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Todd Sauerbrun
No. 10     Florida Tuskers
Punter
Personal information
Date of birth: January 4, 1973 (1973-01-04) (age 37)
Place of birth: Setauket, New York
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) Weight: 215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
College: West Virginia
NFL Draft: 1995 / Round: 2 / Pick: 56
Debuted in 1995 for the Chicago Bears
Career history
 As player:
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2007
Punts     889
Punt Yards     39,208
Punting Yard Average     44.1
Stats at NFL.com

Todd Scott Sauerbrun (pronounced /ˈsaʊrbrən/; born January 4, 1973 in Setauket, New York) is an American football punter for the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League. He was originally drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round of the 1995 NFL Draft. He played college football at West Virginia.

Sauerbrun has also been a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots.

Contents

Early years

Sauerbrun grew up in Setauket on Long Island. He attended Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, New York, and was a letterman in football and lacrosse.[1] In football, as a senior, he averaged 45.1 yards per punt and kicked a field goal of 62 yards on October 27, 1990 (still the New York State High School record). The kick was held by Jason Sanders. In lacrosse, he was a high school U.S. Lacrosse All-America selection. He is the leading midfield scorer in Ward Melville history with 109 goals and 24 assists for 133 points.

College career

Sauerbrun made history when he enrolled at West Virginia University, after being one of the nation's top prep placekickers. Sauerbrun played punter at West Virginia, where he set a NCAA record with a 48.4 yard punting average in 1994. He was also named the school’s sixth consensus All-American that season.

Professional career

He was drafted by the Chicago Bears 56th overall in the 1995 NFL Draft. He spent five seasons with the Bears, and is ranked second on the team in all-time punting average. He spent the 2000 season with the Kansas City Chiefs, and was signed by the Carolina Panthers before the 2001 season.

Sauerbrun achieved his greatest success, as well as his biggest problems while with Carolina. He was picked for the Pro Bowl to represent the NFC in the 2002, 2003, and 2004 seasons. Sauerbrun also became the first player from either conference since the AFL-NFL Merger in 1970 to lead his conference in gross punting average for three consecutive seasons (2001-2003). However, during the 2004 season, the Panthers were riddled with injuries, and at one point, starting placekicker John Kasay suffered a leg injury, and the Panthers were forced to use Sauerbrun to replace Kasay. Sauerbrun refused to kick unless he was reimbursed for fines he incurred when he was overweight.[2]

In December 2004, he was charged with DWI, and he was named in an investigation of steroids use in the NFL linked to a South Carolina doctor during the 2004 season.[3]

On May 19, 2005, Sauerbrun was traded to the Denver Broncos for punter Jason Baker and a 7th round draft pick in the 2006 draft. On July 7, 2006, Sauerbrun was suspended for the first four games of the NFL season after testing positive for the banned supplement ephedra. On October 17, 2006, the day he was supposed to come back from his suspension, Denver cut him, favoring Paul Ernster.

One of Todd Sauerbrun's most notable NFL career moments occurred during the AFC Divisional Playoffs on January 14, 2006, when, in a rare move for a team punter, he managed to tackle New England Patriots returner Ellis Hobbs after his own kickoff and actually forced a fumble, which was recovered by his teammate, Cecil Sapp. This eventually led to a Broncos field goal, which helped Denver defeat the Patriots 27-13, ending New England's bid for an unprecedented three consecutive Super Bowl victories.

Sauerbrun was signed by the Patriots on December 22, 2006 to a one year contract that gave them the right to match any contract he signed the next offseason.

On April 3, 2007, the Denver Broncos signed Sauerbrun to a one year contract. However, a week later, the Patriots announced their decision to match Denver's offer to the veteran punter.[4] Shortly thereafter, the NFL Players Association filed a grievance on behalf of Sauerbrun regarding the details of the contract he signed with New England in 2006. On April 18, 2007, it was announced that Sauerbrun would once again be a free agent. Sauerbrun resigned with the Denver Broncos on April 19, 2007. [5]

Prior to facing the Chicago Bears, Sauerbrun stated that he would kick to Devin Hester, who was well known for his success as a kick and punt returner. Sauerbrun stated, "We're going after it. We're not going to kick away from him. Hey, we respect him and he's the best, but we have guys on our coverage teams that are paid to make big tackles."[6] Hester responded by returning a punt and kick-off for touchdowns.[7] Sauerbrun had an attempt to stop Hester on both returns, but failed.[7] Later in the game, Sauerbrun had one of his punts blocked by Charles Tillman while attempting to punt away from Hester.[7] Keith Olbermann, a commentator and anchor for NBC, awarded Sauerbrun with his dubious “Worst Person in the NFL Award”, for challenging Hester and failing to stop him.[8]

On December 18, 2007, the Denver Broncos released him for a second time after Sauerbrun was arrested by Denver police during an altercation with a taxi-driver.[9]

References

  1. ^ "COLLEGE FOOTBALL; Booming Success For Losers", The New York Times, August 29, 1994. Accessed October 24, 2007. "It was a great day for the 6-foot, 200-pound kicker from Setauket, L.I., who averaged 60.1 yards in his nine attempts.... Sauerbrun, a senior, was a soccer player until the ninth grade, when he tried kicking at Ward Melville High School."
  2. ^ "Panthers nix Sauerbrun field goals-for-fines offer". cbssports.com. Nov. 17, 2004. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/7898495. Retrieved August 13, 2009.  
  3. ^ "Report: Sauerbrun among Panthers prescribed steroids". cbssports.com. March 29, 2005. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/8338569. Retrieved August 13, 2009.  
  4. ^ Article not found | February 5, 2008 | AHN
  5. ^ The Denver Post - Sauerbrun returns to Broncos
  6. ^ Mayer, Larry. Sauerbrun says Broncos won't kick away from Hester (November 23, 2007), chicagobears.com, Retrieved on December 24, 2007.
  7. ^ a b c Seligman, Andrew. Chicago 37, Denver 34, OT (November 25, 2007), Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved on December 24, 2007.
  8. ^ Saunders, Dusty. Collinsworth still one of the best (December 3, 2007), Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved on December 24, 2007.
  9. ^ 9NEWS.com | Colorado's Online News Leader | Broncos release punter Todd Sauerbrun

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