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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Deebo Samuel wants to add a field goal to his resume

Feb 7, 2022 at 6:24 AM--

After a 2021 season that saw him catch 77 passes for 1,405 yards and six touchdowns, rush for 365 yards and eight touchdowns on 59 carries, return a few kickoffs, and even throw a 24-yard touchdown pass, what would 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel like to try next?

It sounds like he wouldn't mind trying his luck as a kicker.

Samuel was asked by ESPN during Sunday's Pro Bowl telecast if there was anything on the football field he hasn't done that he'd like to get the chance to do. He said he'd like to get the chance to go for three at some point, just as his position coach Wes Welker was able to do during his NFL career.

"Kick a field goal," Samuel said. "I need to kick me a field goal and be like Wes Welker. He's one for one right now."

Welker did in fact kick a field goal early in his NFL career as Samuel mentioned, which happened to be the first points he scored as a pro. As a rookie with the Miami Dolphins in 2004, Welker was called upon to step in for injured kicker Olindo Mare and wound up producing one of the most unusual stat lines in recent NFL history, kicking a 29-yard field goal and an extra point to go with three kickoffs, five punt returns, and five kickoff returns against his future team, the New England Patriots. Welker got another chance to kick in 2010 when the Patriots needed him on an extra point after an injury to kicker Stephen Gostkowski.

Welker had a history as a kicker before his NFL days, playing the position in high school (and even connecting on a 57-yard field goal at one point) while also spending time as a soccer player in his youth. Samuel doesn't have the kicking resume of Welker, nor are the odds very high of the 49ers needing to call upon a skill position player as an emergency kicker (they turned to punter Mitch Wishnowsky after an unexpected injury to kicker Robbie Gould during the 2021 season). But if the occasion ever happened to come up, Samuel would probably jump at the opportunity.

"I still remember when he was in college and we went to the Senior Bowl and he would ride with me to practice," former 49ers special teams coach Richard Hightower said of Samuel in January. "He'd come with the specialists to do the return period because it started before practice. And he would go out there—and he obviously was a great kicker returner, but he had never caught punts on a consistent basis. It just showed me he wanted to go out there and try to catch punts. 'I want to try to do anything, coach. I'd do anything.' Most guys won't do that. They don't want to embarrass themselves. But he's a tough son-of-a-gun."


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