At long last, settling the kicker/punter debate

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Note to self: Special teams aren't a hot topic in February.

Our request for your input on the top kickers and punters in the history of each NFC North team was met mostly with the sweet music of crickets chirping at sundown. That's OK. We all get knocked on our keisters a few times.

So I'll take the liberty of breaking all ties and hereby present to you, once and for all, our choices for this most critical status:


Kicker: Kevin Butler
Comment: A few more years with an 86-percent conversion rate will lift Robbie Gould into the top spot.
Punter: Brad Maynard
Comment: No one in Bears history has been better at spotting the ball inside the 20-yard line.


Kicker: Jason Hanson
Comment: He's probably the best kicker in the history of the NFC North/Central. Hanson's career percentage of 82.2 also bests Eddie Murray (75.1).
Punter: Yale Lary
Comment: Lary averaged 44.3 gross yards on 503 career punts.


Kicker: Ryan Longwell
Comment: Longwell holds most franchise records for field goals. A few respondents also mentioned Chester Marcol, who converted 79 field goals from 1972-74.
Punter: Craig Hentrich
Comment: Hentrich had a team-best 42.8 career gross average.


Kicker: Fred Cox
Comment: Cox's 455 career field goals is almost 300 more than the next player.
Punter: Greg Coleman
Comment: Coleman dropped 154 punts inside the 20-yard line over 10 seasons.