the study of the kicking components within sports

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

NFL Week Four: Adjusting, Supporting & Remembering

After a slow start to the 2011 season, Chiefs' kicker Ryan Succop had a big game this week. He accounted for all but six of Kansas City's points in their 22-17 win over Minnesota. He was 5 of 5 on field goals, connecting from 40, 24, 51, 54 & 22 yards. He had made some adjustments in practices this past week:
“My tempo was off a little bit. I was kind of rushing at the ball a little bit. I slowed it down a little bit and I feel very fortunate that [special teams coordinator Steve Hoffman] was there to kind of help me with that. We went out this week and worked really hard in practice, and hopefully we can take this and build on it.”
Beyond his position coach, he also had broader support along the way:
“Obviously the past couple weeks hasn’t been the way I’ve wanted to kick. Just everybody believing in me, the encouragement - and that starts from the top all the way down to the players - I feel really good to be able to prove them right.”
In Philadelphia, rookie kicker Alex Henery had the support of the kicker for San Francisco on the opposite sideline. Of course 49ers kicker David Akers is best known for having been the Eagles kicker for over a decade.
"I think Alex Henery is going to be a great kicker for this organization for a long time. When you switch teams, I took somebody's job, too. It's not like he's coming in [saying] you're gone. The organization made a decision. . . . He's got a strong leg. He's done a great job kicking field goals. It was a tough day to kick out there, regardless. The wind was all over the place. It shifted back and forth."
Both kickers missed two of their attempted field goals - Henery going 3 of 5, and Akers going 1 of 3, with one of the misses having been blocked. On Alex Henery's end, he knew the simple answer regarding his misses, which received greater scrutiny afterward since the Eagles lost the game 23-24:
"I just didn't get my hip through. If you don't do that, it's going to push it, no matter what."
In Cincinnati, kicker Mike Nugent's 43 yard field on the final play of the game was doubly special to him. First, it gave his present team a 23-20 victory. Second, it was a win for his favorite team from childhood - the very same Bengals.
“It’s a very good feeling, and not just for the obvious. But to do it for your team – and when I say your team I mean I grew up a die-hard Bengals fan. I’ve been coming to games my whole life and I’ve watched guys like Jim Breech do it all of the time. It’s one of those things where we need to remember this feeling and bring it into next week.”

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