The San Francisco 49ers have a handful of the most talented NFL players throughout the NFL league. These following individuals soak up a majority of the attention on the field: Patrick Willis, Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Justin Smith, Aldon smith, Michael Crabtree, and the list goes on. With that much talent on a loaded roster, there will always be players who will be overlooked, underrated, and considered a “diamond in the rough”.
Andy Lee’s presence on the special teams unit is absolutely a blessing in disguise for the 49ers. His punting expertise never seems to disappoint, kicking the rock with an average of (45-47+) positive yards. This individual has already broken two 49er franchise records; having the most career punting yards (33,069) and the most punting yards in one season (4,968) in the year 2007. He has been selected three times to appear at the Pro Bowl and was placed in second place in the NFL with the best punting average. Lee has already kicked off the (2013-2014) season with a total of 736 yards, averaging a stunning (49.0) yards against the Seattle Seahawks. Furthermore, he is trying to solidify a possible punt-technique that can keep returners on their toes called the knuckle-punt. This punt wobbles in the air without actually rotating per se; however, adding the wind factor into the equation gives the football a type of spin that can create disastrous issues for punt returners to face. Good field positioning is one of the main priorities a special teams unit has to perpetuate constantly throughout the game.
Lee will continue to add to his decorated resume, and will eventually go in the books as one of the best punters to play the game. Moreover, Lee signed a six-year contract extension with the 49ers, forging him into one of the highest paid punters in the NFL league today, alongside Britton Colquitt (Broncos) and Shane Lechler (Raiders). This man should be recognized as an unsung hero because he isn’t being given the full-credit he actually deserves; compared to the other 49er starters. Given that this organization follows a Jim Harbaugh “meritocracy”, Lee has “earned” every right to be seen as a potential game-changer.