The rookie kicker for the Buffalo Bills got to meet his childhood idol, Detroit Lions’ kicker Jason Hanson, before kicking in front of a loud gathering of family and friends at Ford Field.
Hopefully today’s an even better day for Potter.
That’s when he’ll find out if he made the Bills’ 53-man opening day roster.
“It’s definitely still up in the air,” Potter said. “It’s just a waiting game right now. It will definitely be a relief to finally find out. I can’t really control anything from here. It’s up to the coaches. I’ll just let it happen, go with whatever decision is made.”
Potter said he feels like he’s done his best to make a good impression. He put nearly every kickoff out of the back of the end zone, including the first two he hit Thursday night.
His third kick was taken 4 yards deep in the end zone and returned to the Lions’ 19 yard line; his fourth was taken just inside the end zone and returned to the 17.
His next two kicks boomed out of the back of the end zone. That makes 12 touchbacks out of his 14 preseason kicks.
“I feel pretty good about how I’ve kicked off in the preseason except for a few shorter ones,” Potter said. “But overall I’m pretty happy with what I’ve done so far.
“I got quite a few kickoffs compared to other weeks. It felt good to get more than 2-3. I started off pretty good, but two of those to start off the second half were a little shaky, a little shorter.
“On those ones maybe at that point a little later in the game you don’t have your adrenalin going so you have to hit it a little bit harder. That’s something I have to get used to.”
The two kicks that were returned by the Lions gave Potter a chance to actually run down the field and break a sweat instead of simply watching the ball sail out of the end zone.
He didn’t get in on any tackles — Potter set a school record at Western Michigan University for most tackles by a kicker — but he did get to bang into a few guys on the peripheral of the play.
“Running down there, the natural instinct kicked in and I just started sprinting down the field,” he said.
Potter last played at Ford Field as a member of the Western Michigan University Broncos during the Little Ceasars Pizza Bowl last December. He also played at Ford Field as a freshman at WMU.
“It’s awesome. It’s almost like a home field for me,” Potter said. “I played here six months ago and also played here my freshman year.
“It’s pretty amazing playing here I was able to meet (Jason Hanson) today, which was a pretty awesome experience.”
After the game, Potter exited Ford Field where he was greeted by his parents, Jack and Elizabeth, as well as several of his old high school teammates from Grand Haven.