Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1
    Hawgski is offline Pro-Bowler
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    362

    Low down on our new PK

    So many people underestimate the need for a good placekicker. Each year the problem is magnified as teams ignore special teams and pay the price. As an example, the New England Patriots almost fell from grace when there kicker missed two field goals in the Super Bowl and they have a great kicker, Adam Vinatieri. So when the 2004 NFL draft rolls around, kickers will again be largely ignored, yet, they represent one third of the game.

    Given that special teams is so important, why aren’t more kickers drafted?

    “I don’t know,” Dan Orner, a placekicker out of North Carolina, said with a slight hint of disdain. “It is kind of a unique club to get into. Once you are in the league – and it is pretty hard to get in – and get a couple games under your belt and get that security you have the possibility of staying for 15 years and sometimes 20 like Gary Anderson, Morten Anderson and John Carney.”

    Orner knows it is a special fraternity and is out to gain access. He is pledging now to become a member come fall.

    He has had his share of egg to deal with and all the razing that goes on at the collegiate level. He knows the meaning of high-pressure, having to perform at a school that is instantly associated with college athletics. Orner has also had to make sure he did his job in practice or feel the brunt afterwards.

    “Coach Bunting, in practice, put a lot of pressure on me, making me kick the last second field goal everyday in practice – to start practice and to end practice. You get a lot of pressure on you when 70, 80 guys are relying on you to make the last kick so they don’t have to run sprints. Not getting beat up by those guys is a little bit more pressure than any other kick,” Orner said with a still nervous chuckle.

    Considering tips the scales at 5-8, 170 pounds, it is no wonder he feels the pressure.

    What was big was Orner’s leg. The Michigan State transfer came into Chapel Hill and was the starting placekicker in 2002 and 2003. As a junior, Orner missed one kick from inside 40 yards and tied an NCAA record by hitting three 50+ field goals – in one game! The longest, a 55 yarder, broke the school record.

    Not bad for a first year kicker at a new school.

    Orner followed that up by going 3-4 outside of 50 yards in ’03 and connecting on 12-16 overall. He also didn’t miss an extra point, going 35-of-35.

    Orner sees his long distance kicking as a selling point. If a team knows he can hit from 50, there is not much else to show.

    “The majority of my kicks were outside of 40 yards. I probably only kicked six field goals under 40 yards. Fortunately, I was able to make a majority of those kicks and that my coach trusted me enough to kick outside of 50 yards, 55 yards. I was able to take advantage of those.”

    Orner admits it may have hurt to be on a team that is not widely recognized for its football program. Although improving, North Carolina is simply not a powerhouse like it is in soccer and basketball.

    “I think it does help to be on a team that is on TV every week and is winning,” said Orner. “Getting into the red zone and allowing the kicker to get 25-yard field goals so when you go out there it is no big deal. You got teams like LSU and Oklahoma and they are kicking 25-30 times and the majority of the field goals are under 30 yards. As a kicker it is a big confidence booster and getting comfortable on the field. Instead of feeling the pressure that I may only get 13 tries and I really have to make the best of them.”

    Those 13 times compound the issue originally brought up. Kickers may not get the playing time of other players, but they are just as important to the big scheme of life in the NFL. Teams are starting to put their best players on special teams instead of the spot reserved for role players. Shouldn’t the kicker be the highest priority on special teams?

    Stop the talk of Dante Hall and give the good kickers a break. They are the difference in two to four games a season. That is especially true in this parity driven league. One player could mean the difference and wins is what the NFL is built on.

    For the real answer on what a kicker means to a team, we consult Orner:

    “It depends on the situation. A lot of times kickers are kind of viewed as not doing as much a everyone else, but if you have a kicker who can consistently kick the ball deep or directionally kick the ball where the coaches ask, it helps field position. That was definitely displayed in the Super Bowl. A kicker’s value – they are only as good as their last kick. As proved in the Super Bowl with (Adam) Vinatieri because he missed two before and made the one that counted. If you ask people which one they remember, they are only going to remember the last one.

    “They are very valuable to a team and won and lost a lot of ball games this year in college and the NFL.”

