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His Only Job Is to Reach the End Zone, but He Never Scores a Point

January 22, 1992|CHRIS DUFRESNE

MINNEAPOLIS — Kicker Brad Daluiso of the Buffalo Bills probably will not make or miss the game-winning field goal in Super Bowl XXVI.

His chances of getting hurt are slim. He will have one of the best seats in the Metrodome Sunday.

If the Bills win, Daluiso will make $64,000 in playoff earnings.

"You can't beat that," he said.

Daluiso, a rookie from UCLA, is the ultimate NFL specialist, Buffalo's kickoff man.

Nice work if you can get it.

"Maybe some day I'll be in the Hall of Fame for revolutionizing the kicking game," he jokingly said Tuesday.

Because field-goal kicker Scott Norwood lacks distance, the Bills signed Daluiso, a free agent, on Sept. 10 to handle the team's kickoff duties.

And that's it. Daluiso has not attempted a field goal since joining the Bills, but he has been effective on kickoffs. Thirty-seven percent of his kickoffs were not returned this season, ranking him among the league leaders in the category.

Daluiso said he does not feel guilty about taking a Super Bowl playoff check.

"I feel like I'm one of the guys on the team," he said. "This team believes in having role players, guys that just play special teams, guys that just kick off. And if everybody does their job, then it's for the better of the team."

Daluiso signed as a free agent with the Green Bay Packers out of college but was released after training camp when Chris Jacke ended his holdout. The Atlanta Falcons signed Daluiso, but he missed a short field-goal attempt and lasted only two weeks.

"I thought I might be done for the year," Daluiso said.

But the Bills, who were in the process of fine-tuning their AFC championship squad, decided they could afford the luxury of Daluiso.

Daluiso said the Bills told him the job was his for the year.

"I had a bad game against New England," he said. "I was feeling really down about it. I felt like I was walking on egg shells. I didn't know if I would be there the next day. But Coach (Marv) Levy and (General Manager) Bill Polian called me in and said, 'Don't worry about it, you're not going out the door, don't feel like you've got to have your bags packed all the time.' "

For his efforts, Daluiso got to pack a bag for Minneapolis.

"I'm definitely lucky, no doubt about it," he said.

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