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Perseverance pays off for Potter

Matt DeYoung • Jul 21, 2015 at 1:12 PM

John Potter was in the process of moving into a new apartment in Buffalo, N.Y., when his cell phone rang.

On the other end was a coach from the Washington Redskins, asking Potter if he’d fly out and join the team for the weekend.

“When an NFL team calls, you don’t ask questions,” Potter said with a laugh. “You just say yes.”

So Potter, a Grand Haven High School graduate, hopped on a plane and flew out to Washington. From there, he joined the Redskins on a flight to Green Bay, Wisc., and proceeded to handle kickoff, field goal and extra point duties in Sunday’s 38-20 loss to the Packers.

“It was an amazing experience,” Potter said. “Obviously, it was a little nerve wracking, playing my first NFL game as both a field goal kicker and a kickoff guy. It was exciting at the same time.”

Potter, who set several school records for kicking at Western Michigan University, was drafted by the Buffalo Bills last year, and served as the Bills’ kickoff specialist for six games in 2012 before being released by the team.

Potter’s first NFL field goal attempt on Sunday was a 50-yarder that had plenty of distance but sailed wide right. He drilled a pair of extra points and also boomed four kickoffs, two of which went for touchbacks.

“My first field goal try was 50 yards, and I just hit it, it felt good, felt smooth, but looking at film, I opened my hips up a little bit and pushed it right."

Read more of this story in today's print edition or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.


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