Les Bowen reports that the Eagles have agreed to terms with Saverio Rocca, a 33-year-old Australian Football player. Bowen points out that the Birds often pick up a second punter for camp, but there’s already a lot of buzz about this guy, likely due to the success of other Aussies like Mat McBriar and Darren Bennett. Les has put together some good background on Rocca, how the other Aussies have faired in the League, and what the impact could be on the Eagles roster, so I think his article is a must read.
The Eagles overpaid Dirk Johnson before this season, and he had a pretty rough year to reward them for their generosity. I guess if Sav doesn’t work out, at least he’ll be a sign to Johnson that the Eagles will cut him if he doesn’t improve. Personally, I’d love to see this Aussie crazer put on Eagle green and learn to punt in the NFL. It’d make for some excitement, especially if some unfortunate rookie punt returner decides to break one and gets laid out in the open field.
Whatever happens, it looks like the Rocca is ready to compete:
"It's mixed feelings, because it's quite exciting if you make it and go all the way," Rocca, known to fans as "Sav," told the news show. "That environment, for the family, it's a bit hectic, because we're just not sure how far we're going to go... They can terminate the contract after 1 day if they want to. I've got to get over there and show 'em that I'm fairly good and I can kick just as good as, if not better than, who they've got there at the moment."
Some YouTube highlights… When you watch this video, it's clear that the NFL likely shells out a lot more cash than the Australian league. It looks like he's adored there, but he's willing to give it all up to take one of the most underappreciated positions in football in the States. Then again, he's 33, and punting-only duties are a lot easier on the body than taking the beating of Aussie rules football. Sorry for the lame song…
(Photo from footywire.com)