as well. Being a lineman is a really thankless position sometimes. They do all the dirty, grimy work and don’t get much love and appreciation. Those are the two position groups I really jive with.”

JF: “That makes sense because punter is also one of the most thankless positions in football. I’d also like to point out that you do hold the highest completion percentage in Jets history, so maybe you were a quarterback in another life.”

TM: “That’s funny. I look like a tightly wound javelin thrower on that throw. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t done a lot of fakes in my career. It doesn’t always look pretty. It’s like watching me run. But it’s all about getting it done. It was cool to be able to do that.”

JF: “What is the best advice you’ve been given in your football career?”

TM: “Part of it is advice and part of it is learned experience, but there’s no magical place that you arrive at where you’ve made it and figured it out. It’s always going to be hard. It’s all about the journey. As soon you accomplish one thing, it’s like, what’s next? You’ve got another mountain to climb. As soon as you stop climbing, you start dying. That might not be the right word to use, but if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse. Guys get more talented every year, so if you’re not getting better, more efficient, and continuing to find ways to improve, you’re going to be out. It’s kind of like being a parent. As soon as you get your kids figured out, they change and continue to grow. You always have to continue to grow and change. You just have to be ready to adjust at all times. You’re never going to reach some summit where you have it all figured out. The process is ongoing.”

JF: “I love that. That doesn’t only apply to football — that’s general life advice. As long as you’re constantly working to improve yourself and your situation, even if it’s incrementally, you’re doing the right thing.”

TM: “Yeah, I think it’s just like compound interest. Whether it’s financial or skill development or relationships, all of the gains are acquired through compounding interest. The gains will get smaller, but you have to continue growing because there are a lot of other people out there working just as hard. I think that’s just a law of life really.”

TM: “I’ve certainly felt [the love from fans]. It’s been super appreciated. It’s cool for me, personally, to feel like I’ve found a second home. Hopefully we can do some awesome things. It’s exciting, and I can’t wait for the season.”

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