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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Atlanta Falcons Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

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September 14, 2015 - Matt Bryant kicks four field goals in win over Philadelphia
"Both sides struggled to take control of the game in the first quarter, with just a 41-yard field goal by Matt Bryant giving the Falcons a 3-0 lead..... Cody Parkey scored a 29-yeard field goal to put the Eagles on the scoreboard, but the Falcons added to their advantage with another field goal.... In the fourth quarter Atlanta responded with a 44-yard field goal from Bryant, but Philadelphia running back Ryan Matthews scored a touchdown to level the game, before the conversion by Parkey gave the visitors a one-point lead. The Falcons appeared to have the momentum, but with 6:27 remaining, Bryant scored his side's fourth field goal to seal a 26-24 victory." - Sports Mole

February 25, 2015 - kicker Matt Bryant signs three-year extension
"The new deal will keep him from becoming an unrestricted free agent on March 10. Negotiations went pretty smooth. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff the deal was close last Thursday at the scouting combine. The Falcons are not overly concerned about Bryant’s age. He’s set to turn 40 in May. 'Matt has some age in his leg, but again, Matt is one of those guys who takes care of his body,' Dimitroff said. 'He’s fine-tuned as far as his flexibility and his hydration, because that’s another part of it. I’m not concerned about it as far as what we are looking to do. I think he’s still got years left in him.' Bryant has been with the Falcons since 2009. He’s made 148 of 167 field goals attempts (88.6 percent), including 18 of 24 from 50 yards are longer. He has become the second-leading scorer in franchise history, with 666 points. He’s 140 points shy of Morten Andersen’s club record of 806 points." - AJC

December 15, 2014 - kicker Matt Bryant named team’s Walter Payton Man of the Year
"Clutch on and off the field, Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant was named the club’s 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year, as well as the 2014 December Community All-Star. During the fifth annual Community Honors Dinner on Monday night, Bryant became the second player in Falcons history to win the award two years in a row, recognizing the kicker for his dedication and commitment to off-the-field community service throughout the 2014 season. By winning this year’s award, Bryant is among 31 other players in consideration for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which will be announced during halftime at Super Bowl XLIX." - Falcons

December 4, 2014 - kicker Matt Bryant named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month
"Bryant led the NFL in field goals and field goal percentage, connecting on all 14 of his field goal attempts in the month of November. He was a perfect six-for-six on kicks of 40 yards-or-longer, and hit a long kick of 53 yards. Bryant lifted the Falcons to a key division win over the Carolina Panthers with a 44-yard game winner in Week 11. He tallied 49 points to help lead Atlanta to a 4-1 record in the month. Bryant hit four-or-more field goals three times in November. He has split the uprights four-or-more times in game 11 times, including six times as a Falcon and has led his team to a 10-1 record when he accomplishes that feat. In the Falcons Week 10 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bryant made all four of his field goal attempts, splitting the uprights from 44, 43, 37, and 33 yards. He hit four field goals in consecutive games by converting field goals from 26, 34, 42, and 44 yards, including a the eventual game winner, at Carolina in Week 11. Bryant gave the Falcons a one-point lead inside the final minute of Atlanta’s Week 12 game against the Cleveland Browns with a 53-yard field goal and split the uprights for a career-high five times in a 13 win over the Arizona Cardinals. During the Month, he became the second player in franchise history reach 600 points, joining K Morten Andersen (806) in Falcons annals. Bryant ranks second on the Falcons all-time scoring list with 636 points. The 13-year pro from Baylor has made 34 consecutive field goals inside of 50 yards dating back to 2013." - CBS Atlanta

November 30, 2014 - Matt Bryant kicks five field goals in win over Cardinals
"Nothing weak about this showing by Atlanta, which got a career day from Julio Jones, piled up 500 yards of offense and cruised to a 29-18 victory over the punchless Arizona Cardinals.... Matt Bryant set a career high with five field goals, though most of them weren't much longer than extra points.... Bryant's previous career high was four field goals in a game. He connected from 20, 23, 21, 45 and 28 yards, improving to 22 of 24 on the season. His only misses have been from 57 and 59 yards." -  Gwinnett Daily Post 

November 16, 2014 - Matt Bryant kicks four field goals, including game winner, over Panthers
"Matt Ryan threw for 268 yards and a touchdown, Matt Bryant added four field goals and the Atlanta Falcons moved into a tie for first place in the lowly NFC South with a 19-17 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Bryant's 44-yard field goal with 2:08 left put Atlanta ahead for good, and the Falcons withstood a late Carolina rally. Carolina's Graham Gano missed a 46-yard field goal try with 1:27 remaining and had a 63-yarder blocked as time expired." - AP

November 9, 2014 - kicker Matt Bryant reaches 600 in win over Bucs
"Matt Bryant scored his 600th point today. Only two Falcons have reached that milestone. The other Falcon is Morten Andersen, who had 806 career points. Bryant hit all four of his field goal attempts today, two of which were 40+ yard attempts. He's only missed 2 field goals this season; both were 50+ yard attempts." - The Falcoholic

