Not a great week for fans of our Aussies in the NFL. Check out how they performed in Week 3 and which Aussies were victims of the preseason roster crunch.Washington Redskins punter Sav Rocca had another terrific outing in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills. The big man punted five times on the night for a 42.8-yard average and had four punts within the Bills' own 20-yard line. Rocca directed one punt out of bounds on the Buffalo 12, two were called as a fair catch, one saw Bills return man muff the catch and the Redskins retain possession on the Bills' own 5-yard line while another was placed on the Bills' 6-yard line.
"What a weapon." Joe Theismann on Sav Rocca, who places the ball inside Bills own 20 on his first punt. — Dominic Davies (@AussieAudible) August 24, 2013It was a busy night for the Aussie (he also held for kicker Kai Forbath six times), but a productive one. It was the best preseason performance for Rocca so far. His accuracy and hangtime was on show, repeatedly forcing the Bills into long drives. Remarkably, the Bills returned Rocca's punts for a single yard (and they were penalised on the play anyway) during the game. Fellow Aussie punter Brad Wing didn't see any action in the Eagles' win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team opted to give his competition Donnie Jones all the work, and the veteran punted three times for 41.7-yard average and put it inside the Jaguar's own 20-yard line once. Jones' efforts matched (but didn't surpass) those of the rookie's in the week prior, but a few days later the Eagles announced Wing was one of their first wave of preseason cuts, signalling the end of the camp competition. It's tough to make it in the NFL, but there were a few teams who had poor punting last season and could give Wing a shot. His Week 2 efforts will certainly help. Seahawks lineman Jesse Williams was unable to capitalize on the injury to Jordan Hill (who could be out for between 3-6 weeks) and was inactive for Seattle's Week 3 matchup against the Green Bay Packers due to his own knee injury. On Monday, he was placed on injured reserve as a result of this injury. The speculation that he would be moved to IR seems to have been spot on. It's not ideal, but probably for the best. He was ineffective in Week 2 and was clearly limited by his injury. A year to heal, develop and learn will help him come back strong in 2014. As per the rules for IR, Williams won't be able to make it back this season as he wasn't "designated for return" when placed on IR, nor part of the 53-man squad. Likewise, Jets tight end Hayden Smith didn't see any action in Week 3 -- again despite positive reports in camp -- and was released late Tuesday night (Aussie time). Given the performances of the other tight ends on the roster (Kellen Winslow had four catches, Reuland had one in Week 3), it seemed the Jets had made their decision regarding their TE battle and wanted to move on. Smith was always an outside chance to gain more playing time, but I was surprised that he was cut outright. The Jets had spent a year developing him, and as I pointed out before he had been performing well in camp. The Jets are going through a painful rebuilding process -- even if their head coach doesn't believe they are -- and it seems continuing to develop Smith wasn't in the new general manager's plans (John Idzik). Here's hoping he gets another shot with an NFL team.
Thanks to every one @nyjets and all the fans for the great memories and support over the last year! Certainly on an amazing journey. — Hayden Smith (@Hayden_Smith_) August 27, 2013It was a rough week for our battling Aussies, and it's unfortunate that we'll likely go into Week 1 of the regular season with only Sav Rocca on an active NFL roster. It's a sobering reminder of the life of a pro footballer. Here's hoping some of them find a new team as the season progresses.