the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, August 31, 2015

Carolina Panthers Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

August 30, 2015 - punter Matt Wile released

May 4, 2015 - punter Matt Wile signed
"Former Michigan kicker/punter Matt Wile signed a rookie free agent deal with the Carolina Panthers, the team announced Monday. Wile is listed on the Panthers' rookie camp roster as a punter. Wile punted 91 times at Michigan, netting a 40.2-yard average per kick. He also went 20 of 29 on field goal attempts, including a long of 52 yards." - MLive

December 14, 2014 - Graham Gano kicks four field goals in win over Bucs
"Derek Anderson and the Panthers’ offense had its fair share of success moving the chains for first downs, but had five drives stall inside the Bucs’ 40-yard line. Enter Gano. The six-year NFL veteran was 4 for 5 on field goals with a long of 49 yards late in the first quarter. His 45-yarder with 6:24 left in the game gave the Panthers their first two-score lead of the game. Gano’s only miss came from 50 early in the second quarter. 'In the end, all that matters is that you score more points than the other team,' Gano said. 'I’m glad I was able to do my part, but I’m a perfectionist at the same time, and I wish I could have that 50-yarder back. But, you move on, and you lean, and I was able to get two more after that.' Gano also booted all six of his kick-offs into the end zone for touchbacks." - Gaston Gazette

November 30, 2014 - two punts blocked and returned for scores by Vikings
"Punter Brad Nortman was asked how he saw the two Vikings' punt blocks that were returned for touchdowns develop in front of him. It was a hard question to answer. 'Honestly, I don't really see it until the very last second,' Nortman said. 'I'm just focused on catching the ball, holding it and kicking it. I don't even see them coming.' To execute a punt, Nortman trusts the protection and focuses on the ball. Unfortunately, the protection didn't hold up twice, leaving Nortman exposed. 'Both of them were individual breakdowns, very disappointing. Individuals got beat,' head coach Ron Rivera said. 'Not systematic, it has nothing to do with the protection or anything like that. Individuals got beat'." - Panthers

November 16, 2014 - kicker Graham Gano misses potential game winner, another blocked
"Gano, one of the league’s most reliable kickers, had two chances in the final 84 seconds to give Carolina a victory against the Atlanta Falcons in a game the Panthers desperately needed to rekindle a season on the verge of flaming out. Both times – first from 46 yards with 1 minute, 26 seconds remaining and then from 63 yards as time expired – Gano failed to deliver, and the Panthers were left with a 19-17 loss they nearly avoided....  'I just missed the kick,' Gano said of his 46-yard attempt that missed wide left by the approximate length of a football. 'It’s painful. I’ve got to make the kick. That’s why I’m the placekicker here. I obviously wish I could have it back, but I’ve got to put it through the uprights. It’s just a miss.' Gano refused to blame mechanics or any other factor on just his second missed field goal at Bank of America Stadium in two-plus seasons. 'I think the guys did a good job. It’s on me. I wish I could have it back,' Gano said.... Suddenly, Gano had another opportunity. The Panthers moved 39 yards in three plays, using just 21 seconds. When receiver Kelvin Benjamin lateraled to Greg Olsen, who skipped out of bounds with one second remaining, Gano and the kicking team rushed back on the field. A 63-yard field goal would have been just a yard shy of Matt Prater’s league-record kick. ‘We were like ‘This is cool.’ We were excited to get that opportunity,” long snapper J.J. Jansen said. 'I asked him before that (final) kick, ‘What’s your range?’ He said, ‘I’ll hit it from any distance.’ He hit a good ball. It just got blocked.' Atlanta’s Ra’Shede Hageman got a hand on Gano’s kick, killing it immediately. Instead of a potential game-winner, Gano’s kick fell nearly 30 yards short of the back line. Gano said he didn’t try to kick the ball lower to get more distance. 'I don’t think there’s a higher probability (of a block). I’ve been blessed with a strong leg so I didn’t have to change anything. I hit it well,' Gano said." - Charlotte Observer
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September 14, 2014 - Graham Gano kicks, recovers & has fun against Detroit 
"Kicker Graham Gano played a significant role in the Panthers’ 24-7 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday, including one play that defied the odds. Gano notched the first fumble recovery of his six-year career midway through the fourth quarter, being in the right spot at the right time after linebacker Chase Blackburn caused Detroit’s Jeremy Ross to fumble on a kickoff return. 'You don’t expect a kicker to get a fumble recovery,' Gano said. 'But it was fun. That’s what we practice. Coach is always saying don’t be that kicker that is just barely jogging down the field, so I like to be there, and I’d like to think if they’re going to bring it out of the end zone, our guys are going to stick them pretty good. It was exciting.' Gano kicked off six times during the game and the other five were all non-returnable. Gano also kicked three field goals, connecting from 29 and 53 yards in the second quarter, and 38 yards after his fumble recovery in the fourth." - Winston-Salem Journal 

