the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

AFL Kickers - American, East

Our whirlwind tour of indoor football leagues and their kickers continues with the AFL (Arena Football league), the oldest of the leagues. After a few test games in prior years, their inaugural season kicked off way back in in 1987. The 2011 season kicks off on March 11th

We begin our review of the kickers in the East Division of the American Conference.

Cleveland Gladiators - Matt Denny
  • Enters second season with the Gladiators. In 2010, converted 7-of-14 field goals and made 119-131 extra points. His 140 points were third-most in the AFL among kickers.
  • Spent the 2009 af2 season with the Quad City Steamwheelers.
  • Played four seasons at Carthage College (2004-07). Had his finest season of his career in 2007 at Carthage, converting on 11-of-17 field goal attempts, 36-of-36 extra point attempts and booted a career-long 49-yard field goal versus Millikin, tying for the longest in school history.
  • In an interview last April, he discussed arena kicking: "When I first started, I needed a couple games to adjust. Basically, I had to go half speed or 50 percent on my extra points and kinda get my rhythm down. It's not about how hard you kick it at this level. It's about accuracy."
Milwaukee Mustangs - Bob Forstrom
  • Played for Milwaukee last year, although they were then named the Iron
  • Kicked from 2007-09 for the Green Bay Blizzard (then of the AF2, now in the IFL)
  • All-American kicker for the Green Knights of St. Norbert College. In his final season, Forstrom was 6 for 8 on field goals with a long of 43 yards and 56 for 58 on extra points. Bob also earned an invite to kick in the 2006 Aztec Bowl, a game for Division III All-Stars to compete against the Mexican All-Star team.
  • "The obvious difference is in the goalposts. It is about half the size indoors [9-feet wide versus 18 1/2 feet]. When it comes to the actual kickoff, indoors is more of a placement. You're trying to put it between the uprights or hit it off either goalpost. That gives our guys the best chance to recover the kick.... It's all a mental thing. The crowd noise, people yelling at you personally...you have to block that out for those six seconds or so [of the kickoff]."
Philadelphia Soul - James Paul
  • Played two years in the Arena Football 2 for the Arkansas Twisters and Peoria Pirates
  • Attended the University of Central Arkansas where he started four seasons for the Bears. During his time at UCA he earned all conference honors as both a punting and kicking specialist breaking several records. Those records include most consecutive extra points (64), highest extra point percentage career (97%), tied 5th in career scoring, third in punt average (41.3), longest punt (81 yds.), third longest punt (76 yds.), highest punt average in a game (56.3 yds.).
Pittsburgh Power - Paul Edinger
  • Previously with two other AFL teams: the Jacksonville Sharks last year and the Chicago Rush for part of 2008
  • Played in the NFL for six years: Chicago Bears (2000-04) and Minnesota Vikings (2005). His 56-yard game-winning field goal against the Green Bay Packers on October 23, 2005 is the longest ever in Vikings history.
  • Kicked during all four years of his college career at Michigan State (1996-99). He also punted during his first two years.
  • "Anytime you can get the ball on the ground is a good thing. It gives us an opportunity to recover it. I'm picking out an upright or the bottom of the iron. That really is the best kickoff." - Edinger on arena kickoffs

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