Only Packer with a Super Bowl ring is John Kuhn
By Gary D’Amato, Journal-Sentinel
~Green Bay — The Pittsburgh Steelers released John Kuhn at the end of training camp in 2005, but re-signed the rookie running back to their practice squad with five games left in the regular season.
Call it a fortuitous bit of timing.
Though Kuhn didn’t have a whole lot to do with it, the Steelers went on to win Super Bowl XL, beating the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10, in Detroit.
Kuhn got a Super Bowl ring out of the deal. He earned it and he’s proud of it, but it’s not like he wears it when he picks up the dry cleaning.
“It’s at home here,” he said Monday. “I keep it in the safe. I don’t look at it all that much. I was on the practice squad.”
There’s nothing wrong with that. Still, any player would tell you he’d much rather win a ring by contributing on the field than by taking up space on the sideline.
“I’ve always told myself I wanted to get on an active roster and win one on the field,” Kuhn said.
He’ll have that chance Feb. 6, when the Packers play his old team, the Steelers, in Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“I’m excited. I’m really excited,” said Kuhn, normally one of the least excitable guys in the Packers’ locker room. “I was secretly hoping (Pittsburgh would win the AFC title) because I still have a bunch of friends over there. It’s just a special feeling.”
Kuhn is the lone Packers player with a Super Bowl ring. The only others who have played in the game are Ryan Pickett and Charles Woodson, both of whom were on losing teams.
That Kuhn is getting another shot, this time as a key contributor on offense, is just one of many feel-good stories on this team.
He played in nine games with the Steelers in 2006 and the Packers signed him off waivers just before the start of the ’07 season. He spent the next three years playing special teams and blocking for Ryan Grant, who rushed for 956, 1,203 and 1,253 yards.
Grant hurt his ankle in the season opener this year and suddenly Kuhn’s role changed. After getting just 16 rushing attempts in his first 46 games in Green Bay, the 28-year-old Kuhn became a workhorse.
He split carries with Brandon Jackson for much of the season and finished with 281 yards on 84 carries (3.3 average) and four touchdowns. He also caught 15 passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns and finished third on the team in scoring behind kicker Mason Crosby and receiver Greg Jennings.
Late in the season, Kuhn’s role changed again with the emergence of rookie James Starks. In three playoff games, including the NFC Championship Game, he has been used mostly as a lead blocker.
He has carried the ball just six times for 8 yards in the postseason. But he’s also caught six passes for 53 yards and has scored two touchdowns.
“We lost Ryan early in the season and we’ve been trying to fill holes all season long,” Kuhn said. “We’ve done a good job. Each guy has stepped in different weeks and done something special.”
Along the way, he has become a fan favorite at Lambeau Field because of his no-nonsense, blue-collar approach to the game. In short-yardage situations, the cheer of “K-u-u-h-n” fills the bowl, and it’s even been audible in road games.
“You definitely hear them,” he said. “I think it’s helped us a little bit. Sometimes a defense might key on me and we can do a play-action, so it’s nice.”
Kuhn grew up in York, Pa., where he was perhaps the only Dallas Cowboys fan in town, and went on to set 27 school records at Shippensburg. He graduated with a 3.293 grade-point average and a degree in chemistry.
He’s an unlikely Super Bowl veteran on a team of high-profile players. But as one of the few who has gone through the week-long pre-game drill, with its distractions and media obligations, he had some advice.
“You need to embrace it,” he said. “You need to really enjoy the fact that you’re there. But at the same time you need to win that game. You’re there to play a game ultimately and to try to win it. If you win it, it makes all the memories that much sweeter.”
It’s going to be a long two weeks, and Kuhn can hardly wait.
“I’m anxious already for the game,” he said. “I want to get there and I want to play. Because like I said, this has been something that I’ve looked at ever since I was there with Pittsburgh, and I just wanted to get back there and play so badly.
“And to be back there and play against Pittsburgh, it’s a whirlwind of emotions.”
More than anything, Kuhn wants a second Super Bowl ring.
This one, he might even wear.
Full story HERE
Here’s another fantastic article about John Kuhn and his background and hometown.