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NFL punter looks back on flattening Seahawks defensive end

This story originally aired April 2, 2016.  

Last December, St. Louis (now Los Angeles) Rams punter Johnny Hekker, an Edmonds resident who grew up in Bothell,  did not make many new friends in the Pacific Northwest. He punted the ball to the Seahawks, and after the play was over, he came up behind Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril and https://youtu.be/iKNbFShCC0Y" target="_blank">drilled him to the ground.

Punters in football are not known for much other than kicking the ball. Most of their coaches would like them to stay as far away from any sort of contact as possible, especially since their legs are worth several million dollars. So this was out of character for someone in Hekker's position.

In addition to his team getting penalized for the play, several of the toughest Seahawks on the field took issue with it. The next time Hekker took the field, Avril and Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett, both trained killers on the football field, charged at Hekker, which resulted in Hekker hitting the deck and going into self-preservation mode.

Seattle fans and media were not kind to Hekker. Hekker, who as it turns out is actually a really good sport, sat down with Gabriel Spitzer to talk about the incident, and shared what part of that day he does and does not regret.

Kevin began his career at KNKX in 2003, where his first responsibility was to eradicate the KNKX Jazz Library from all Smooth Jazz CD’s. Since then there is not much at KNKX he hasn’t done. Kevin has worked as a full time jazz host, news host, and has hosted, at least once, almost every single program on KNKX. Kevin currently produces 88.5's weekly show Sound Effect. Kevin has conducted or produced hundreds of interviews, has won local and national awards for newscasts and commentary, and helped make the KNKX Grocery Tote famous.
Gabriel Spitzer is the Host and Senior Producer of Sound Effect, KNKX's "weekly tour of ideas inspired by the place we live." Gabriel was previously KNKX's Science and Health Reporter. He joined KNKX after years covering science, health and the environment at WBEZ in Chicago. There, he created the award-winning mini-show, Clever Apes. Having also lived in Alaska and California, Gabriel feels he’s been closing in on Seattle for some time, and has finally landed on the bullseye.
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