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  1. #1
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    NFL ironmen: Marshall ... Favre ... Tingelhoff ... Feagles?

    [size=18px]NFL ironmen: Marshall ... Favre ... Tingelhoff ... Feagles?[/size]

    Vikings legend Jim Marshall's record for consecutive games played could be broken in two weeks, by, of all things, a punter. Yes, Jeff Feagles is a punter. But a record is a record.

    Jim Marshall: Vikings defensive end • 282 consecutive games (1960-79) •

    Mark Craig, Star Tribune
    Last update: November 10, 2005 at 9:56 PM

    The NFL record Jim Marshall has held since Dec. 16, 1979, finally will fall Nov. 27 in Seattle when Giants punter Jeff Feagles jogs into a game for the 283rd consecutive time.

    "Obviously, I'm not Jim Marshall," Feagles said. "I'm proud of the record, and I'll celebrate with my family. But I'm not counting on SportsCenter opening up with the record on Monday morning."

    The fact a punter will break what has been the league's unofficial ironman record doesn't appear to bother Marshall. At least not that much.

    The former Vikings defensive end would prefer Brett Favre (215) break the record. He also jokes that maybe the league could recognize one record for "active players" and another for "passive players."

    "But, hey, records are meant to be broken, and I'll congratulate [Feagles] when he does it," Marshall said. "To be honest, I hadn't even thought about it until someone mentioned to me at the Vikings-Packers game a few weeks ago that someone was getting close."

    It was inevitable. With positions more specialized and the expansion to 16-game schedules, it's a testament to Marshall's longevity that the record will have lasted 26 seasons.

    "Man, a punter?" Vikings defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell said. "That needs an asterisk. And next to that asterisk, it should say, 'Jim Marshall, defensive end, holds the real record.'"

    • • •

    Marshall played one season with Cleveland (1961) and the next 19 with the Vikings. The NFL didn't expand its season from 14 to 16 games until Marshall's 19th year. If Marshall had played his entire career with 16-game schedules, Feagles might have never come close to the record.

    "I'm taking it one year at a time right now," said Feagles, who will play in his 281st game Sunday against the Vikings at Giants Stadium. "I've always dreamed about going out on top. With the season we're having this year, I think I'm setting things up to do that."

    The Patriots signed Feagles on May 1, 1988, as a rookie free agent from the University of Miami. He played two seasons with New England, four years with the Eagles, four with the Cardinals, five with the Seahawks and is now in his third season with the Giants.

    "My first two years, I didn't think I'd stick, and then the first six years were mostly a learning experience," Feagles said. "I finally made the Pro Bowl in my 10th season. Now, I guess you'd call me a seasoned veteran."

    Ernie Accorsi, Giants vice president and general manager, said he's never seen Feagles punt more effectively than he has this season. Feagles is fourth in the NFC in gross punting (44.1), first in net punting (40.2) and fifth in the NFL with 14 punts downed inside the 20-yard line.

    "Jeff gave me a real scare this past summer," Accorsi said. "His kids are growing up, and he came into my office and said, 'You know, I'm thinking about retiring.' I said, 'I'm locking the door.' We finally found a kicker [Jay Feely]. I told him I am not going to go out and look for a punter in June. You are not retiring."

    • • •

    Feagles also is a holder on placekicks. It's the perfect combination, making it virtually impossible for him to miss a game. If the offense sputters, he punts. If it scores on every possession, he holds.

    "I'm still waiting for the game they don't need me," Feagles joked. "Being a punter, obviously, I don't have to play every down and withstand the physical abuse. But to perform at a level where they want you every single week for 18 years is quite an accomplishment."

    Feagles said he can remember only two games in which he came remotely close to not being able to play.

    "I broke my arm against Pittsburgh in 2001," Feagles said. "Then last year, I got hit pretty hard by [Eagles linebacker] Jeremiah Trotter on a cheap shot, 20 yards away from the play. I got a concussion and was hurting on Wednesday and Thursday, but it was OK by the next game."

    Trotter's hit was a factor in the NFL creating a rule preventing kickers and punters from being hit away from the play.

