Off on the right foot

Ravens Q&a Sam Koch

November 05, 2008|By EDWARD LEE

How excited are you about ranking sixth in the NFL in net punting average (40.2 yards) and 11th in overall average (45.9)?

I worked very hard this offseason on my drops and everything. I guess that's kind of indicative of what I've been working for, especially the past couple of years. I'm just trying to be that consistent punter and be like a Mike Scifres [of the San Diego Chargers], a Hunter Smith [of the Indianapolis Colts].

How does it feel to be on pace to break Kyle Richardson's franchise record of a 43.9-yard punting average set in 1998?

I don't really think about that. If that is something that occurs at the end of the season, then yes, I'll be very happy about that. But I'm more for just trying to help out the team. If that means over the next eight or nine weeks, putting it inside the 20 and averaging just 40 yards, I'll do that and not worry so much about the average.

Can you describe the feeling that comes from knowing that you have kicked a tremendous punt?

If you've grown up kicking, you know when you've hit a good ball. There's always that one where you don't even have to look and see what the ball's doing, you just know. But it's such a great feeling. It's just the way it feels. You just know. It's something you can't explain, really. Once you hit it, you know.

How does one go from being an All-State linebacker at Seward (Neb.) High to a walk-on punter at the University of Nebraska?

I knew there would come a time where I had to focus on just one specific thing, and once I got to college, they gave me the option of playing linebacker in spring ball or punter. I kind of said that I just wanted to focus on one thing. I like the physical aspect of the game, but yet I really enjoyed punting. So that's when I made my decision that I just wanted to be a punter. Still like to hit, and you can do that every once in a while as you're punting.

Do you ever think about what might have been if you had pursued a career as a linebacker?

Yeah, I do, and people have asked me that. It would be interesting to see what would have happened, but I'm no Ray Lewis. I don't think I would have ever been, but I would have sure tried.

Did you have any worries about walking on at Nebraska?

It was always my dream to walk on at Nebraska, and whatever happened, happened. It wasn't about trying to get a scholarship - although I definitely would have wanted one so that I wouldn't have had to pay for school. But walking on at Nebraska was always my lifelong dream. So I went there and tried out.

Does it bother you that there are no punters in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Well, I guess it's something to shoot for. Does it bother me? It takes a lot for a punter to get recognized in the league, to be consistent and get his name out there. I'm sure there's a reason for that, but yeah, I'd like to see a punter go into the Hall of Fame one of these years.

What's your least favorite food?

Pigs' feet. I haven't had it, but my wife's father really likes that. My wife doesn't mind it. The sound of pigs' feet doesn't sit well. He had a jar of that at home one time, and he just started taking them out and chewing on them and spitting out the toenails. I was like: 'Nope. That's not for me.' "

You're stuck on an island with one CD, one DVD and one book. What are they?

The book would be by James Patterson. Probably Beach Road. The DVD would probably have to be Training Day with Denzel Washington. I like him as an actor. CD? I would have to say something from the oldies. Something like Journey. Journey's greatest hits.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be and where would you go?

Growing up, my idol was Joe Montana, so it would probably have to be him. I'd go to wherever he'd like.

Edward Lee

about this series

Each Wednesday we'll bring you a Q&A with a Ravens player to help you learn more about the team. Today's guest is punter Sam Koch, who has 15 punts of 50 yards or more and 13 inside the opponent's 20-yard line. Koch talks about being on pace to set a franchise record, his decision to punt and his least favorite food.



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