You don't hear Philadelphia Eagles fans talking about it and it barely gets noticed in the media, but it might be the tightest competition for a job in training camp -- punter.
The Eagles signed veteran Mat McBriar to compete against incumbent Chas Henry, who didn't exactly have a dazzling rookie season in 2011, averaging 42.2 yards per punt, which was 29th among the 32 NFL teams.
The Eagles almost immediately moved McBriar to No. 1 on the depth chart.
“I definitely did,'' Henry said when asked if he thought the Eagles would bring another punter to camp. “I definitely thought they were going to last year. It's really unheard of in the NFL when an undrafted guy goes in and you just kind of give him the starting job with no competition going into his rookie year. I thought they were going to last year and I was fine with that and then it didn't happen.
“Then, this year, coming into it, I knew if they were going to, there were a couple of good veterans out there. There are a lot of good punters out there.''
That group had included McBriar, who played in two Pro Bowls as a member of the Cowboys before an injury to his plant leg ended his stay with Dallas. So, Henry wasn't surprised or angry when the Eagles signed McBriar.
“I think competition brings out the best in everybody, and I look forward to competing against him," Henry said.
McBriar came to Cleveland with no guarantees and was grateful the Eagles were willing to be patient with him as he rounded back into shape. He didn't expect to leapfrog over Henry so quickly, but he knows there are still four weeks before the season starts and anything can happen.
“Chas had a really solid rookie year and he's hitting the ball really well,'' McBriar said. “It's great to have competition. I welcome it and I think that we'll both get better. At the end of the day, we'll see what direction the team wants to go in terms of Chas or I.”
Special teams coach Bobby April said both players are good enough to punt in the NFL, but there's no such thing as a second-team punter, so one of them will have to go. And right now, nobody knows who it will be.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Philadelphia Eagles from blogger Kevin Noonan, follow @CBSSportsNFLPHI.