September 17, 2014 - punter Matt Bosher & long snapper Josh Harris extended
The Falcons signed Bosher to a five-year extension through 2019, as reported by ESPN's Field Yates. The deal includes a $2.5 million signing bonus and $5.95 guaranteed. The Falcons also extended long-snapper Josh Harris through 2018, according to Yates. His deal included a $500,000 signing bonus....  'He's done a really good job for us,' special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong said of Bosher. 'Very professional; works on it year-round. Tough is the one thing that jumps out with him. When I look for a kicker or punter, I'm looking for a guy that's not a typical kicker, but he's got some toughness to him. And he's got some legitimate toughness to him. He doesn't back down from anybody. That's kind of the guy we were looking for when we got him'." - ESPN

September 10, 2014 - kicker Matt Bryant named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week
"Bryant connected on a 51-yard field goal to tie the game at 34 as time expired in the fourth quarter. He then split the uprights with a 52-yard game winner in overtime. Bryant’s overtime boot was the 19th game winner of his career and his eighth as a Falcon. It was also his second-longest game-winning kick since joining the Falcons. " - CBS Local

September 9, 2014 - kicker Matt Bryant joins club
"Kicker Matt Bryant showed once again that he's as steely as they come by booting a 51-yard field goal at the end of regulation to send the game against the Saints into overtime and followed it up with a 52-yard game-winner. With those two kicks, Bryant became just the fourth player in NFL history to kick a 50-plus-yard field goal with less than a minute remaining in regulation to force overtime in addition to converting a 50-plus-yard game-winning field goal in overtime." - Falcons
Matt Bryant, ATL 9/7/2014 vs. NO, 51 & 52 yards
Greg Zuerlein, STL 12/2/12 vs. SF, 53 & 54 yards
Matt Prater, DEN 12/11/2011 vs. Chi, 59 & 51 yards
Mike Vanderjagt, IND 11/24/2002 at Den, 54 & 51 yards

September 7, 2014 - Matt Bryant kicks long for tie and then for win over Saints
"Matt Ryan threw for a franchise-record 448 yards and Matt Bryant kicked two long field goals, including a 52-yarder in overtime to give the Atlanta Falcons a 37-34 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Bryant booted a 51-yarder on the final play of regulation. Then he came through again with the winning kick in OT after a Saints turnover, handing the Falcons just their fourth victory over New Orleans in the last 17 meetings." -

August 10, 2014 - kicker Sergio Castillo waived
"The move is a mild surprise considering that Castillo handled kicking and punting duties in the first game and appeared to do just fine at both, but neither Matt Bosher or Matt Bryant is going anywhere this season, so it makes a certain amount of sense." - The Falcoholic

August 8, 2014 - Bryant & Castillo kick Falcons to 16-10 preseason win Dolphins
"Atlanta’s kicking game was on the mark with Matt Bryant and Sergio Castillo combining to connect on all three of their field goal attempts. Bryant was true from 21-yards out to tie the game at the end of the first half, while Castillo connected from 21 and 34 yards. His 21-yarder in the third quarter would turn out to be the deciding three points. Bryant also hit his point after attempt for the NFL’s experimental distance of 32 yards." - Falcons

June 12, 2014 - kicker Sergio Castillo signed
"Castillo, 5-11, 195 pounds, was a four-time All-Lonestar Conference selection at West Texas A&M where he served as placekicker and punter. Castillo connected on 24 of 30 field goals and scored 149 points as a senior in 2013. He hit 62 of 79 (78.5 percent) field goal attempts in his career and owns school records for career made field goals and most field goals in a single season. Additionally, his 56 yard field goal against Abilene Christian in 2012 was the second longest in school history." - Falcons

June 11, 2014 - punter Matt Yoklic released
"The Atlanta Falcons today announced that they have waived tight end Andrew Szczerba and punter Matt Yoklic.... Yoklic, 6-4, 220 pounds, was signed by the Falcons as a college free agent on May 12, 2014. He averaged a career-high 43.0 yards per punt to rank third in the ACC as a senior at Pittsburgh in 2013." - Falcons 

May 10, 2014 - kicker Drew Basil invited to minicamp
"Drew Basil, a multiyear kicker for the Ohio State football team, will look to follow in the proud tradition of Mike Nugent as former Buckeye special teamers making a place for themselves playing professionally in the NFL. Basil's shot at a professional career will begin with the Atlanta Falcons where Basil will look to compete for a shot to make their rookie camp, then veteran camp, and ultimately to become the team's specialist at the position." - Land-Grant Holy Land

May 10, 2104 - punter Matt Yoklic signed
"You don't typically think about punters in the NFL Draft and most of the time, they're undrafted free agent pickups. Pitt, of course, has a pretty successful one already in the league in All-Pro Andy Lee. Yoklic was originally a walk on at Pitt that later earned a scholarship, so the story of him getting a shot at the NFL is really a great one. He had his share of miscues, but was ultimately a pretty good punter. His 43.0 yards per punt this season was a career-best and third in the ACC. Yoklic was a three-year starter and brings plenty of game experience with him. He was also a four-time All-Conference All-Academic Player." - Cardiac Hill

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