February 14, 2015

Highlighted Year: Marv Bateman, 1976

Punter, Buffalo Bills

Age: 26
5th season in pro football, 3rd with Bills (2nd complete)
College: Utah
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 214

Twice a consensus first-team All-American in college in 1970 and ‘71, Bateman was chosen by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 1972 NFL draft. Veteran Ron Widby was traded away and Bateman averaged 38.2 yards on 51 punts as a rookie and 41.6 yards on 55 punts in ’73. A poor start in 1974 caused the Cowboys to waive him midway through the season and he was picked up by Buffalo. Bateman’s performance improved and he averaged 43.9 yards for the Bills, up from 36.9 in his first seven games for Dallas. He had a good 1975 season, averaging 41.6 yards.

1976 Season Summary
Appeared in all 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Punts – 86 [8]
Most punts, game – 11 at Dallas 11/15
Yards – 3678 [4]
Average – 42.8 [1]
Best average, game – 46.8 (on 5 punts) at New England 11/7
Punts blocked – 1
Longest punt – 78 yards

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

Bills went 2-12 to finish fifth in the AFC East.

Bateman averaged 39.9 yards on 81 punts in 1977 but was released during the ’78 preseason. An attempt to come back with the 49ers ended with his choosing to retire during the preseason, but he did try one more abortive comeback with the Cardinals in ’80 before leaving the game for good. Over the course of six years, Bateman punted 401 times and averaged 40.9 yards, with 262 punts for a 41.7-yard average coming with the Bills. He was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.


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