For two training camps, Colton Schmidt was the “other” punter. The one without experience or history or a spot on the team. The one hoping to impress somebody, anybody anywhere in the NFL.
This year, he’s the only punter with the Bills at Fisher, but that doesn’t mean he’s won a job.
“There’s still always competition,” Schmidt says. “Whether it’s directly here or around the league, guys who are free agents trying to make it in. I know what it’s like to be on the outside looking in. You always gotta stay hungry even when you’re here. It’s just a big mind shift as it’s my job to lose.”
If you go to training camp, you’re going to see Schmidt stand around quite a bit. He’ll likely look bored.
He admits most of his training camp is doing the same couple of things over and over and over. However, Schmidt says the good punters are the ones that don’t get bored.
“The nature of our job is it’s a repetitive movement. We’re just trying to perfect that and do it to the highest level we can,” Schmidt says.
“It’s just a lot of repetitions of the same boring stuff. So, if you think of it as boring, then you’re really not going to put everything you need into it. You really gotta focus on ‘I’m doing this for a purpose. I’m doing this to get better’.”
The last two full season punters in Buffalo–Chris Mohr and Brian Moorman–both lasted at least a decade.
It proves the windy, cold confines of Ralph Wilson Stadium don’t have to be a cemetery for a punter’s career.
In fact, it can be just the opposite.
“It’s a good legacy for me to try and uphold and live up to,” Schmidt says. “There’s also the fact that you could make that your niche, where you’re a bad weather punter. You know what to expect and you’re very versatile in your game.”
Before Schmidt develops a legacy or a niche, he needs to keep his job in Buffalo.
And that’s just fine with him.