Adam Podlesh (born August 11, 1983) is an American football punter who is currently a free agent. He played college football for the Maryland Terrapins, and is the only player in school history to be on the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team for four years. His punting average of 43.1 yards ranks second in school history. He has been a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Early life

Podlesh, who is Jewish,[1] is a graduate of Pittsford Sutherland High School in Pittsford, New York[2] and is a three-time letterman in football. Podlesh also played defense and offense, recording 92 tackles, 5 sacks, 638 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns.

Track and field

Podlesh was also a standout athlete for the Pittsford (NY) Sutherland track team. He posted the fastest 200 metres and 400 metres times in New York state in his junior year, with times of 21.58 seconds and 50.5 seconds, respectively.[3]

He also ran the third leg of the state title-winning 4 x 100 metres relay team in 2000.

College career

He played college football for the Maryland Terrapins. He spent his freshman year on the scout team. He is the only player in school history to be on the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team for four years. In Podlesh's 48 games played at Maryland, he punted 216 times for 9,314 yards, which ranks fourth in school history (behind Dan DeArmas, Dale Castro, Russ Edwards and Darryl Wright). His punting average of 43.1 yards ranks behind Brooks Barnard in school history. He had 83 of his attempts land inside the 20-yard line, with 35 of them landing inside the 10-yard line. Podlesh set the school record for a punter in the spring with a 4.44 time in the 40-yard dash in 2006 spring training, which earned him the Iron Terp Award.[3] He was named to the Jewish Sports Review’s 2005 College Football All-America Team.[4]

Professional career

Jacksonville Jaguars

On June 2, 2008, he was elected to the Rochester Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. He was participating in the Jaguars OTA workouts, so his grandmother, Betty Podlesh, accepted the honor for him.[5]

In 2010 Podlesh was diagnosed with cancer of the salivary gland, but following successful surgery he was told that radiation therapy and chemotherapy would not be required, and he returned to the field after six weeks, not missing any playing time.[6][7]

Chicago Bears

On July 29, 2011 Podlesh signed with the Chicago Bears after receiving a lucrative contract from the team, who lost Brad Maynard.[8]

Podlesh recorded a 40.4 yard net average in 2011, the best by a Bear since 1966, despite injuries to special teamers Patrick Mannelly, Brian Iwuh, Kyle Adams and Anthony Walters, as well as Chris Conte, Major Wright, and Kahlil Bell becoming starters, and Sam Hurd getting released. His 43.9 yard gross average was the best of his career, and was the third highest in team history, behind Todd Sauerbrun's 44.8 in 1996 and Brad Maynard's 44.2 in 2006.[9]

In the second game of the 2012 preseason, Podlesh left the game with a left hip flexor that he sustained while attempting to tackle Washington Redskins returner Brandon Banks, who eventually returned the punt 91 yards for a touchdown.[10] Podlesh was replaced by Ryan Quigley for the third game against the New York Giants.[11] Though he was listed as "Probable",[12] he punted against the Indianapolis Colts.[13] In Week 12 against the Minnesota Vikings, Podlesh faked the extra point, and ran in for two points.[14] During the season, Podlesh averaged 42 yards per punt with a maximum hang time of 5.1 seconds, along with his longest punt going 64 yards.[15]

In 2013, Podlesh struggled, ranking 33rd in the league with 40.6 gross average punting yards, while the punting unit for the team as a whole ranked last in the NFL with a 40.0 gross average.[16] On March 5, 2014, Podlesh was released by the Bears.[17]

Pittsburgh Steelers

On April 15, 2014, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Podlesh to a one-year deal.[18] He was released by the Steelers on September 30, 2014.[19]


Podlesh is married to Miranda Keating, with whom he has a daughter, born October 2012, and son, born July 2014. Miranda's second pregnancy was complicated by placental abruption and near heart failure caused by peripartum cardiomyopathy.[20]


  1. ^ "2011 NFL Football Preview". Jewish Sports Review 8 (87): 6–7. September–October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Pigskin Hebrews, 2009 edition". September 24, 2009. Retrieved May 31, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Adam Podlesh, Maryland, NFL Draft -". June 11, 2008. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  4. ^ "2005 College Football All-America Team". Jewish Sports Review. April 23, 2006. Retrieved March 14, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Hometown honors Podlesh". Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Pittsford native Podlesh excited to return to the playing field – Henrietta, NY". Henrietta Post. July 22, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  7. ^ Jensen, Sean (August 30, 2011). "New Bear Adam Podlesh’s cancer fight gives punter fresh perspective". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  8. ^ Davis, Brian. "Chicago Bears sign first free agent, punter Adam Podlesh". 
  9. ^ "Podlesh, punt team excelled this season". January 5, 2012. Archived from the original on January 8, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Read Larry's Bears vs. Redskins blog". Archived from the original on August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Adam Podlesh’s hip injury concerns Dave Toub – Chicago Sun-Times". Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Write Now Blog | 2012 | September | 07". Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  13. ^ Jensen, Sean (February 22, 1999). "Adam Podlesh will punt for Bears in opener vs. Colts – Inside the Bears". Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  14. ^ Hendricks, Maggie (November 25, 2012). "Bears use special teams’ trickery in win over Vikings (VIDEO)". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved November 25, 2012. 
  15. ^ Miller, Matt (March 11, 2013). "B/R NFL 1000 2013: Top 32 Punters". Bleacher Report. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  16. ^ Mayer, Larry (January 31, 2014). "Gould gave Bears leg to stand on". Chicago Bears. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  17. ^ Wiederer, Dan (March 5, 2014). "Bears part ways with punter Podlesh". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Steelers sign Adam Podlesh". Retrieved May 25, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Steelers Terminate Punter Adam Podlesh's Contract". Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  20. ^ Ganguli, Tania (October 29, 2014). "Family comes first for Adam Podlesh". Retrieved October 30, 2014.