    Situational pass rushers and rotating defensive linemen to keep them fresh was unheard of in Marshall's era. Marshall started and played nearly every defensive down of all 282 games.

    He played despite separated shoulders, sprained knees and ankles and other bumps and bruises. He also was hospitalized because of pneumonia twice leading up to game day.

    "Jim would come into the locker room and say, 'Man, I hurt so much I can't even limp,'" said former head athletic trainer Fred Zamberletti, now a senior consultant. "In those days, we didn't have 50 percent this or 75 percent that. You either showed up or you didn't. We always knew Marshall would show up."

    Marshall said it never crossed his mind to rest and come back stronger the next week.

    "I think it goes back to what my dad [George] instilled in me at a young age," Marshall said. "You show up for work and do the best job you can do. Every day. He used to say, 'I don't care if it's a spitting contest. Be the best spitter you can be, or don't spit at all.' "

    Many of Marshall's teammates shared that philosophy. Center Mick Tingelhoff ranks fourth in NFL history in consecutive games played (240). Alan Page played in 236 consecutive games. Carl Eller played in 209 games.

    "The game is so different today," Marshall said. "With free agency and the salary cap, guys are here today, gone tomorrow. We were part of the community. It literally became a brotherhood because guys played eight, 10, 15 years together."

    On Nov. 27, an NFL record from that bygone era will disappear. But it will hardly be forgotten.

    "Jeff Feagles is a great punter," Cottrell said. "But God only made one Jim Marshall."


    Giants punter • 280 games in a row

    • The 39-year-old has played for the Patriots, Eagles, Cardinals, Seahawks and Giants. He was signed as a rookie free agent out of Miami (Fla.) by New England in 1988.

    • Feagles broke punter Ray Guy's streak of 207 consecutive games in 2000.

    • He has 13 tackles in 18 seasons.

    • If Feagles' 1,425 regular- and post-season punts were uncorked as one big boot, the ball would travel 33.7 miles. Burnsville to Blaine is 33.1 miles,

    according to Yahoo.


    Jim Marshall, DE; Cleveland, 1960; Vikings, 1961-1979

    Jeff Feagles, P; New England, 1988-89; Philadelphia, 1990-93, Arizona, 1994-97; Seattle, 1998-2002; N.Y. Giants, 2003-present

    Morten Andersen, K; New Orleans, 1987-1994; Atlanta, 1995-2000; N.Y. Giants, 2001; Kansas City, 2002

    Bill Romanowski, LB; San Francisco, 1989-1993; Philadelphia, 1994-95; Denver, 1996-2001; Oakland, 2002

    Mick Tingelhoff, C; Vikings, 1962-1978

    Jeff Feagles has NFL records for most punts inside the 20, 444; most punts, regular season, 1,399; and most games played by a punter, 280. Sean Landeta is second in all three categories. Here are Feagles' career and season stats:

    Career regular season

    Games Punts Yards Avg Long In20 Blk

    280 1,399 58,305 41.7 77 444 11


    4 26 1,151 44.3 60 8 0


    8 35 1,543 44.1 56 14 0

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: NFL ironmen: Marshall ... Favre ... Tingelhoff ... Feagles?

    Just to note:

    Marshall was a defensive end. He certainly saw more physical contact throughout his career than did Feagles & Andersen.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  3. #3
    FuadFan's Avatar
    FuadFan is offline Hall of Famer
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    Dec 1969

    Re: NFL ironmen: Marshall ... Favre ... Tingelhoff ... Feagles?

    Well that sucks but still agood mark by Marshall and my props to Tingelhoff for his long run as well.
    Minnesota Vikings : Simply the best

  4. #4
    vikeswin2005's Avatar
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    Dec 1969

    Re: NFL ironmen: Marshall ... Favre ... Tingelhoff ... Feagl

    I dont care what anybody says a friggin punter should not be able to qualify for this record hats off to you jim marshall you were SOLID

  5. #5
    DemonicViking is offline Ring of Fame
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    Re: NFL ironmen: Marshall ... Favre ... Tingelhoff ... Feagles?

    What the....? A punter?

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