News

Print
RSS

Wendling takes Special Teams MVP

Posted Jan 28, 2010

When you have a punter that’s a member of the franchise’s 50th All-Time Team, the most accurate kicker in team history and one of the more accomplished return men in the game as teammates on special teams, it’s hard to get noticed. But Bills fans recognized John Wendling in a big way as the expert cover man convincingly won Special Teams MVP honors for the 2009 season.

Wendling took almost half the votes in a Buffalobills.com online poll where kicker Rian Lindell, punter Brian Moorman and fellow cover man Ashlee Palmer were also nominees. He finished as the team’s second leading special teams tackler in 2008, but finished at the top of the tackle list in 2009 with 26 on the season. Wendling accounted for almost one-fifth of all the special teams tackles by the Bills this season.

The gunner was instrumental in helping punter Brian Moorman achieve a net punting average of 40.2 setting a new team record. Only eight times in league history has a team finished the season with a net average of 40 or higher.

“To be able to net 40 yards in Buffalo is a real accomplishment, not just for me, but the punt team,” said Moorman. “I think it’s a testament to how much pride those guys take in special teams. So I thank them for making me look good.”

Wendling had several multiple tackle outings, including his impressive three tackle performance in the Bills Week 7 win at Carolina when the Bills held the Panthers to just 12 yards on six punt returns.

But his biggest play came the week before at the Meadowlands against the Jets in Week 6. With the score tied at 13 in overtime, the Jets were lining up for a potential game-winning field goal.

When a botched snap forced the Jets into an impromptu pass play Wendling was ready intercepting the pass thrown by Sean Weatherford by out leaping everyone else for the ball.

Lindell eventually kicked a game-winning field goal minutes late in overtime for a 16-13 victory.

Wendling has become a leader on Buffalo’s coverage units and one of their most consistent performers. Though returns for touchdowns and game-winning field goals often grab the headlines on special teams, Bills fans made sure that Wendling’s contributions did not go unrewarded.

LATEST HEADLINES

LATEST VIDEO

  • Stephon Gilmore: "Make Plays"

    (1:06)

    CB Stephon Gilmore addressed the media following practice inside the locker room topics include; defending Ben Roethlisberger, talent level on the offensive side of the ball, and making plays.

  • Watch: Woods returns, Focused on Pittsburgh

    (2:02)

    WR Robert Woods returned to practice for the first time in three weeks. The Bills have moved past the last game and are squarely focused on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

  • LeSean McCoy: "We've got to win the game"

    (11:11)

    Bills RB LeSean McCoy talks to the media about the team's upcoming game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. McCoy discusses what he learned from the Raiders' game and why it's important to maintain a team mentality rather than focusing on an individual in order to succeed moving forward.

  • Tyrod Taylor: "We still have a chance"

    (9:46)

    Bills QB Tyrod Taylor talks to the media about the team's upcoming game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Taylor discusses how the offense is learning from its performance against the Raiders as well as the importance of this week's game for staying in the playoff hunt.

  • Robert Woods: "Go Out There and Compete"

    (2:31)

    WR Robert Woods addressed the media after practice topics include; having a healthy receiving corps, the passing game, and how he felt after practice.