the study of the kicking components within sports

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Jason Hanson: Specialist Tributes

Yesterday, kicker Jason Hanson announced his retirement from the NFL. At the following link you can check out the impressive numbers and records from his long and productive career.

We asked some fellow specialists to weigh in with their memories and thoughts for the occasion, while others offered their comments via twitter:

"Watched him at Wazzu. Played against him 30 times in NFC Central/North and marveled at him. To the best at what we do, congrats Jason Hanson." - former Packers & Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell

"What a great career for Jason Hanson. Been a pleasure playing against him these last six years. True pro." - Packers kicker Mason Crosby

"My favorite memory of Jason happened in the 4th game of the 2011 season. My very first NFC North game in the Metrodome. Losing 17-20 with 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter, we jog out to the left hash. The snap come, I spin the ball a quarter of the way. It was the wrong quarter of the way. With jason fast approaching, I decide to leave the laces backwards and let him adjust. The ball went straight down the middle.  Not only did we go on to win the game; That kick tied the career 50 yard field goal mark. He looked at me with a piercing glance a father gives when he's disappointed in you, and said 'good hold'. Not enough can be said about Jason. He is the most talented kicked I have ever had the chance to see. I wish him well in retirement. And will always hope for a comeback season." - former Lions punter Ryan Donahue

"Walked on at Wazzu in at the end of the 80s and had a 21 year NFL career. Outstanding!" - former Patriots kicker John Smith

"Amazing career for Lions K Jason Hanson, 22 years w/ the same team. Wow. I would have to play until 2025 with the Jags to equal that!" - Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee

"Jason Hanson's success during his marvelous NFL career included winning performances against the Chicago Bears, a team I have covered for over three decades with the Chicago Tribune. I remember Hanson beating the Bears, 12-10, on Nov. 9, 2003. He kicked four field goals, including a 48-yarder to win it. I also recall Hanson beating the Bears, 23-20, in overtime in 2002 with a 48-yarder. As a former kicker, I especially have enjoyed watching Hanson perform for the Lions. Hanson paid exceptional attention to detail on each and every kick, whether it was a 55-yard field goal attempt, a kickoff or extra point try. His work ethic, as well as his steady emotions on and off the field helped account for his long and productive career." - Fred Mitchell, Fed Mitchell Award

"Crazy to hear that Jason Hanson is retiring. He is one of the best and has had an unbelievable career." - Panthers kicker Graham Gano

"Back in 2009 I was playing Arena Football for the Spokane Shock in Washington where Jason Hanson resides in the off-season. The only memory I have of him personally was seeing over 20 brand new NFL balls all over the field where he would practice at in the Spokane area. Even after so many years of kicking, he was still crushing kickoffs 75+ yards and it just looked so effortless. His legacy will always be remembered, and in my opinion, is one of the most humble athletes of all time." - Alabama Hammers kicker Brian Jackson

"Big S/O to K Jason Hanson for a successful career." - Raiders punter Marquette King

"I had the opportunity to kick beside him in 2009. He was and always will be one of the best. He really helped me learn what it takes to be a pro that year from watching him prepare as well as the advice he gave me as a rookie. I texted him yesterday to congratulate him on a great career. It will definitely be weird seeing someone beside Hanson kick for Detroit this year. Great kicker and even greater man." - Toronto Argonauts kicker Swayze Waters

"The fact that he spent his whole career on one team which is almost unheard of these days." - Chris Husby, Special Teams FB Academy
 

"Jason is the ultimate professional. Never seen anyone enjoy what they do or work harder than him. Our special teams coach, Chuck Preifer, routinely had to tell him to shut it down because Jason was like a kid with a new toy everyday at practice. Constantly challenging himself and competing against anyone who would take him up on it. One day at practice he called his shot and hit the upright from 50 yards 5 straight times with about a 15mph crosswind. Great guy to be around and learn from." - kicker Brad Bohn (was in Lions camp in 2001)

"Anybody who can perform at the level he did for so long is definitely worthy of Canton." - Calgary Stampeders punter Rob Maver

"Having kicked for the Bucs from 1993 to 1998, we were in the NFC Central Division with the Lions.  Therefore, I played against Jason twice a year for six years and one playoff game.  I consider Jason one of the best kickers in the history of the NFL.  He is a true professional who was always trying to get better every year.  The best memories that I have of Jason are the many different ways he would line up for the start of his field goals.  From the up and down movement of his shoulders to the arms straight out and bent knees.  Even though he had several different kicking styles, the one constant was that he would split the uprights.  Over his career, he was also one of the top kickoff guys in the league. Congratulations Jason on an epic NFL career!" - former Buccaneers kicker Michael Husted

"Congratulations Jason Hanson on one of the greatest kicking careers in NFL history. 21 years strong! Truly one of the great men as well." - Cardinals kicker Jay Feely

"I had the pleasure of playing high school soccer and football against Jason Hanson back in the late 80's.  Then years later, we both met up again in Detroit playing on opposite teams in the NFL!  Then in 1998 we were both selected to the Pro Bowl, Jason represented the NFC and I represented the AFC.  Both local kids from the Spokane Washington area playing against each other in the highest level game of football in the world!  So after that Pro Bowl game, I went over to the NFC locker room to visit with Jason, expecting to talk about the game and hanging out after etc.  The first thing out of his mouth was something like "hey Mike...tell me about where your balance is on your field goal stance."  He continues with, "I've been working on getting better balance before the snap so I can come off my first step more smooth."  Now, this is the last game of the season and the last thing I want to think about is kicking, but Jason wanted to get MY opinion on kicking?  I was honored that "The Great Jason Hanson" would be asking me about kicking techniques!  But also the timing of the questions threw me off as well...but that's what made Jason Hanson so great!  He learned and tested EVERYTHING possible to make him the best, all year long...even a few minutes into his off season! Congrats on a great, unbelievable, remarkable, and amazing career Mr. Jason Hanson!!!" - former Jaguars kicker Mike Hollis

"I congratulate Jason Hanson on a terrific 21 year career. One of the greats of all time. Kicking strong right up to the end. Thanks Jason." - 49ers kicker Phil Dawson 

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