There are always “bumps in the road” as we work toward our goals in the special teams skills. It’s how we handle them that is most important.
Did you know that Jeff Reed was a walk-on at UNC and didn’t see the field until his junior year?.…..that he was cut by the New Orleans Saints in training camp then had seven tryouts with other teams before finding a home with the Steelers? Matt Prater was cut by the Atlanta Falcons after two games and was on the Miami Dolphins practice squad before becoming All Pro and breaking the longest FG record with Denver Broncos? Did you know Matt led the nation in punting at UCF with a 48 yard average and did not even receive an honorable mention on the MAC All League Team?
How about Ryan Quigley’s standout career at Boston College going relatively unnoticed. Cut by the Bears in training camp and then the Jets, Ryan was resigned by the Jets after the first game and went on to average 45 yards per punt. Rob Long’s heralded career ay Syracuse projected him to be one of the select few kickers and punters in his class to be chosen in the NFL draft. With two games remaining in the season Rob was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Despite successful surgery, chemotherapy treatments, and a clean bill of health he went undrafted. Coming back stronger than ever, Rob had a difficult time even receiving a tryout. People were amazed that this young man was not playing in the National Football League. Unfortunately, the answer eventually became evident. Rob’s courageousness in facing a life threatening situation and in pursuing his goal has been inspirational.