the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, November 5, 2012

NFL Week Nine: A Blustery Five by Phil Dawson

The ground had been battered by Hurricane Sandy earlier in the week. The skies yesterday were still filled with blustery swirling winds. Browns kicker Phil Dawson noted:
"Conditions were tough, but I have to give credit to the grounds crew. It was a pretty crazy week with Sandy and all of the storm. The field wasn’t ideal, but the job those guys did to even get it to the point it was, they deserve a tremendous amount of appreciation for that."
Not ideal conditions to get back into the swing of knocking in field goals.
"Coming into this game, it’d been two games since I’d even tried one. So I was hoping to get out there early and believe it or not, shake the rust off. But I sat there the whole first quarter and didn’t even touch the field. I was a little concerned with how the game might turn out, but then the second quarter I got out there three times and started to settle in."
But that is precisely what Dawson did - accounting for all of Cleveland's points with five field goals (32, 28, 29,  33 & 41 yards).
"They found their home and that was good. Today was a day where you don’t try to hit the perfect ball. You just try to dig it out and get it through. Two of them just snuck inside the right upright. On a normal day, that would upset me. I want to execute to perfection, but on a day like today, there’s no such thing, so, you just try to get them through there....

Christian (Yount) and Reggie (Hodges), snap and hold, they were flawless all day. The guys protected their pretty good rush unit and the tight ends and wings on our field goal block, that’s not a very glorious job. They pretty much stand there and let three guys run you over. I appreciate their efforts because that allows me to sit back there on a day like today....

It took a little longer to get the kick off just because the footing was so iffy. I’ve got to credit those guys up front for giving me the extra time to dig them out and kick the ball through."
The fifth and final field goal came with 8:48 remaining in the fourth quarter and gave the Browns a 15-14 lead over the visiting Ravens.

"For a while there, it looked like five might be enough. Sometimes, like last week, we didn’t try (a field goal) and we got the win. I’d trade (five field goals) any day for a win.... We were in this to the end. We took two quick blows and I told the guys the ‘old’ Browns would’ve folded up. But, you are what you are in this league. They don’t hand out ribbons for showing up. There are no prizes for being close. The bottom line is we lost."
Baltimore scored a TD, 2-point conversion and field goal in the latter stages for a 25-15 win. From here onward, Dawson will continue to approach kicking just as he always has.
"I was undrafted and feel like I’m one missed kick from losing my job. That will be my attitude until I quit playing."

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