A position on the field that everyone overlooks is a punter. They can change the game with one swing of their leg. And no one was better over their career at punting than former Packers and Titans punter Craig Hentrich. I recently caught up with Craig and here is what we talked about!
MP: What are you up to these days Craig?
CH: I actually teach punting/kicking thru my company, Legacy Kicking. I am also getting started on building furniture as well. My third job is golf, but I haven't played golf since October.
MP: How did you get into golf and become so good at it?
CH: I started golfing around the age of 12. I think that I've always had good hand/eye coordination. That and I'm always looking for a new challenge to master and that helped me as well.
MP: Who were some of your idols growing up?
CH: My parents were my idols growing up. My dad was a hard worker. He worked the same job for 35 years, was never late and never missed a day. That and when he came home, he spent time with his kids. My mom was a homemaker and they worked well together. As far as sports, I was a huge soccer player growing up. I used to go watch the Major Indoor Soccer League games when I was growing up all the time and those guys were my sports idols.
MP: How did you hone your punting craft?
CH: I honed it through hours and hours and hours of practice. I actually would catch myself doing things and make corrections.
MP: What positions did you play growing up besides punter?
CH: I actually played quarterback and safety in high school. I ran the wishbone offense. Of course, I couldn't run that in college. When I got to college, I actually pulled double-duty as a punter and kicker.
MP: What makes a good punter?
CH: Consistency and dependability makes a punter good. And by consistency, I mean that the punter drops balls inside the 10 or unleashes a big punt and is unselfish with what he needs to do for the team.
MP: Who do you think is the best punter in the NFL?
CH: I have two that I like a lot. Shane Lechler of the Oakland and Mike Scifres of San Diego. Both always seem to hit the big punt at the right time when their team is backed up.
MP: What are your thoughts on BountyGate in New Orleans?
CH: I think it's blown way out of proportion. The NFL is an emotional game and it's a way to get guys mentally ready for the game, not a way to send guys out to hurt people.
MP: What made you take to punting so much?
CH: Punting is a very difficult thing to master. There's thousands of great kickers and very few great punters. I'm always looking for a great challenge and punting is something that I can never master.
MP: Will there ever be a punter in the Hall of Fame?
CH: Yes. I read a quote from John Madden and he said "Ray Guy was one of the best defensive players I've ever coached." Punters, in my opinion, are becoming more important because the game is being played more by field position. And punters are field position players.
Many thanks to Craig Hentrich for the interview. Be sure to catch up with him at Legacy Kicking(www.legacykicking.com) and also be looking for him at a golf course near you!
(Picture of Craig Hentrich via www.bleacherreport.com)