    Dan Orner sees his value next season – winning games in the NFL.


    sig courtesy of PPE

  2. #2
    AngloVike's Avatar
    AngloVike is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Sandhurst, UK
    Posts
    6,778
    Blog Entries
    4

    Low down on our new PK

    Good article and it does underline why a good kicker is so important to a team. This was really highlighted when we made that offer sheet to Chicago's Paul Edinger last year. If we were really keen to have him then we should have made an offer that would not have been matched. as it was the Bears matched it and, on reflection, saving those few dollars on the offer was offset from the loss of money from the playoffs.
    Time spent annoying a Packer fan is never time wasted...


  3. #3
    Bdubya is offline Star Spokesman
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    1,766

    Low down on our new PK

    Are we sticking with Elling this year or what?
    MC's run away when I kick it
    They act so chicken, they should come with a large drink and a biscuit
    -Canibus

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    146

    Low down on our new PK

    "Bdubya" wrote:
    Are we sticking with Elling this year or what?
    It's probably less risky for us to stick with Elling than to get another rookie. I could be wrong, but kickers generally don't have really good rookie seasons. I for one am just hoping the offense and defense do enough this year to take the outcome out of the kicking game's hands.
    Faster than a speeding Grady Jackson! More powerful than a Nick Barnett! Able to leap Ahmad Carroll in a single bound! Look! Up in the sky! It s a bird! It s a plane! It s Jermaine Wiggins!

  5. #5
    howln4u is offline Rookie
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    71

    Low down on our new PK

    I sure hope we bring in a Veteran and maybe a couple undrafted rookies to try. If Tice doesnt trust Elling to kick anything over 40 then we need a new kicker. He may have gotten better but we need a kicker we can trust. At least Gary Anderson was money under 45 yards.

  6. #6
    Big Daddy's Avatar
    Big Daddy is offline Starter
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    275

    Low down on our new PK

    The old saying is special teams usually wins or looses 3 games for you. And as Vikings fans we can all remember last year, (Bears, St. Louis, and Arizona). Rookies seem to have a hard time adjusting to the shape of the ball in the NFL. It is a little shorter and wider than the high school and college footballs. :?:

    The bottom line is Tice has to be able to trust who ever we have back there, that way we can attempt some longer field goals instead of going for it all the time. But it would be nice to see some touch backs this year. I can’t think of a better way to ensure that the other team doesn’t get good field position.
    Happiness is like peeing your pants. Everyone can see it but only you can feel it s warmth!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    146

    Low down on our new PK

    "Big Daddy" wrote:
    The old saying is special teams usually wins or looses 3 games for you. And as Vikings fans we can all remember last year, (Bears, St. Louis, and Arizona). Rookies seem to have a hard time adjusting to the shape of the ball in the NFL. It is a little shorter and wider than the high school and college footballs. :?:

    The bottom line is Tice has to be able to trust who ever we have back there, that way we can attempt some longer field goals instead of going for it all the time. But it would be nice to see some touch backs this year. I can’t think of a better way to ensure that the other team doesn’t get good field position.
    I don't know about the cardinals or bears games. Our offense should have been able to completely overwhelm those guys.
    Faster than a speeding Grady Jackson! More powerful than a Nick Barnett! Able to leap Ahmad Carroll in a single bound! Look! Up in the sky! It s a bird! It s a plane! It s Jermaine Wiggins!

  8. #8
    Big Daddy's Avatar
    Big Daddy is offline Starter
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    275

    Low down on our new PK

    [/quote]I don't know about the cardinals or bears games. Our offense should have been able to completely overwhelm those guys.[/quote]

    The Cards game Elling missed what would have been a game clinching Field Goal, and the Bears game.....are you kidding me. Johnson fumbled the punt that gave the Bears the winning field goal (that was the difference in the game. If it was still tied (like it should have been) when we had the ball at the end of the game we could have run down the clock and kicked the game winning field goal. Johnson gave the Bears that game thats why we didn't see him for the rest of the year.

    Fact is our offence is going to have some bad games and thats when you need to play good defence and special teams to win those games.
    Happiness is like peeing your pants. Everyone can see it but only you can feel it s warmth!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    969

    Low down on our new PK

    I say stick with Elling

  10. #10
    dart18's Avatar
    dart18 is offline Asst. Coach
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Posts
    687

    Low down on our new PK

    i would like us to do what the rams did for five games in the 200 season. when there kicker was injured they jusr always went for two, every time, and had the punter do kick offs. I know it wont happn but it would be a lot of fun, plus i think we can get it in from that short nine out of ten times
    Sometimes I like to think there is more to life than being you know. . . really really good looking.
    -Derrick Zoolander

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •