Feature story on Jason Elam

HA Note: “Elam, 39, is preparing for his 17th season in the NFL. The first 15 were with the Denver Broncos, the team that selected him in the third round (70th overall) in the 1993 NFL Draft.”

About signing a 4-year, $9 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons in March 2008, Jason Elam (who is from Snellville, Georgia) said:
“It was a decision I put a lot of thought into. I’m excited to be back in my hometown, although it’s bittersweet.” (HA)

HA Note: “Last season with the Falcons, Elam made 29 of 31 field-goal attempts for a career-best 93.5 percent accuracy rate. He had a long of 50 yards and converted 42 of 42 PATs. In his NFL career, Elam has made 424 of 521 field-goal attempts (81.4 percent), won two Super Bowls with the Broncos (1997, 1998) and made three Pro Bowl appearances (1995, 1998, 2001). His single greatest feat was a record-tying 63-yard field goal Oct. 25, 1998, against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver’s Mile High Stadium. It matched Tom Dempsey’s 28-year-old record.”

About how Elam kicked a 23-yard FG with 1:36 left in a 27-24 win over Iowa (which was ranked #1 to #9 in the polls), Darrick Branch said:
“We all knew Jason Elam would be on that stage and doing it for a long time. First game, we played the No. 1 team in county, the Iowa Hawkeyes, and he delivered the game-winning field goal.” (HA)

HA Note: “Elam holds school career records for field goals made (79), field goals attempted (100), points scored (395) and consecutive PATs (91). He also is tied for the longest field goal in school history — a 56-yarder against BYU in 1992. Justin Ayat tied the mark in 2004 against Tulsa.”

Elam’s fondest memories with UH were:
“The (1992) WAC championship and Holiday Bowl season — and all the wins over Brigham Young. When I got there, they hadn’t beaten BYU in, like, forever. And, we beat them three times.” (HA)

About how they could open up their playbook once they got to the opposing team’s side of the field because of Elam’s range, Branch said:
“He’s a kicker that played a role in an offensive strategy. We knew if we got the ball to the other team’s 40, we’ll get three out of Jason Elam. We could take a chance. Let’s see what we can do to get six.” (HA)

HA Note: “He made the 1989 The Sporting News second team; the Football News second team and Associated Press third team in 1991; and the Kodak first team and Scripps Howard first team in 1992.”

About how he was surprised before the 1993 NFL draft, Bob Wagner said:
“There were more NFL teams that tried him out as punter than as a kicker. They thought he was a better punter than kicker, and he was an All-American kicker.” (HA)

HA Note: “Elam also holds the school’s career record in punting average (43.51 yards on 84 attempts). His 78-yard punt against Air Force in 1992 is the second-longest in school history.”

About drafting Elam for his Fantasy Football team, Branch said:
“We were going through the draft and everybody was passing up on Jason Elam as a kicker. I got him. He was my No. 1 (fantasy) point scorer. I didn’t want to see him kick for anybody else’s team. You’re kicking for Darrick Branch.” (HA)



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