When would the signing of a punter who is very unlikely to make the roster make about half of an NFL locker room extremely nervous? When that punter is also a cop.
Meet former police officer Ken Parrish, who's getting a look with the Philadelphia Eagles. I'm glad it's the Eagles, too, because if it was the Bengals bringing him in, he'd never get any work done. Every time he started his punting drills, he'd have to stop and arrest someone when he witnessed a crime in progress.
The cop-turned-punter story was set in motion last fall, when Parrish's San Francisco-based trainer/punting coach, Paul Assad, convinced Parrish he still had potential as an NFL punter, a year after spending a preseason with the 49ers. Parrish resigned from the police force, worked the past winter with Assad, returned home last week, and got the call from the Eagles earlier this week.
''It was a big decision,'' Parrish said after a workout with rookies and selected veterans. ''I had to get with my mom and dad, No. 1, and then with the police department, because I had committed to them. They all had my back, saying, 'You need to give this another shot. You can be a cop the rest of your life. You only will have this chance for so long.'
The downside for Parrish is that the Eagles also have Sav Rocca, who's a pretty darn good punter, and extremely unlikely to lose his job. NFL teams don't carry two punters. My advice for Parrish would be to make himself more valuable by excelling at punt coverage, too, by using his nightstick and taser gun on opposing punt returners. Not his gun, though, because that's going to draw a penalty every time.
I wish him the best of luck with his punting, and if that doesn't work out, then his policing. His best chance is to punt the bejeezus out of the ball with the Eagles in camp and in preseason, and then when he does eventually get cut, hope that some other team picks him up.