“Way to do your job.”
The Ravens’ special teams mantra referenced so many times by Sam Koch is a little ironic to me, considering how much Koch has done for the team that’s outside the traditional job description for a punter.
You changed the game.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) May 19, 2022
Sure, he’s been one of the most consistent and reliable punters in the NFL over his 16-year career, but he also spent most of that time as the Ravens’ holder and emergency quarterback, excelling in both of those roles.
— Lamar Jackson (@Lj_era8) May 19, 2022
Okay, so he never had to step in at quarterback, but he did a great job executing fake punts, completing seven of eight passes over his career for five first downs. As ex-Chargers running back Danny Woodhead put it, Koch was “unreal good.”
He was unreal good https://t.co/EEKlObSgUe
— danny woodhead (@danny__woodhead) May 20, 2022
But Woodhead’s tribute to Koch is even more notable considering that Woodhead spent only one season in Baltimore and didn’t even play a single snap on special teams. That’s the kind of impact that Koch had on and off the field.
— Co Cap™️ (@ALevine41) May 19, 2022
He revolutionized punting, introducing a series of creative ways to induce different trajectories and spins on the football, including his trademark “Koch Hook.” But he also made sure that the rest of Baltimore’s special teams units stayed up to the high standards set by John Harbaugh. His veteran leadership will be missed in the locker room, especially if Jimmy Smith and Pernell McPhee don’t return this year either.
Sam Koch wasn't the only one who helped set the Ravens standard on special teams, but nobody was more resolute about enforcing the message:
"Sometimes, we got really close to throwing hands."
On the venerable punter who retires after 16 seasons:https://t.co/AJee4C4bCp
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) May 20, 2022
But above all, Koch is a family man. You can see the pride he takes in his own family whenever he speaks or posts on social media about them, and he extended that love to his Ravens family.
What an honor to be able to know and play with one of the best to ever play this game and live life abundantly with love and grace. Your story will be written in stone. But your legacy will live in the beautiful family you have created. https://t.co/s505Eoi6Kk
— Jameel McClain (@JameelMcClain) May 19, 2022
As a kid at training camp, I felt that love, too. Koch smiled when I asked him about his favorite punt and took the time to break down a few of his signature kicks. He recommended a few stretches to keep my legs pliable when I commented on how stressful punting must be on both the plant and kicking legs, then he moved on to make another young fan’s day.
I just wanted to send out a huge congratulations to Sam Koch on a legendary career. Looking forward to the opportunity to learn from @Sam_Koch4
— Jordan Stout (@JORDANSTOUT92) May 19, 2022
Thankfully, he’ll still be part of the team as a special teams consultant, where his first job will be to pass along his wisdom to rookie punter Jordan Stout. If Stout can be half of the punter, leader and all-around football player that Koch was, the Ravens are in good hands…or legs.