the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, September 10, 2012

NFL Week One: the Old Man, the Turning Point & the New Rhythm

Yesterday's 27-23 win by the Lions over the Rams marked the beginning of kicker Jason Hanson's 21st NFL season. He is the only person to ever play that long with one team. He is only the ninth person to play in the NFL that long, period.
"It's great. I'm numb to the old man awards now. I'll take them without complaining. I've been saying all these years, it's been a blessing for my family to be in the same place so I thank God for that, truly. We're going to be a good team so it's fun to be here at the end. Whatever that means, I'm obviously closer to the end than I am the beginning with a team that's going to be competitive and have some fun and see where we can take it."
Trailing by three points in the third quarter, Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop missed a 40 yard attempt that would have tied the game. The Falcons then went on to score 20 unanswered points, eventually winning 40-24.
“Every kick in this league is important. That’s the way I approach it. I don’t think it matters what point in the game it is. When you miss a field goal, it’s just not good for your team. I felt it was a really good hit. I just didn’t put it far enough to the left....
It was at the point in the game where we needed the kick. I’ve got to learn from it and come back and make it next week. You try to not let [the kick’s importance] come into your train of thought. You try to approach every kick the same. That way, it doesn’t matter if you’re down by a bunch of points or up or down by a bunch of points.’’

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Having just joined the team, recently acquired kicker Billy Cundiff had only a limited amount of time to work with his new co-specialists in Washington. Nonetheless, he hit four field goals, four extra points and six touchbacks in the Redskins 40-32 win over the Saints.
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“It was nice. During pregame I actually felt like we [long snapper Nick Sundberg, holder Sav Rocca and himself] started to establish a rhythm, which is about right. You have to treat each time we go out as a new opportunity to develop that rhythm....

I felt like I got out there and got some reps early so I was able to reinforce that positive feeling about what were doing. Getting more kicks at the beginning really helped.”

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