the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI Kicking Postscript

New England faced a long field more than once in Super Bowl XLVI. 
New York punter Steve Weatherford placed three of his four punts inside the ten yard line during the Giants 21-17 win over the Patriots.
"Inside-the-20 punts are something I pride myself on. I try to create as much field position as I can, especially with the incredible defense and defensive line we have. If you can put it inside the five, it makes it very difficult for the other team to drive on us....
Sometimes it bounces forward, sometimes it goes backwards. Fortunately for my first punt in a Super Bowl, it went backwards."
Weatherford had fun doing it.
"In my game, it's all confidence. The more fun I have, the more confidence I have. It's just a game. Granted, there's only a billion people watching, but it's a game. I went out there and had fun and was able to execute."
Toward the end of the game it looked like Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes would be trying a game winning field goal attempt. At least that was the plan. Trailing 15-17 with just over a minute to play, New York had first and goal to go from the seven. They planned to run the clock down and let Tynes kick the winner on the final play. However, on second down New England intentionally gave up a touchdown so they could get one more chance on offense.
"I'm just sticking to my routine and you know what, it was at the end of the game, I was approaching it just like I was the two kicks in the third quarter....
I thought Ahmad [Bradshaw] was gonna take the knee. That would have been pretty sweet if he kneed it. It was like he wanted to [knee it] and then he just fell forward....
I'll be honest with you, that was the right play because you give Tom Brady the ball ... all they need was a field goal if we kicked a field goal, so I think you score right there a touchdown."
While the Super Bowl win was a first for Weatherford, it was a second one for both Tynes and their fellow specialist, long snapper Zak DeOssie.
"It's pretty crazy. When that ball hit the ground it was beyond words. Two-time Super Bowl champ. I don't think it's quite sunk in yet....
Four years later, you have an idea what it takes to get here and how rare it is. My rookie year was unbelievable, but if you can believe it this was even better. My rookie year my head was spinning and you're thinking, 'Is this normal?' Now I really understand what (then-punter) Jeff Feagles was telling me. All the veterans were saying, 'Don't get used to this.' This is so rare, and such a great opportunity to even be here to play in this game. And to win it, now that I am older, I really understand what it means."

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