|Zoltan Mesko: ‘Really what I see is the ball’||09.16.12 at 9:26 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Zoltan Mesko knew the Cardinals were a good punt-blocking team. He didn’t have to have his first career blocked punt in a critical part of the game to reaffirm this.
But as Quentin Groves blew past Nate Ebner with 9:48 left in the third quarter Sunday, Mesko suffered the worst thing a punter can experience – the sound of a ball hitting the hands of a defender in the shadow of his own goal post. That blocked punt led to Arizona’s first touchdown of the day, a 2-yard strike from Kevin Kolb to Andre Roberts, putting Arizona up, 13-9.
“Really what I see is the ball. I concentrate on the ball,” Mesko said. “There’s things I can control – the punting part – and there are things I can’t. I felt like the operation, the rhythm, the protection just broke down on the left side.
“It’s kind of like a peripheral thing where you have to have trust in your teammates to get them out of the way because, just like Tom [Tom Brady] has to wait till the last second sometimes, and then [teammates] will wash them out.”
“It was just something we take pride in,” Groves said of his block. “We just go in and watch films, and we noticed he was a bit soft on the edge.”
Even before getting a punt blocked for the first time in his career in the third quarter Sunday, the Cardinals actually got close enough to the point earlier in the game where one of his punts hit the shoulder pad of Cardinals rusher Justin Bethel.
“That ball was actually touched by his shoulder pads. I don’t know how it got out,” Mesko said of his first punt of the day, a 38-yard punt to the Cardinals 13.
Mesko was also at the scene of the crime when Stephen Gostkowski hooked his potential game-winning 42-yard field goal wide left.
“I thought we had a good operation,” Mesko said. “Steve put it best. We wouldn’t be out there if we didn’t know we risk failure every time we go out there. It’s on us and how we handle it. It’s our job.”
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