Ray Guy - First Punter in the NFL Hall of Fame

  The first punter ever chosen as a 1st-round pick in the college draft, Ray Guy from Southern Miss was picked by the Oakland Raiders in 1973 after an outstanding college career.
  During his 14-year NFL career he would define what a professional punter’s role should be. His punts seemed to have an almost unnatural hang time allowing coverage teams time to get down field and stop punt returners. Oilers Head coach Bum Phillips even went as far as accusing the Raiders of filling the balls with helium
and demanding they be sent for evaluation after a game in 1977.
  In 2014 he was elected to the Hall of Fame and remarked “Now the Hall of Fame has a complete team” in his enshrinement speech.


Ray Guy’s Career Highlights

  • 207 consecutive games
  • 1,049 Punts for 44,493 yards, 42.4 Yards-per-Punt Average
  • 210 punts inside the 20-yard line (not counting his first 3 seasons) just 128 touchbacks
  • 3 times NFL Season Punting Leader
  • 619 consecutive punts without a block
  • Record of 111 career punts in postseason games
  • Five punts of more than 60 yards during the 1981 season
  • Hall of Fame Class of 2014
Ray Guy, Oakland Raiders Punter 1973-1986
Ray Guy

Image Gallery of Ray Guy, Punter 1973 to 1986

Ray Guy Football Cards

Ray Guy Career Statistics

Career Punting
Year Age Tm Games Punts Yards Long Blocked Y/P
1973* 24 OAK 14 69 3127 72 0 45.3
1974* 25 OAK 14 74 3124 66 0 42.2
1975* 26 OAK 14 68 2979 64 0 43.8
1976*+ 27 OAK 14 67 2785 66 0 41.6
1977*+ 28 OAK 14 59 2552 74 0 43.3
1978*+ 29 OAK 16 81 3462 69 2 42.7
1979 30 OAK 16 69 2939 71 1 42.6
1980* 31 OAK 16 71 3099 77 0 43.6
1981 32 OAK 16 96 4195 69 0 43.7
1982 33 RAI 9 47 1839 57 0 39.1
1983 34 RAI 16 78 3336 67 0 42.8
1984 35 RAI 16 91 3809 63 0 41.9
1985 36 RAI 16 89 3627 68 0 40.8
1986 37 RAI 16 90 3620 64 0 40.2
14-Year NFL Career 207 1049 44493 77 3 42.4

Post Season Career Punting
Year Age Team Games Punts Yards Long Blocked Y/P
1973* 24 OAK 2 4 180 63 0 45.0
1974* 25 OAK 2 12 516 55 0 43.0
1975* 26 OAK 2 9 341 44 0 37.9
1976*+ 27 OAK♚ 3 16 659 60 1 41.2
1977*+ 28 OAK 2 13 554 52 0 42.6
1980* 31 OAK♚ 4 25 1155 71 0 46.2
1982 33 RAI 2 7 282 45 0 40.3
1983 34 RAI♚ 3 15 615 55 0 41.0
1984 35 RAI 1 8 335 54 0 41.9
1985 36 RAI 1 2 68 35 0 34.0
22 Career Playoff Games 111 4705 71 1 42.4
  • + – All-Pro Selection
  • * – Pro Bowl Selection
  • ♦ – Led the League
  • ♚ – NFL Champion
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table Generated 5/9/2022.

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  1. Jack

    It’s a shame hang time is not a kept statistic because I’m sure Ray Guy would have been the leader. He averaged 42 yards a punt for his career but it’s obvious that number would be much bigger had distance been the only factor. Unless you’re trying to pin the other time near the goal line, the perfect punt is 40 yards and 0 return. Of course, the more time the ball is in the air the more time for your team to get downfield to cover the return. That was Ray’s goal. If the situation called for a 60-yarder, he’d kick one. His punts were either punts with little to no return or punts that left the other team inside their 20-yard line. The idea that punts can control the game comes from Ray Guy. It’s hard to see punting as an exciting part of the game but in reality, the most important play in the game is the punt. Few players get to change the nature of the game and that is what Ray Guy did. And he did it with style. Images of Ray with that high leg kick we’d never seen before are iconic.