Tuesday, December 1, 2015

From Police to Punting

Ken Parrish left his job as a Stroud Township, Pa., police officer to train full-time for another shot as an NFL punter. He got it Thursday, when the Eagles signed the former East Stroudsburg star.

From Police to Punting

The Eagles have added punter Ken Parrish, who previously had been working as a police officer in Stroud Township. (Eric Mencher / Staff Photographer)
The Eagles have added punter Ken Parrish, who previously had been working as a police officer in Stroud Township. (Eric Mencher / Staff Photographer)

Ken Parrish was cut from the San Francisco 49ers before the 2007 season, didn't catch on anywhere in 2008, and finally came home and took a job as a police officer back home in Stroud Township, Pa., Monroe County, about an hour and a half northeast of Philadelphia.

About eight months passed, Parrish said Thursday. Then he got a call from a trainer he'd worked with in California, Paul Assad. Assad thought Parrish could still be a pro punter. "He was like, 'You need to make a decision. I'm going to tell you right now, if you want another shot at this, it's going to take your full dedication. It's not something you can do as a cop during the day, and train at night ... this is a no-joke league.' "

Parrish spent a few weeks talking it over with his family, including his father, William Parrish, a Stroud Township Police captain. The consensus was that Ken should go for it. He'll have the rest of his life to pursue a police career.

Parrish went West to work with Assad, showcased himself at a punting event Assad put together in Las Vegas, Parrish said. The Eagles, who'd worked Parrish out last April, apparently weren't thrilled with the OTA work of Wake Forest kicker-punter Sam Swank, whom they'd signed to take a little of the preseason load off punter Sav Rocca and kicker David Akers.

Thursday, the Birds announced they'd cut Swank and added Parrish, who grew up an Eagles fan.

If he ever actually made it into a game at the Linc, "I'd have to tape my feet to the ground," Parrish said after his first rookie camp workout, in which he showed a strong leg.


The Eagles announced a worst-case scenario for veteran free agent defensive tackle Amon Gordon, who limped away from a drill last week. Achilles' tendon surgery Thursday seems likely to sideline Gordon for the duration. The Eagles brought in free agent rookie Trevor Jenkins this week to take Gordon's place.

Rookie tight end Cornelius Ingram participated in a few individual drills but watched the team activities from the sideline Thursday, wearing an elastic bandage on his left knee. Ingram, recovering from left ACL surgery, banged the knee against safety Rashad Baker during Wednesday's workout.  

Daily News Staff Writer
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