This might be the only time a picture of a punter graced the front page of WCG. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The next addition to the 2001-2010 All-Bears Team is the punter. Now, of course the punter is a guy most teams would rather not see hit the field at all - I mean, all he does is give the ball back to the other team, why would you want one of those guys?
Well, for the entire decade, the Bears had one punter and one only, and for a period of time, he was one of the best punters in the league, especially directionally, pinning opponents deep in their territory with regularity. Welcome to the special teams edition of the Bears, Brad Maynard.
Maynard was a third round draft pick of the Giants out of Ball State in 1997 and signed with the Bears as a free agent prior to the 2001 season. He's only missed one game in his career, in 2007. He has 878 punts as a Bear, or about 88 per season. His career long punt came back in 2002, with a 75 yard shot. Otherwise, his longest is 67. Of those 878 punts, only three have been blocked, or only one more than the number of touchdowns he's thrown. In 2001 and 2002, he threw for a touchdown each. He's 5 for 7 passing as a Bear with two touchdowns, for a near-perfect QB rating of 153.3. Who said we needed a franchise QB, we had him all along!
Feel free to sing the praises of Brad Maynard as the punter for the 2001-2010 All-Bears Team.