How respect from the locker room helped Tyler Bass become a premiere NFL kicker

Reid Ferguson (69), Corey Bojorquez (9), and Tyler Bass (2) Buffalo Bills vs Denver Broncos, December 19, 2020 at Empower Field at Mile High. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing

On Thursday, Tyler Bass became the second kicker in Bills franchise history to be named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month. He joins Steve Christie who won the award in September of 1994 and December of 1998. 

Bass didn't miss a single kick in the entire month of October and has only missed one field goal attempt this season which was back in Week 2. Bass is happy to receive the honor and be recognized for his work, but he couldn't take all the credit for the award. 

"It's an incredible achievement," Bass said. "I'm super humbled and honored. But for me, I look at it as more of a team award especially for Reid (Ferguson) and Matt (Haack), my holder and long snapper. Because without them we wouldn't even have the chance to be that. … It's just a testament to our routine and our process and always coming in and trying to get better every day. It ended up working out this month for us and I'm super happy about it."

In Week 8, Bass kicked a season-long 57-yard field goal that gave the Bills the first points of the game. That kick was one yard short of his career-long and his kicking power is something that his teammates love about him. His teammates and coaches have so much confidence in him that it raises his self-confidence every week. 

Stefon Diggs has quickly become a leader of this Bills team and brings a certain type of energy to practice and game days. He knows the importance of the special teams unit and how they help the team win games. After every field goal attempt or extra point, Diggs is one of the first guys out there hyping Bass up. Diggs told the media on Wednesday that there aren't too many kickers like Bass. 

"When it comes to having the leg, I think he can kick from like 60-something or whatever," Diggs said. "I know I'm always gonna be there to celebrate with him. I think special teams is huge for us, cause T Bass brings a little swag, too. He's not your normal field goal kicker."

Receiving praise from the top players on the team like Josh Allen, Stefon Diggs, Jordan Poyer, and Micah Hyde goes a long way for Bass. He's so appreciative of them and how much they have supported him through his young NFL career.

"It means the world to me because I watch them in practice going hard and making big plays in the game," Bass said. "For them to show appreciation to me, means a world to me and I want to do anything I can just to help them out and help this team out."

Last year, as a rookie, Bass set the Bills franchise record for most points in a season (141) which was previously set in 1998 by Steve Christie (140). Since the start of last season, Bass leads all NFL players with 212 points. Bass has been a scoring machine for the Bills which is valuable to a team with such a high-powered offense. The team has faith in him to put points on the board even when the offense isn't in their usual rhythm. 

For Josh Allen, having a strong-legged kicker as a safety net for their offense is something he doesn't take for granted. 

"He's a guy that we can count on," Allen said. "I mean, he's got a lot of confidence in himself and when you got a kicker that has confidence in himself, everybody can feel it, and everybody can see it. Guys can tell, he's got it."

This season, Bass is currently second in the NFL in scoring with 71 points, only behind New England Patriots kicker Nick Folk (76). He's also tied for second in field goals made (16) and third in field goal percentage (94.1%). At only 24, Bass continues to show why he's one of the top kickers in the league. In only his second season, Bass is learning quickly that it's all about gaining experience and growing as a player.

"I feel more comfortable after every game because I get more experience," Bass said. "Whether it's good or whether it's bad, I learn from it. Just continuously building our relationships. Our relationships growing as a team, and I feel like that just gives me confidence as well."

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