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    A kicker's fault?

    I've probably seen a thousand pundits lay into Saints kicker Garrett Hartley now for missing a game winning chip shot field goal yesterday. After being one of the heros of the conference championship last year, leading to the Saints first ever Super Bowl, he's on the verge of being replaced, possibly as early as today by John Carney.

    All of the arguments say "A kicker's job is to kick". So, do you agree? Should he be replaced?

    I guess with our misfortune in missing field goals, this may be a bad place to ask.

    I guess my thing is, as far as I'm aware, Hartley makes a good percentage of his kicks and this ONE kick is what's deciding his fate. But, it's a quarterback's job to protect the ball, should he be benched or cut after one INT? Should a wide receiver be cut for dropping one ball? I guess I just find it a bit cavemanish to have that opinion. It's a coaches job to win football games, should he be fired after one loss?



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    Re: A kicker's fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrocksmypants View Post
    I've probably seen a thousand pundits lay into Saints kicker Garrett Hartley now for missing a game winning chip shot field goal yesterday. After being one of the heros of the conference championship last year, leading to the Saints first ever Super Bowl, he's on the verge of being replaced, possibly as early as today by John Carney.

    All of the arguments say "A kicker's job is to kick". So, do you agree? Should he be replaced?

    I guess with our misfortune in missing field goals, this may be a bad place to ask.

    I guess my thing is, as far as I'm aware, Hartley makes a good percentage of his kicks and this ONE kick is what's deciding his fate. But, it's a quarterback's job to protect the ball, should he be benched or cut after one INT? Should a wide receiver be cut for dropping one ball? I guess I just find it a bit cavemanish to have that opinion. It's a coaches job to win football games, should he be fired after one loss?
    It has to absolutely suck being a kicker. Everyone will remember Adam Vinatieri for his Super Bowl winning FGs, but that's about it. As a Vikings fan, I can't remember the last game winner that Ryan Longwell had, but I will always remember where I was when Gary Anderson missed his first field goal of the season against the Falcons in the NFC Championship game in 1998



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    Re: A kicker's fault?

    Jankowski of Oakland whiffed on three yesterday. The former top pick is not as dependable as he needs to be.


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    Re: A kicker's fault?

    That's the thing. I'm not a kicker. I was an offensive lineman. But I would think that, just by basic angles, the 29 yard chip shot Hartley had on the right hash mark would be more difficult than a 40 **** field goal from the right hash mark. Maybe I'm putting too much of an importance on the angle and projectory. Can any math or physics majors tell me if that would make a difference?



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    Re: A kicker's fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrocksmypants View Post
    I've probably seen a thousand pundits lay into Saints kicker Garrett Hartley now for missing a game winning chip shot field goal yesterday. After being one of the heros of the conference championship last year, leading to the Saints first ever Super Bowl, he's on the verge of being replaced, possibly as early as today by John Carney.

    All of the arguments say "A kicker's job is to kick". So, do you agree? Should he be replaced?

    I guess with our misfortune in missing field goals, this may be a bad place to ask.

    I guess my thing is, as far as I'm aware, Hartley makes a good percentage of his kicks and this ONE kick is what's deciding his fate. But, it's a quarterback's job to protect the ball, should he be benched or cut after one INT? Should a wide receiver be cut for dropping one ball? I guess I just find it a bit cavemanish to have that opinion. It's a coaches job to win football games, should he be fired after one loss?
    I think you're correct in that it's extreme to use a single kick to decide a kicker's fate.

    However, I don't think that your analogy to QB's and WR's is appropriate (particularly the QB's). Most offensive players will have many, many plays during the course of the game in which to perform well, giving them time to redeem themselves for mistakes (quite possibly on the same drive, too). A kicker is brought in at most once per drive, so he must make that one shot count. If he whiffs the kick he doesn't get a chance to make the next one on the following play. Sure, nasty things can happen with in interception or a dropped pass. But the percentage of the time where a bad play like that happens (based on the number of plays where it's possible for it to happen) is likely to be much smaller than the FG miss percentage.

