McBriar in 2007.
No. 10 Pittsburgh Steelers
|Date of birth:July 8, 1979|
|Place of birth: Melbourne, Australia|
|Undrafted in 2003|
|Debuted in 2004 for the Dallas Cowboys|
|Roster status: Active|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2013
Mat McBriar (born July 8, 1979) is an Australian player of American football who currently plays as a punter for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League. After playing college football for the Hawaii Warriors, he was signed by the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2003. He spent the 2003 preseason with the Broncos and Seattle Seahawks before signing with the Dallas Cowboys in December 2003. McBriar played for the Cowboys for eight seasons until he signed with the Eagles in 2012.
McBriar began as an Australian rules football player, playing for Brighton Grammar School and Deakin University (he attended three semesters). At one stage, he entered a junior superkick competition, finishing 3rd overall.
Unlike others such as Darren Bennett who earlier played in the NFL, McBriar was not a standout athlete in Australia. After performing well at an NFL-sponsored kicking competition in Waverley Park, however, Bennett helped him receive a football scholarship with the University of Hawaii. There he recorded the Warriors' all-time, single-game record with a 53.8 yards/attempt average against Tulane University on 25 December 2002. After 3 years, he had the second-best career punting average for the Warriors with 42.22 yards per punt behind Jason Elam. As a junior he made the second team All-WAC after averaging 43.4 yards per punt, and earned All-WAC honors as a senior, after averaging 44.8 yards per punt.
McBriar was traded from the Broncos to the Seattle Seahawks on 22 August 2003 for a conditional draft choice. He averaged 44.8 yards on five punts in his only preseason game with the Seahawks. Shortly thereafter, the team waived him on 31 August 2003.
On 26 December 2003, he was signed by the Dallas Cowboys to their practice squad, becoming the second Australian to play for the team, after punter/kicker Colin Ridgway. In 2004 he became the team starter at punter.
In 2006, McBriar made headlines with a 75-yard punt which made the record books as the second longest in Cowboys' history. Also in 2006, he has been named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice for his outstanding punting ability.
In December 2006 season, McBriar was only the second ever Australian player to be selected in the Pro Bowl, as punter for the NFC team. His league leading 48.2 yards-per-punt average in the 2006 season broke Sam Baker's team record of 45.4 yards per punt, made him the first player to average over 48 yards per punt since 1963 and tied him for fifth best in NFL history. He was the Cowboys' first Pro Bowl punter since 1971.
On 28 February 2007, the Cowboys extended McBriar's contract to a 5-year, $8.5-million contract. He also received a $2.5-million signing bonus. This contract made McBriar the highest-paid punter in the league. That season he narrowly missed a Pro Bowl selection, after being chosen as a reserve for the NFC team.
On 12 October 2008, McBriar sustained a season-ending fracture in his kicking foot, after he suffered his first career blocked punt, which was also returned for the game-winning touchdown on the final play of an overtime loss against the Arizona Cardinals. Before the injury he was averaging 49 yards per punt and had a 38.8 net punting average.
In 2009 he had a team record 38 punts downed inside the red zone ranking third in the NFL, and sixth all-time in a single season in league history. With the injury of Brad Johnson in 2009, McBriar took up holding duties for the Cowboys on field goals and extra point attempts. However, after several missed field goals, holding duties were handed over to Tony Romo in game 13 versus the San Diego Chargers. McBriar resumed his role as the team's holder during the 2010 season, in which he also was named to his second Pro Bowl, after leading the NFL in both gross punting average (47.9 yards) and net average (41.7). He also had 22 punts downed inside the red zone, with eight touchbacks.
In 2011 he was bothered during the season by a nerve issue that affected his left foot, so he was placed on the injured reserve before the final game. He finished the year with a 43.8 gross average and a 36.1 net average per punt. His contract was not renewed after the season, leaving as the franchise leader in net average (38.1), gross average (45.3) and punts inside the 20-yard line (175).
On July 25, 2012, McBriar signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he battled Chas Henry for the starting position. McBriar was released by the Eagles on August 29; however, he was re-signed September 25 to replace Henry as the team's punter. McBriar was released by the Eagles on March 25, 2013 making him a free agent.
On October 29, 2013, McBriar was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Brown, Alex (2004-09-08). "McBriar starts NFL journey against man who made him". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- [dead link]
- Philip, By (2006-12-21). "Punt on gridiron pays off | thetelegraph.com.au". News.com.au. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
- [dead link]
- Anatomy of a play - The blocked punt
- "Dallas Cowboys' Romo to resume role as holder | Dallas Cowboys News - Sports News for Dallas, Texas - SportsDayDFW". Dallasnews.com. 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
- Archer, Todd. "Mat McBriar joins Eagles". ESPN. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
- Wulf, Bo (2012-09-25). "McBriar Returns As Punter; LS Added". Philadelphia Eagles. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
|Current punters in the National Football League (as of Week 16 of the 2013 NFL season)|
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