When Sam Koch typically jogs onto the field, it’s after a failed offensive drive. While his job isn’t glorious, it’s extremely important.
A lot of the credit for the Ravens’ success on defense has to go to Koch, as he routinely buries his opponents deep into their own territory. He’s one of the best in the NFL at what he does, and he’s respected by his peers and the Ravens fan base.
Besides punting, Koch is a holder on every field goal and extra point attempt. Look no further than Tony Romo’s botched hold against the Seahawks in 2007 to see how quickly a game can fall apart if you don’t do your job correctly.
“I love holding for whatever reason,” Koch said. ”I’ve always told [Jerry] Rosburg, the more exciting the snap is, it seems to be a little more fun for me.”
Even though rookie kicker Justin Tucker received all the credit for the Ravens 27-yard field goal to beat the New England Patriots as time expired, Koch had to handle an inside snap from long snapper Morgan Cox to even give Tucker the opportunity.
“It was a little low and inside from [mine and Morgan’s] standards,” said Koch. “We do so much practice and we want everything to be so perfect. When it’s a tad inside and a little down low, it makes it look worse than what it is.”
Not only was the game on the line but Koch also had the nation watching, in addition to the 71,000 people at M&T Bank Stadium screaming for the kick to split the uprights.
“When you’re out on the field, you don’t really hear much,” Koch said. “Once it comes down to you doing your job and I’m ready to say the cadence, all of the other stuff is just a blur.”
Koch is familiarizing himself with the other popular foot on the team in Tucker.
“He’s done very well and you can’t say enough about the guy, he’s worked pretty hard,” said Koch.
Tucker’s arrival meant the departure of former kicker Billy Cundiff who was very good friends with Koch. When Cundiff made the Pro Bowl in 2010, he invited Koch to attend the game with him as his guest; an invitation that Koch declined because of tending to his children.
Koch treated the departure of Cundiff much like he did when the Ravens released former long snapper, Matt Katula.
“I was here with Matt [Katula] when he was here and we were together for five years. It sucks to see someone leave but it’s the job and you just have to move on.”
Being the team player that he is, Koch understands that the high level of play from the offense means less opportunity for him to get on the field. The Ravens are currently second in the NFL in scoring, trailing the Redskins by one point.
“You always want to see the offense go down and score rather than see me out on the field.”