The Buffalo Bills kept two kickers last year in addition to their punter. With a change at head coach, kickoff specialist Jordan Gay may have been on the outside looking in, but Rex Ryan kept special teams coordinator Danny Crossman, who loves what Gay brought to the squad in 2014.
"Without question [Gay proved himself]," said Crossman in an interview with BuffaloBills.com. "The year that Jordan had... we think he's going to be even better."
Gay helped the Bills' kickoff coverage team reach a third-overall ranking in the NFL last season, and he finished in the Top 10 in touchback percentage, as well. Perhaps more importantly, he took some wear and tear off of field goal kicker Dan Carpenter, who was able to make more kicks from 50-plus yards than he previously had in his career, as well as maintain his 90-percent field goal accuracy.
Crossman also isn't worried about stealing a roster spot from another player.
"It's not as much of a luxury if you're getting a super highly-productive player," added Crossman. "I don't care what it is. You may have a guy on your roster that only plays 15 plays a game, but in those 15 plays a game he gets a sack. Well that value is there. Everyone looks at each position differently. I think Jordan's value - he showed what he was worth in terms of the depth of the kicks and hang time of the kicks he put us in great position to make a lot of plays."
While Bills scribe Chris Brown notes that the Bills have committed to Gay with a two-year contract extension this offseason, it's worth noting that his deal is for the veteran minimum in both seasons with no guaranteed money. If the Bills want him gone, it won't cost them a cent, so he is guaranteed nothing - but given the team's established public opinion on him, Gay seems to have an excellent chance to make the team again.