September 2, 2015

Highlighted Year: Carl Birdsong, 1982

Punter, St. Louis Cardinals

Age: 23
2nd season in pro football & with Cardinals
College: Southwestern Oklahoma State
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 192

After averaging 42.3 yards in two college seasons (he transferred from West Texas State to Southwestern Oklahoma State for academic purposes), Birdsong signed with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent in 1981. Failing to make it to the regular season, he was picked up by the Cardinals and averaged 41.8 yards on 69 punts, which included a NFL-high 75-yard kick.

1982 Season Summary
Appeared in all 9 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Punts – 54 [3]
Most punts, game – 10 at Washington 1/2
Yards – 2365 [3]
Average – 43.8 [3, 1st in NFC]
Best average, game – 48.0 (on 6 punts) vs. Dallas 9/19
Punts blocked – 0
Longest punt – 65 yards

Postseason: 1 G (NFC First Round playoff at Green Bay)
Punts – 0

Awards & Honors:
2nd team All-NFC: UPI

Cardinals went 5-4 in the strike-shortened season and were sixth seed in the NFC playoff tournament that replaced the usual postseason format. Lost First Round playoff to Green Bay Packers (41-16).

Birdsong averaged 41.5 yards on 85 punts in 1983 and was selected to the Pro Bowl as well as receiving All-NFC honors from UPI and Pro Football Weekly. His performance dropped off in ’84 and he was released by the Cards after the 1985 season and went on to a career in pharmacology, having obtained his degree during his playing career. Overall, over five seasons Birdsong punted 360 times for a 41.4-yard average. He received first- or second-team All-NFC honors twice and was chosen to the Pro Bowl once.


Highlighted Years features players who were first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970