    I don't envy kickers. Although the uprights may seem big, that's still a small target much of the time. Unfortunately, given the clutch-time nature of their position, they must get their kicks right the first time.



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    Re: A kicker's fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrocksmypants View Post
    That's the thing. I'm not a kicker. I was an offensive lineman. But I would think that, just by basic angles, the 29 yard chip shot Hartley had on the right hash mark would be more difficult than a 40 **** field goal from the right hash mark. Maybe I'm putting too much of an importance on the angle and projectory. Can any math or physics majors tell me if that would make a difference?
    A longer shot will make the angle of the kick more shallow. However, the longer shot means that the kick must go lower over the line of scrimmage (greater possibility of a block) and the target is effectively smaller.

    I'm also not a kicker, so I can't speak from experience...just what the math tells me (kind of like some of my engineering professors).



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    Re: A kicker's fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrocksmypants View Post
    I've probably seen a thousand pundits lay into Saints kicker Garrett Hartley now for missing a game winning chip shot field goal yesterday. After being one of the heros of the conference championship last year, leading to the Saints first ever Super Bowl, he's on the verge of being replaced, possibly as early as today by John Carney.

    All of the arguments say "A kicker's job is to kick". So, do you agree? Should he be replaced?

    I guess with our misfortune in missing field goals, this may be a bad place to ask.

    I guess my thing is, as far as I'm aware, Hartley makes a good percentage of his kicks and this ONE kick is what's deciding his fate. But, it's a quarterback's job to protect the ball, should he be benched or cut after one INT? Should a wide receiver be cut for dropping one ball? I guess I just find it a bit cavemanish to have that opinion. It's a coaches job to win football games, should he be fired after one loss?
    The thing is, it's not just that one kick yesterday that's "costing" him his job, he's sitting at 4-7 on FGs for the year, which is not only an unacceptable percentage for an NFL PK, but the Saints could very easily be sitting at 0-3 right now because of it. While it sounds cold, NFL teams just don't have time to let a kicker "sort out" his mental problems - they need a kicker they can rely on to make a clutch FG. You can't not have confidence in your kicker, and if you don't, it's time to start looking at bringing in a new PK. I mean, ISU fans should have intimate knowledge about the value of a reliable PK - if Shaggy makes both those FGs against Mizzou in 2004 and Kansas in 2005, we're back-to-back North champions. Instead, in 2004 we had to share the championship with Colorado (who went on to represent the North), and in 2005 it was the "end" of a choke-filled season in which we should have gone 11-1.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrocksmypants View Post
    That's the thing. I'm not a kicker. I was an offensive lineman. But I would think that, just by basic angles, the 29 yard chip shot Hartley had on the right hash mark would be more difficult than a 40 **** field goal from the right hash mark. Maybe I'm putting too much of an importance on the angle and projectory. Can any math or physics majors tell me if that would make a difference?
    I won't argue the idea that a 29-yard FG on the hash is a harder FG to make than a 40-yard FG in the middle of the field, but the bottom line is he's an NFL kicker and he's paid to make those kicks. Granted, it is kind of a WTF moment, considering it's 1st down - why not waste a down "centering" the ball in the middle of the field to take the angle away for the kicker. Were they really worried they were going to have 3 missnaps? But the bottom line is it IS the PK's one and only job to make that kick, and he missed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3GenClone View Post
    It has to absolutely suck being a kicker. Everyone will remember Adam Vinatieri for his Super Bowl winning FGs, but that's about it. As a Vikings fan, I can't remember the last game winner that Ryan Longwell had, but I will always remember where I was when Gary Anderson missed his first field goal of the season against the Falcons in the NFC Championship game in 1998

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    Re: A kicker's fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdoggivjc View Post
    The thing is, it's not just that one kick yesterday that's "costing" him his job, he's sitting at 4-7 on FGs for the year, which is not only an unacceptable percentage for an NFL PK, but the Saints could very easily be sitting at 0-3 right now because of it. While it sounds cold, NFL teams just don't have time to let a kicker "sort out" his mental problems - they need a kicker they can rely on to make a clutch FG. You can't not have confidence in your kicker, and if you don't, it's time to start looking at bringing in a new PK. I mean, ISU fans should have intimate knowledge about the value of a reliable PK - if Shaggy makes both those FGs against Mizzou in 2004 and Kansas in 2005, we're back-to-back North champions. Instead, in 2004 we had to share the championship with Colorado (who went on to represent the North), and in 2005 it was the "end" of a choke-filled season in which we should have gone 11-1.



