Being given the responsibility of your team's kicker in the NFL is an unforgiving one.
When you are called upon, you are expected to deliver, no matter what the situation.
Some kickers cannot handle the pressure of making that winning field goal in the fourth quarter as time expires. Promptly, they are released without second thought.
With this in mind, when a kicker succeeds at the highest level for one team, it is a symbol of his character and consistency.
There are few in the NFL that demonstrate character and consistency better than David Akers.
He has quietly become one of the faces of the Philadelphia Eagles franchise.
However, his journey to the top was not without doubt and uncertainty.
Before his NFL career began, in the year 1997-1998, Akers worked as a substitute teacher at Westport Middle School in Louisville, Kentucky.
When opportunity knocked at the end of the year, Akers joined the Washington Redskins for his first chance at a starting position as kicker in the NFL.
He would find out it wasn't meant to be however, as the Washington Redskins released Akers in 1998 after a short time with the squad. Having no other choice, he returned to his wife in Atlanta, where he picked up a part-time job as a waiter in Lawrenceville, GA.
After being on the waiver wire three times, and being released by the Washington Redskins, Akers finally signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on January 11, 1999.
He began his career in Philadelphia behind veteran Norm Johnson as a long field goal and kickoff specialist, until winning the starting position in 2000.
He would never look back.
For the next ten years, the Eagles would rely on Akers and his consistency time and time again.
If there is a clutch kick that needs to be made, David Akers is going to step up. He has had as much to do with the past ten years of the Philadelphia Eagles' success as anyone.
He is the only player on the current Philadelphia Eagles roster who has played under Andy Reid for all 11 years of Reid's tenure in Philadelphia.
With the stroke of his left foot, David Akers has delivered countless victories for the Philadelphia Eagles, becoming his franchise's all-time leader in points, field goals, and extra points.
This year, Akers was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s with his 30 playoff field goals in that time span, third only to Adam Vinatieri and Gary Anderson.
David Akers is the NFL's leading points scorer since the year 2000 with 1,169 total points; a testament to his unwavering attitude to be the best he can be for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Without question, David Akers has used his determination and longevity to become one of the greatest kickers in NFL history.
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