Are kickers football players?

11 11 2009

David Buehler

The question is often raised, are kickers football players?  The answer that you get from most current and former players is a resounding, no.  They have one job to kick the ball and that’s about the only thing they’re good for on the football field.  Unless Chad Ochocinco, becomes the everyday kicker for the Bengals and not just a fill in like he was this preseason, I don’t know of a kicker who could play a skill position.  At least I thought that was the case.

The NFL combine is a place where relative unknowns can make a name for themselves by performing well, whether it be for exceptional size, strength, or speed.  When someone has exceptional size, strength, and speed that’s when NFL scouts really get excited.  At 6’2, 230 lbs., David Buehler showed exceptional size for a safety, then he ran the 40 in 4.5 seconds, and topped it all off by doing 25 reps of 225 lbs. on the bench press.  Now those are the kind of measure ables that NFL scouts dream about for a prototype safety, problem is David Buehler is a kicker.

That’s right David Buehler is a kicker and he looks nothing like it.  As I watched the Cowboys vs. Eagles game this past Sunday I heard the commentators make note of the fact that Buehler was drafted by the Cowboys to aid them in the field position battle.  Then something odd happened I noticed that #18 David Buehler was on the punt return team.  When was the last time you saw a kicker on the punt return team?  He’s the only one that I have ever seen.  After seeing Buehler leads the NFL in touchbacks this season and he’s playing on the punt team I had to dig deeper and learn more about this guy.

Buehler while at USC was known for his strong leg, but while he was there the coaches were so impressed by his athletic ability that they experimented with him at fullback and safety.  Now if you’re the kicker at Alcorn State and you are a bit of an athlete I can see the coaches giving you a shot at another position, but at USC.  This guy really must be something and if you look at his numbers from the combine you can see that he’s pretty athletic.  So next time you’re watching a Cowboys game watch for #18, he’ll make you question those who say kickers aren’t football players.

Written by: Jesse Kunz
The halfmanhalfdog team
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