Where else but Buffalo would one of the most universally-loved players in team history be a punter? The Buffalo Bills certainly had one to remember for most of their playoff drought era. He’s one of those great players who, despite his career longevity, never saw a playoff game. Let’s dive into the best punters to play during Buffalo’s drought.
Moorman joined the Bills in 2001 as an undrafted rookie from Pittsburg State. He would go on to play 13 seasons in Buffalo, starting 190 games, fifth-most in franchise history. A college track and field star, Moorman was known for his effective gadget plays as well as for his leg. He ran 13 times for 55 yards with five first downs, and completed 3-of-7 passes for two touchdowns plus another first down during his career with the Bills.
Moorman was an extremely consistent punter who only had two of 979 punts blocked and never had fewer than 40 yards per punt in a season. Moorman made the Pro Bowl in 2005 and 2006, and was also first-team All-Pro in both of those seasons.
During the doldrums of the Dick Jauron and Chan Gailey era, Moorman was a bright spot, the best player available on Madden and the highlight of a team promotional photograph when they didn’t have any great moments of offense or defense to share. The team released Moorman in 2012 when they added undrafted rookie Shawn Powell, but Powell failed to live up to expectations, and the team brought Moorman back in 2013 for a final send-off season.
Schmidt was the choice to replace Moorman in 2014, and he was the starting punter for the final four seasons of the drought. He currently ranks fifth in career punts among Buffalo Bills, and ranks second in career yards per punt (first if you leave out Powell’s year-and-a-half) with 44.1.
Schmidt has been a good if inconsistent starter during that time. The Bills were usually one of the best teams in the NFL at limiting punt return average, and never gave up a punt return touchdown while Schmidt was punting. Occasionally Schmidt would shank a punt or two, but his job security was never really in question, and the team rewarded him with a contract extension in 2016 and in 2017.
Voting time - who was the best punter from the playoff drought? Tomorrow we’ll tackle the kick returners (if they’ll let us).
Who was the best punter of the Buffalo Bills playoff drought?
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