    I won't argue the idea that a 29-yard FG on the hash is a harder FG to make than a 40-yard FG in the middle of the field, but the bottom line is he's an NFL kicker and he's paid to make those kicks. Granted, it is kind of a WTF moment, considering it's 1st down - why not waste a down "centering" the ball in the middle of the field to take the angle away for the kicker. Were they really worried they were going to have 3 missnaps? But the bottom line is it IS the PK's one and only job to make that kick, and he missed it.




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    Re: A kicker's fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrocksmypants View Post
    That's the thing. I'm not a kicker. I was an offensive lineman. But I would think that, just by basic angles, the 29 yard chip shot Hartley had on the right hash mark would be more difficult than a 40 **** field goal from the right hash mark. Maybe I'm putting too much of an importance on the angle and projectory. Can any math or physics majors tell me if that would make a difference?
    I was talking to someone about this the other day. Everyone compares it to extra point distance, but extra points are from the middle of the field. Anything under 30 from a hash is a tough angle. In fact, I recall seeing teams in the past take a delay penalty to move back five yards and give their kicker a better angle. I don't know why more teams don't do this. Maybe it's a pride thing...like you don't pass on the goal line, you have to run it in.

    That said, he IS a pro kicker and you would expect a pro kicker to make a 29 yard field goal no matter what the angle.



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    Re: A kicker's fault?

    Perhaps they shouldn't have kicked the FG on FIRST down. What's wrong with having your offense score a TD to win the game?



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    Re: A kicker's fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgundyClone View Post
    Perhaps they shouldn't have kicked the FG on FIRST down. What's wrong with having your offense score a TD to win the game?
    Or at least wasting a down to "center" the ball so the kicker has a straight kick?

    Not that I'm complaining, though - it worked out well for my team.


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    Re: A kicker's fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgundyClone View Post
    Perhaps they shouldn't have kicked the FG on FIRST down. What's wrong with having your offense score a TD to win the game?
    Exactly, so are they afraid their high priced QB will throw a pick, or some high paid receiver or RB will fumble.



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    Re: A kicker's fault?

    In the NFL, the hashmarks are lined up perpendicular to the corresponding upright (left hashmark is perpendicular to the left upright and the right hashmark is perpendicular to the right upright,) which is 18 feet, 6 inches wide, the same width of the crossbar. So, when a right-footed kicker (Hartley) comes in to kick a field goal from the right hashmark, very little hook is required to get the ball in between the lineups, no matter the distance of the field goal.

    In college, the width of the goalposts are the same as the NFL (18 feet, 6 inches). However, the hasmarks are 40 feet apart. So the angles are much, much steeper in college, especially the closer the attempt is.




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    Re: A kicker's fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by RING4CY View Post
    In the NFL, the hashmarks are lined up perpendicular to the corresponding upright (left hashmark is perpendicular to the left upright and the right hashmark is perpendicular to the right upright,) which is 18 feet, 6 inches wide, the same width of the crossbar. So, when a right-footed kicker (Hartley) comes in to kick a field goal from the right hashmark, very little hook is required to get the ball in between the lineups, no matter the distance of the field goal.

    In college, the width of the goalposts are the same as the NFL (18 feet, 6 inches). However, the hasmarks are 40 feet apart. So the angles are much, much steeper in college, especially the closer the attempt is.
    This is correct. I thought it odd when they narrowed the goal for the college game to match the NFL goal several years ago. They were making the college field goal kicking game tougher than the NFL field goal kicking game due to the wider hash marks and tougher angles.


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    Re: A kicker's fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgundyClone View Post
    Perhaps they shouldn't have kicked the FG on FIRST down. What's wrong with having your offense score a TD to win the game?
    Exhibit A of why I hate the NFL's terrible tie breaking system.


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