ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – It was his impressive training camp, and strong, young leg that won rookie Tyler Bass the starting job but his performance in their scrimmage was what sealed it.
“His ability to kick off like he does, to hit consistent kicks that was just kind of the final straw of like this guy can really do it, he’s won the job, his percentage was really good in training camp,” Bills special teams coordinator Heath Farwell said on a zoom call with reporters.
“I saw the news on my phone and then Coach Farwell calls me and I was speechless. I had a lot of emotions going through it because nothing’s been handed to me in life so I got the call and really I still haven’t even processed it but it was just an unbelievable moment, it’s like a dream for me. I know it’s just the beginning of a dream but it’s one step for me
So the Bills are going with the rookie they drafted in the sixth round out of Georgia Southern and moving on from veteran Stephen Hauschka and that competition was no stranger to Bass coming in.
“In college I had to compete against Younghoe Koo who is the starter for the Falcons so as a freshman I had to compete against him so I’m used to competition, I’ve had to do it my entire life but with Stephen, I have a lot of respect for him. He’s very well accomplished so I just came in, wanted to learn some things from him but I knew I could only focus on myself and control what I can control and then everything will work out,” Bass said on a zoom call with reporters.
He’s shown he can make kicks from long range including a 60-yard field goal he said he made once in training camp. If you just scroll through his social media you’ll see his ability to hit from long range, something Hauschka really struggled with last year.
And while that’s an important aspect of his game, something the Bills want him to focus on is hitting from intermediate distances.
“He has the big leg, and of course as a young player of course he wants to hit all these long kicks but I say that’s not what wins you the job, that’s not what’s gonna keep this job. It’s what do you do from 40 to 49 and that’s always been the emphasis and that hasn’t changed since he got the job, that’s been since day one,” Farwell explained.
“From 40 to 49 even from 30 to 49 those are gonna be majority of kicks. They all know distance is good but you’re not gonna have as many kicks from 55 as you will from between 40 to 49. The only way for me to get better and keep my job is to be consistent from there so I’m really thankful for them to keep challenging me,” Bass said.