Here's this week's late edition of By The Numbers, another special teamer makes an appearance at fifteen this week.
Craig Hentrich was a column of consistency while he was in Tennessee.
Career Achievements: Pro Bowl: 1998, 2003. All-Pro: 1998.
Not only was he one of the longest tenured players in team history, Hentrich was a valuable field position commodity until the day he retired. In fact, only three players in team history have played in more games than Hentrich. His 852 punts are most in team history Hentrich's career net average of 36.8 yards ranks tenth since 1976 when the NFL began to track the stat. However, perhaps the most impressive thing about Hentrich is the fact that he was so consistently able to pin the opponent deep inside their own territory. almost 35 percent of his punts were placed inside the twenty yard line, second since 1976. He's also one of two punters with 100 career post season punts.
Although Hentrich has always been a punter, his versatility has been an important attribute over his NFL career. He's been called upon to be a kickoff specialist, attempt long-range field goals, throw passes, and on a couple of occasions be the ball-carrier. Nevertheless, Hentrich belongs as a punter. In his 16 seasons, Hentrich averaged over 40 yards. In 14 of those 16 has averaged at least 42.
As far as punters go, Hentrich was exciting. Every one of his kicks was an adventure as soon as it touched the ground. I've heard comparisons to a knuckleball in the sense that no one on the field had any idea where the ball would end up after it bounced.