In 2006, Morten Andersen set the two major kicking records on back-to-back weekends. He passed Gary Anderson for points scored, and then, a week later, passed Anderson for field goals made.
Andersen has held the records ever since, finishing his career with 2,544 points and 565 field goals.
But Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri is within 35 fields and 166 points of passing Andersen for both records. Unless he has a career year, Vinatieri, who is 44 and in the final year of his contract, would have to kick into 2018 to break Andersen’s marks.
“I have nothing but admiration for what Adam has been able to do for a long period of time,” Andersen said in a Pro Football Hall of Fame conference call Wednesday. “It remains to be seen whether he’ll break my records. If he does, then he needs to be congratulated because it’s a high mark and a high bar, and records are made to be broken. I’ve held many of them for over a decade now, so I won’t lose any sleep over it. My skins are on the wall.”
Andersen was elected to the Hall of Fame in his fifth year of eligibility, becoming only the second kicker to earn induction. Jan Stenerud was in the Class of 1991. But Ray Guy became the first punter enshrined in 2014, meaning specialists now have two of the past 30 spots.
Andersen said that should help open the door for specialists such as Steve Tasker, Bill Bates, Vinatieri, Anderson and Shane Lechler to receive strong consideration in the future.
“I think it becomes legitimized as a position, not that it needed to be, but there has been a stigma that not an every-down player was somehow a handicap when it came to consideration for the Hall,” Andersen said. “I think we need to move the conversation forward in saying, ‘Who are the trendsetters? Who are the best at their position regardless whether they played 20 plays or 75 plays? How did they affect the game?’ The kicking position arguably affects the game more, other than the quarterback position, than any other position on the football field. More games are won or lost on the foot of a specialist so we have to recognize that the position is important. It’s relevant, and it’s a powerful one.”