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Bills have two kickers, and neither has done much

By Tim Graham

An item at Pro Football Talk and a tweet from WGR morning host Howard Simon reminded me the Buffalo Bills have two kickers who aren't doing much these days.

The Pro Football Talk item was about high-school kid Austin Rehkow, who kicked a 67-yard field goal in Washington. (Side note: Former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien's nephew, Brett Rypien, threw for 577 yards in the game, so just in case Central Valley can't light up an opponent that way, it can crush field goals from the 50.)

Rehkow's jaw-dropper came four days after Bills coach Chan Gailey decided 53 yards -- indoors, no less -- was too far to let placekicker Rian Lindell try to possibly beat the Arizona Cardinals in overtime.

Lindell has kicked only three field goals this season, second-fewest in the NFL aside from injury replacements.

Simon (@hsimon62) pointed out this morning that kickoff specialist John Potter hasn't been tallying touchbacks as everyone expected.

Potter has 12 touchbacks, tied for 19th in the NFL. He has recorded a touchback on 54.2 percent of his tries (not counting onside kicks), tied for 13th.

Potter has sent 84.6 percent of his kickoffs into the end zone, 14th in the NFL and below the league average of 87.6 percent.

"I want him to have those touchbacks," Bills coach Chan Gailey said Monday, referring to Potter's performance in Arizona. "That's why we hired him, to kick the ball deep. He's kicking high. We got one of them down there around the 16- or 17-yard line, but they brought the other one out. We need more consistency from him."

The opponent's average starting field position when Potter kicks off is the 20.6-yard line, 11th in the NFL.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |