Kicker always knew a strong leg was his ticket to NFL

Updated: August 8, 2005, 2:41 PM ET
Associated Press

CHENEY, Wash. -- Josh Brown grew up on a cattle farm and played eight-man high school football in tiny Foyil, Okla. Even then, Brown knew his powerful right leg could take him places.

"I knew it was my way out," Brown said Sunday between workouts at Seahawks training camp. "No one had even been to college in my family.

"I thought, 'This is a good chance to get out and see the world, experience different things that no one in my family had ever done."

Brown starred at Nebraska, then took over the kicking duties in Seattle after being selected in the seventh round of the 2003 NFL draft.

He converted 22 of 30 field goals and all 48 of his extra-point tries as a rookie, then set a team record last season by hitting 92 percent of his field goals.

So is Brown surprised at his success so far? "Without sounding arrogant -- no," he says with a smile.

Kickers are known for their quirky personalities, and coach Mike Holmgren said Brown is no exception.

"He's right in there with the great quirks I've ever seen," Holmgren joked. "But he's a very talented young guy, and he really has developed into a fine kicker."

Brown was an outstanding running back, free safety, kick returner and punt returner in high school -- not to mention a solid basketball player and 6-foot-8 high jumper. But he knew his future was as a kicker.

"I wasn't a fool," he said. "I'm realistic. I knew where my meal ticket was."

He's also more than willing to verbally spar with teammates who joke about the merits of being "only" a kicker.

"I'm not worried about them doing it, but there's a lot of people on this team who are good men who understand the game. As much as they want to tease me, they understand my role," he said.

The Seahawks make their preseason debut Friday at New Orleans. Holmgren said Sunday that starting running back Shaun Alexander and backup Maurice Morris, who are nursing hamstring injuries, may not play.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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