Buffalo might have some of the wildest weather throughout the season compared to the other 31 NFL cities. While kicking in that weather isn't easy, Tyler Bass has put together a consistent start to his professional career and has emerged as one of the top young kickers in the league.
Bills' general manager Brandon Beane still doesn't think he's getting the national recognition he deserves.
"Tyler Bass was having a Pro Bowl year," Beane said last week during his end-of-season press conference. "I know he was like third or fourth alternate, he got robbed in my mind. He had a heck of a year. If people had to kick in the elements that he kicked in and did some really good things – his numbers would be better if he wasn't necessarily playing here."
Bass actually finished as a fifth alternate for the Pro Bowl even though he finished T6th in the NFL in points scored (135) and was one of five kickers in the NFL to not miss a PAT all season.
In his first year, 2020, Bass set the Bills' franchise record for most points scored in a season (141). Along with a 135-point season in 2021, Bass became the first Bills' kicker with consecutive 100+ point seasons since Dan Carpenter in 2013-2015. Bass is also 11th on the Bills' all-time scoring list (276 points) after just two seasons.
It's rare to see a young kicker play with such confidence and excel even in wild weather conditions. Now through two full NFL seasons, Bass has gotten as acclimated as possible to Buffalo's strange climate.
"I don't know if you can ever get completely used to it," Bass shared. "But you do what you can to keep building that experience and you can get a better feel for it. But sometimes you can't control it, you can never get 100 percent grip on it. You just got to do what you can and take it for what it is and do your best job."
Being able to practice in the elements throughout the week certainly gives him a leg up over opposing teams who only have limited time prior to kickoff.
"Getting to go down in the stadium kicking when it's super windy and just getting a feel for it just gives you a little bit more confidence," Bass said. … "It gives you a little bit better grasp on what you're going to see on game day. It's definitely an advantage, to get as much work as you can in the weather."
In 2021, the Bills didn't have a clear weather gameday. The team played in rain or snow and when there was no precipitation, the wind always played a factor. Despite that, Bass has only missed 10 field goals and two PATs in his young career. Both of those missed PATs came in his rookie season and he set a new franchise record for PATs in a season without a miss (51). The previous record was set by Rian Lindell in 2004 (45).
Bass' early success hasn't gone unnoticed by his teammates. He has become a leader not only among the special teams unit but throughout the whole team. They respect his work ethic, his strong leg, and his ability to come through with clutch kicks when the team needs it most.
"He's damn good," Bills Pro Bowl receiver Stefon Diggs said. "It's hard to kick in Buffalo. Ask any of the kickers. … I feel like he's putting a lot of time into his craft as far as going on the field and kicking when it's windy. Trying to size it up, doing whatever you got to do to be a good kicker. So, his approach has been a blessing to see as well. Since I've been here, he's been a baller, so I'm behind him. I love T-Bass."
"That man's confidence is through the roof," All-Pro safety Jordan Poyer added. "You can tell, I watched him when he's missed kicks before, his ability to forget about it, come back and make another clutch kick. He's a great weapon for us. We're lucky to have him on our football team."
The knack for putting a bad play behind him is something that sets him apart from other young kickers around the league. After a miss, Bass goes to his holder on the sideline and picks one thing that felt off and improves on it before the next kick. He tries his best to not overthink it, keep it simple and not worry about what happened before.
As Bass continues his career in Buffalo, he will only get better as a kicker gaining crucial experience and knowledge for mastering kicks in the elements. The future is bright for the Bills' kicker, even if the weather on gamedays isn't as sunny.
"We've had quite a bit of this wild weather," Sean McDermott said. "I just think it's where we live, it's where we play, half of our games at least. So, you gotta be wired in such a way that you can handle that and push through it, and I think he's done a really good job of that."