Texans punter says “I’m not an actual ‘football’ player”

AP

Texans punter Donnie Jones injured his leg trying to tackle Pats receiver Wes Welker on Monday night.  Jones has a fairly simple explanation for it, which he has provided to teammates inclined to give him grief.

“I told those guys, I said, ‘Look, you guys are NFL football players, I’m not,’” Jones said, via CSNHouston.com.  “So when I get a little bruise or something, it is what it is.  I know my role.  But it’s all in good fun.”

Jones’ remarks give credence to the beliefs of those who view punters and kickers as a step below the folks who don’t use their feet.  (Except, of course, when stomping someone, or kicking them in the crotch.)

“Yeah, I mean I’m not an actual NFL ‘football’ player,” Jones said.  “I mean, come on.  We know our roles.  I had the same type thing in 2008.  I had to push DeSean Jackson out of bounds.  Somehow I chased him down, don’t know how I did it, and I fell and my knee blew up.  Every now and then you get one.  We’re punters and kickers.  We’re a different breed.”

Yes, they are.  But they still deserve respect for their skills.  And it will be hard for them to get it if one of their own is willing to agree with the outdated stereotype that these pro athletes aren’t really athletes.

48 responses to “Texans punter says “I’m not an actual ‘football’ player”

  1. He didn’t say they weren’t athletes, he said “I’m not an actual NFL ‘football’ player,” and “We’re a different breed.”

    Maybe he was a soccer player? Aren’t they athletes? And if you haven’t played soccer, your opinion doesn’t count.

  2. Aren’t people smart enough to realize punters and linebackers are both “football players,” but that their roles within the game and physical makeup in general are inherently different? This endless debate (or whatever you’d call it) about punters seems silly to me.

  3. He didn’t say he wasn’t an athlete; he said he wasn’t an “NFL football player.” And in the context in which he said it, I don’t think it denigrates him or other punters/kickers at all.

  4. This is why Ray Guy will never be in the Hall of Fame. Punters and kickers are not football players. No more so than long snappers or the guys holding the down markers.

  5. Is it so far fetched to take an actually athletic guy that could contribute on offense or defense (a nickel CB, a RB, a 4th WR, etc) and teach them how to punt effectively?

    Why is kicking exclusive to not being able to play another position on the field?

  6. Punters and Tight Ends are among my favorite position players. They are determining factors in the field position game. They help the defense by backing up the opposing offense and help move the chains and block for the running game, respectively. Without these two positions doing well, teams aren’t going to maximize what everyone else is doing on the field. Landeta and Bavaro all day long man. Superbowls were won on the backs of players like them.

  7. the colts will smash u and u will see afterwards if u still want to be labeled a real football player

  8. YOu are a NFL player.

    They can’t do what you do. You can’t do what they do and they can’t do what some other guy does and that other guy can’t do what they do.

    Its a team. You need people who can punt one inside the 5 in the Super Bowl. That leads to a safety.

    You are just as important as any other player on the team.

  9. shaunypoo says:Dec 13, 2012 2:11 PM

    He didn’t say they weren’t athletes, he said “I’m not an actual NFL ‘football’ player,” and “We’re a different breed.”

    Maybe he was a soccer player? Aren’t they athletes? And if you haven’t played soccer, your opinion doesn’t count.

    Hey man, i played soccer like everyone else…..when i was 6 and didnt know any better

  10. I don’t think this will do too much to lessen the respect other players have for kickers and punters because just about everyone will realize that he was just trying to be funny.

  11. peytonsneck18 says:
    Dec 13, 2012 2:34 PM
    the colts will smash u and u will see afterwards if u still want to be labeled a real football player
    =====================

    Unless Luck throws for 3 picks like we know he is completely capable of…

    Freeney v Brown on the left side will be a great matchup in this game, Mathis v Newton on the right, not so much, but the best way to slow down those two freight trains…

    Arian Foster

    Arian will go 130yds 2Tds and 50 rcvg yds. Colts can’t handle him, never have, especially not in Houston.

  12. I agree egomaniac – Some of the best High School Players/Athletes on the field did punting duties as well as playing both sides. Maybe it’s a fear of exposing the player to more injuries at the NFL level – but more likely the time to practice being accurate in crucial moments required for NFL teams just isn’t there for a skill position player.

  13. Is it so far fetched to take an actually athletic guy that could contribute on offense or defense (a nickel CB, a RB, a 4th WR, etc) and teach them how to punt effectively?

    Why is kicking exclusive to not being able to play another position on the field?

    —-

    Because it would take time away from being a CB, WR, etc. They would have find time to practice outside of when the defense and offense are practicing, meetings, weightlifting, etc. Basically, jack of all trades, master of none…

  14. Its funny people ripping on Chris Kluwe because he feels he is in the same class as anyone else in the NFL. Maybe he is in a lower class, but he still is more athletic and makes more money than anyone who posts on this site who is not a professional athlete.

  15. His reasoning is stupid though. Freakish injuries happen all the time, even to the best of players. Many ACLs are torn simply by trying to cut in the grass and something goes wrong.

  16. Last time I checked the Rams punter had more passing yards than Tebow. I guess he’s not a real football player either.

  17. Most positions have different roles. Are you going to say an offensive lineman is not a football player because he sucks at tackling and can’t carry the ball without fumbling? Lots of cornerbacks don’t like tackling. Most linebackers suck at blocking. So what’s the requirement here? Is it actually getting hit?

    Whatever your thoughts, there’s no way a punter and kicker aren’t essential to your football game. Try and win without them.

  18. Adam Vinatieri made several great tackles when he played for the Pats, and I’ve seen a number of other punters and kickers do the same over the years.

    If he’s not a “real football player” its because he chooses not to be when he should be doing just the opposite.

  19. I remember watching a game several years ago when a team (dont remember which one) had lost their kicker and didnt have a backup. You quickly realized how important their roles were, & they are players of very much importance. Another reason I would consider not watching football if they take the kickoff away. In short, I disagree with this guy.

  20. Preaching to the choir Donnie. I watched him let Patrick Peterson run right by him without even making a half-hearted attempt at stopping him. Good punter, poor football player.

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