August 24, 2014 - punter Jordan Gay released
- Panthers

August 15, 2014 - kicker Graham Gano returns to practice
Apparently, kicker Graham Gano's back is feeling better. On one of the Panthers' two natural grass practice fields Thursday, while getting in work on the side with his fellow specialists, Gano drilled a 70-yard field goal with some room to spare. 'It's all in the hold, really,' Gano said, noting that he has made a 75-yarder before. 'When (punter) Brad (Nortman) gives me a good hold, that makes it easy.' Gano, who sat out the Panthers' preseason opener with a sore back, made it look easy last year when he was a consistent weapon in his first full season with Carolina. Now, after signing a four-year contract extension in the offseason, Gano is poised to pick up where he left off when the Panthers host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. 'It killed me last week to be sitting on the sideline, watching the other guys, so I'm really amped up to get back out there this week,' Gano said. 'I've been getting good treatment and rehab, strengthening all the muscles in the back. I'm feeling really good and am excited about playing Sunday'." - Panthers

August 8, 2014 - punter Jordan Gay becomes first to miss long extra point
"Carolina Panthers kicker Jason Gay is the answer to the trivia question — for you super-obscure folks — of which kicker was the first to miss a 33-yard extra-point attempt in the preseason. It happened after a brilliant Kelvin Benjamin touchdown catch on the first play of the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills." - Yahoo

August 7, 2014 - kicker Graham Gano nursing sore back
"The Panthers aren't sure if kicker Graham Gano will be able to play against the Bills because of a sore back, but Jordan Gay is ready to fill in. Gay, in training camp with the Panthers for the second consecutive season, is officially listed as a punter behind Brad Nortman but also handled placekicking duties at Centre College for three seasons. 'Graham might have overdone it a couple of days ago, so he's a little bit tender,' Rivera said. 'If we have to hold him out, Gay will take all the kicks, and he'll get to punt as well'." - Panthers

May 19, 2014 - punter Jordan Gay signed
"The Panthers have also signed punter Jordan Gay, who attended training camp with Carolina as a rookie in 2013. He most recently spent time with the New York Giants, joining the team in January before being waived May 12. A three-time Southern Athletic Association Special Teams Player of the Year at Centre College, he handled punting and placekicking duties for three seasons. Gay generated a gross punting average of 42.7 yards with 31 punts inside the 20 and a long of 73 yards on 113 punts and converted 111-of-114 extra point opportunities and 31-of-49 field goal attempts." - Panthers

May 16, 2014 - rookie minicamp
Among the 35 tryout players at the Panthers rookie minicamp are two former Florida State specialists, punter Shawn Powell and long snapper Dax Dellenbach. - Panthers

February 28, 2014 - kicker Graham Gano re-signed
"Gano, coming off his best season as a pro, re-signed with the Panthers on Friday through the 2017 season. He was among 21 players on last year's roster that could have become unrestricted free agents when the new league year ends March 11.... Gano, in his fifth NFL season – his first full season with the Panthers – made a career-best 88.9 percent of his field goals, connecting on 24-of-27 kicks while making all 42 on his extra points. Gano was especially good from long range, setting a franchise record and tying for the NFL lead with six field goals of 50 yards or more. He converted on all of his 50-plus-yard attempts, including a game-winning 53-yarder at San Francisco in Week 10. No one else in the NFL made more than three kicks from 50 or more yards without a miss. Gano's strong leg got the job done on kickoffs as well. He recorded touchbacks on 77.8 percent of his kickoffs, the highest percentage in the NFL since 1994." - Carolina Panthers

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