Fun Dave Rayner Facts
The Redskins signed a kicker! It's possible I wrote more sidebars about the Redskins' kicking game than any Washington Post employee in history last season. Clearly I must weigh in with Fun Dave Rayner Facts!
* His parents' attorney lives across the street from legendary NFL kicker Eddie Murray.
* He knows how to rugby punt, was recruited as a D-1 soccer player, and also played high school basketball.
* He takes epic vacations. From the Wisconsin State Journal in 2007:
The Green Bay Packers' kicker was in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, during last month's NFL draft, vacationing with teammate Noah Herron and the New England Patriots' cheerleaders, whom they'd met during a Super Bowl promotion in Miami. The cheerleaders, on location for a photo shoot for their calendar, had invited Rayner and Herron to come along on the junket, which began April 28, the first day of the NFL draft.
It wasn't until six days later, on May 4, that Rayner - in a tropical paradise, surrounded by gorgeous women in bikinis - decided to see if his cell phone worked. When it did, he had eight messages. "The fourth one is, 'Hey Dave, this is (Packers special teams coordinator) Mike Stock, calling to just let you know that we've drafted a kicker in the sixth round ...'" Rayner recounted Friday following the first practice of the team's full-squad mandatory minicamp. "And I look at Noah like, 'This is not good.'"
* When he got cut from the Packers in favor of Mason Crosby the next season, he went all Derrick Frost and teed off on the decision.
"I thought I had done enough to deserve to be there longer," Rayner told the Capital Times. "They drafted Mason, but I was told from Day 1, 'It's your job to lose.' Then, I kicked well in the preseason, led the league in kickoffs and made all my field goals. With the crap they were doing in practice and how much they kicked us, I don't think there's a reason why I should have lost that job. It's not like I was a problem in the community. It's not like I had issues with any of the coaches or anything. I was just really disappointed in the way they handled it, and if it's a performance business, then I guess they looked at the performance different than I did."
* His next stop was Kansas City, where Coach Herm Edwards was initially impressed. "There's a thump when it comes off his foot," he said.
* After some struggles in November of that year, Herm Edwards seemed to endorse Rayner. "I want to say we want to ride it out," Edwards said. "I don't want to get into kicking contests." Eight days later, Rayner was cut.
* He isn't into visualization. "I hear people say to visualize it going through the uprights," Rayner once told the Grand Rapid Press. "But if I see it in my head and don't do it on the field, it doesn't do anything for me."
* He grew up in Oxford, Michigan. That's about 59 miles from Shaun Suisham's hometown of Wallaceburg, as the football flies. Can't hardly wait for training camp kicker battle coverage to begin.
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