SAINT JOSEPH, Mo. — Harrison Butker has had a busy offseason, much like all of the players returning to the Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs.
After gutting through an ankle injury for most of the 2022 season, Butker was arguably the Chiefs’ most important player in the playoffs.
The All-Pro kicker hit the game-winning kicks in the AFC Championship and Super Bowl LVII with less than 30 seconds to play in both games.
After enjoying the celebration festivities, Butker enjoyed this offseason by spending a week at a Catholic convent to pray and meditate, and he gave a commencement speech at his alma mater, Georgia Tech, thanks to the president of the Illustrious Atlanta University leaving him a voicemail.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Butker said. “When you have a kick like that, there are a lot of people that want to hear what you have to say what you want to talk about. So to be able to be put on that platform on that stage is very humbling.”
With the ankle injury, he spent a little more time resting in the offseason than he usually does.
After spending the 2021 offseason researching body movements and training with a person who specializes in biomechanics on how to be a better kicker, he said he learned a lot of things to help him feel as strong as a kicker as he does now.
“Working on my plant foot, making sure that I wasn’t bending my knee a ton on the plant so that I could get more power and talking to me about what pitchers do,” Butker said.
“A lot of pitchers, if they’re a right handed pitcher, when they land on that left foot before they throw the ball, there’s not a lot of knee bend. If anything, they’re trying to keep that knee straight so they can get a lot of torque in their hips, and I never thought about that.
“That was one thing I focused a ton on last offseason. So because I spent all last offseason doing that, this offseason I didn’t really need to focus on that. The biggest thing was just making sure I’m consistent.”
Butker had to switch the way he kicked last season because of the injury, and that’s the way he kicks now. He felt that that certain technique was a good, consistent way to finish the season for him, and he’s bringing that technique to this season, where he has consistently hit 50+ yarders against the wind in training camp.
“Just focusing on making sure the ball’s going through as consistent as possible. And I think if you’re swinging super hard, it makes it hard to be consistent. So I feel like I’m in a good rhythm right now,” Butker said.
Going into his seventh year, the Decatur, Georgia native is in the prime of his career and is enjoying the life he didn’t know he wanted.
“I never thought I would be in this position to be an NFL kicker and then playing a Super Bowl, win two Super Bowls,” Butker said.
“It’s just a dream and I almost have to pinch myself sometimes to tell myself that this is real, but just a blessing to have this platform and to be able to be here and have so much success with this Kansas City Chiefs team.”