Ravens’ Super Bowl Winner, Longest-Tenured Player Announces Retirement

Ravens Sam Koch

Getty Baltimore Ravens punter Sam Koch warms up before a 2019 preseason game.

Longtime Baltimore Ravens punter Sam Koch announced his retirement on May 19, bringing a close to a stellar 16-season NFL career in which Koch established himself as one of the NFL’s most reliable specialists.

Koch announced his retirement in a video posted to the Ravens’ social media accounts shortly before holding a press conference with Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and Eric DeCosta.

But Koch won’t be leaving Baltimore quite yet, as he’ll remain with the Ravens as a special teams consultant on Harbaugh’s coaching staff.

The 39-year-old punter finishes his career as the Ravens’ franchise leader in games played with 256 total appearances, including a franchise-record 239 consecutive games from 2006 to 2020.

Selected by the Ravens in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft, Koch was the longest-tenured player in Baltimore, a title that now goes to his longtime special teams partner Justin Tucker, who is also the only remaining member of the Ravens’ 2012 Super Bowl team.

Koch and Tucker, along with long snapper Morgan Cox, formed the “Wolfpack,” a nickname chosen by Tucker for the trio that anchored the Ravens’ special teams for a decade. All three played key roles in the Ravens’ victory in Super Bowl XLVII, especially Koch, who orchestrated the last two plays of the game.

First, he took an intentional safety to run time off the clock, a move the Ravens have used multiple times under Harbaugh, a former special teams coach.

Then, he pinned the San Francisco 49ers too deep to attempt a game-tying field goal, giving the Ravens their second franchise Super Bowl trophy.

Koch was also the holder for many of Tucker’s most notable kicks, including his 66-yard game-winner against the Detroit Lions in 2021 that set an all-time NFL record.

His special teams prowess even extended to fake punts, something that Koch mastered over his career. He completed seven of his eight passing attempts for five first downs and a total of 82 yards, including this conversion in 2020.

Koch Speaks at Emotional Press Conference

In addition to joining Koch at  press conference, Harbaugh and DeCosta both appeared in his farewell video, which also featured several past and present Ravens including Lamar Jackson, Joe Flacco, Haloti Ngata and Marshal Yanda.

That kicked off an emotional press conference in which Koch tearfully thanked his coaches, teammates and family for their support and advice throughout his career. He also shared his favorite stories and memories from his time in Baltimore, which overlapped with Hall of Famers Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and Jonathan Ogden.

Koch Will Mentor Ravens’ New Punter

As a special teams consultant for the Ravens, Koch’s primary job will likely be the direct mentorship and training of former Penn State punter Jordan Stout, who was drafted in the fourth round of this year’s draft. 

Koch revolutionized punting over the course of his career, introducing a variety of different ways to punt a football that resulted in different distances, lengths, hang times and spins. He’ll look to pass that knowledge to Stout, who will take over Koch’s duties as punter and holder in Baltimore.

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