Lions punter Sam Martin dabbles in boxing –

SOUTHFIELD — Punters are people too, and apparently boxers as well. 

Detroit Lions punter Sam Martin has dabbled in the sweet science this offseason, and says it will be part of his regular training when he returns home to the Charlotte area for his offseason training. 

“Boxing is great for a core workout,” Martin said in a weekend interview. “There’s so much torque and power that comes from the hips and the core, so that’s why I like doing it, especially if you can include any kind of kicking as well. It’s all hip flexor mobility, hip mobility, stuff like that. But mainly boxing is just really good for your core.” 

Martin has been a huge success since the Lions took him in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He logged the three best net punting seasons in team history in his first three years, signed a $13.6 million contract extension last offseason, then reset his own record again at 44.2 net yards per attempt. 

That was third best in NFL history. 

Yet, it wasn’t even good enough to get him to the Pro Bowl. 

That’s because Johnny Hekker also plays in the NFC, and just so happened to set the NFL record last year at 46.0 net yards per attempt. So he got the nod in the Pro Bowl, as well as All-Pro, and Martin has set his sights on closing the gap. 

“We’ll see” he said. “We’ll see.” 

Martin has arranged an offseason regimen designed to help him get there. He’s taken some time to decompress so far this offseason, including spending a couple weeks in Europe and thene traveling to Mexico over the weekend for Golden Tate’s wedding. But he’s headed to California on Monday to begin his offseason regimen. 

He has rented a place in Laguna Beach, Calif., and will be working with a few other NFL specialists in nearby Irvine for a week, including Colts punter Jeff Locke and Vikings kicker Kai Forbath. Then he’ll fly back home to Charlotte to begin working with his kicking coach and a few other NFL specialists. 

“The margin for error in punting is so small, the consistency can always be improved,” Martin said. “So that’s one thing you can always focus on. That’s one thing I’ve focused on in the past, and it’s showed in the numbers.  

“I think it’s just working with the consistency, and getting good at an array of different types of punts. So I’m going to focus a lot on getting more clubs in the bags, and situational punting, if you will.” 

And, of course, there’s the boxing. 

Martin says it will be a daily component of his circuit training, designed to improve his core strength and hand-eye coordination. 

“I’ve got a smooth two-piece,” he said with a laugh, referring to a one-two combo. 

Martin was clear, though, that the boxing is strictly for training. And not, you know, actually trading blows in a ring. 

“I’d prefer not to,” he deadpanned. “I’d get my face smashed in.” 

Lions punter Sam Martin dabbles in boxing –

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