The Green Bay Packers have been in the NFL for more than 100 years and they’ve seen their share of great players over that time. While quarterbacks like Bart Starr, Aaron Rodgers, and Brett Favre may get the most attention, there are other players who may not be in the spotlight, but can often make the difference between winning and losing football games. Kick and punt blocking is an underrated skill that can make such a difference. Here is a look back at the best kick and punt blockers in Packers history.

The Best Kick Blockers in Packers History: Number Five, Dave Pureifory

The Packers selected defensive lineman Dave Pureifory in the sixth round of the 1972 NFL Draft. The former Eastern Michigan star started out as a backup and special teams star before taking on a starting position by the end of the 1974 campaign.

Although he stood only 6’1”, Pureifory was quick of the ball and had the ability to rush the passer or the punter as the case may be.

He blocked at least one punt in each of his first four seasons with the Packers.

Unlike most of the other players on this list, Pureifory also kicked in the NFL. When Chester Marcol was injured early in the 1975 season, head coach Bart Starr called on Pureifory to kick extra points.  He made two of four chances before the Pack signed Joe Danelo who took over for the rest of the season.

Still, Pureifory made a name for himself as a punt blocker and then as a pass rusher during his time in Green Bay.

Number Four: Ed Neal

Lineman Ed Neal played for the Packers from 1945 until 1951. He played on the line on both offense and defense and even earned Pro Bowl honors in 1950.

Strength was the best part of Neal’s game. He worked as a blacksmith in the offseason. At 6’4” and 285 pounds, he was a very big man in the late 40s and early 50s.

Over seven seasons, Neal blocked a total of eight kicks or punts. He was consistently able to make special teams plays to help the Packers even as the team’s fortunes were fading at the end of the Curly Lambeau Era.

The Best Kick Blockers in Packers History: Number Three, Fred Carr

Linebacker Fred Carr played a decade in the NFL for the Packers and earned three Pro Bowl berths for his strong play. Quickness was the name of the game for the UTEP alum who stood 6’5” and weighed 240 pounds.

Carr’s best season blocking kicks came in 1976 when he blocked three field goals and three extra points. That tied him for the NFL lead in blocked kicks that season with future Hall of Famer Alan Page of the Vikings.

Carr also had one block in 1971 and one in his final NFL season of 1977.

Carr’s speed and leaping ability made him a dangerous kick blocker. He was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1983.

Number Two: Gary Lewis

The Packers drafted tight end Gary Lewis in the second round of the 1981 NFL Draft. Lewis stood 6’5” and 234 pounds. The former Texas-Arlington star was supposed to compliment Pro Bowl tight end Paul Coffman and give the team a one-two punt at the position.

Lewis never really panned out as a tight end. In four seasons with the Packers, the speedy Lewis never caught more than 11 passes in a season.

But the one thing Lewis did well was block field goals. He got a running start and jumped high in the air to block field goals and extra points. In fact, Lewis was so good at blocking kicks this way that the NFL made this technique illegal a few years later.

In 1982, which was only a nine-game season due to the players strike, Lewis blocked four kicks and added one more in the playoffs. The following year, Lewis blocked five kicks which was the second consecutive season he tied for the league lead.

Lewis’ final block in 1983 secured Bart Starr’s final NFL win as a coach. He blocked an extra point in a game the Packers won 12-9 in overtime over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Best Kick Blockers in Packers History: Number One, Ted Hendricks

Ted Hendricks played only one year in Green Bay, but he had an outstanding season. During that 1974 campaign, he earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors while intercepting five passes at linebacker.

He also led the NFL with seven blocked kicks. Hendricks got his hands on three field goals, three punts and one extra point in a 14-game season.

“The Mad Stork” stood 6’7” and weighed 220 pounds. In addition to his height, he had quickness and a different sense of humor on and off the field.

Hendricks left Green Bay after only one season and finished his career with the Raiders where he spent nine seasons. Hendricks played for four Super Bowl winning teams and was selected to eight Pro Bowls. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.



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