Mike Vrabel: We have to make more kicks

Pittsburgh Steelers v Tennessee Titans
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The Titans have made back-to-back appearances in the postseason, but it hasn’t been because they’ve been sharp in the kicking game.

The 2019 team ran through four kickers who made just 8-of-18 field goal attempts over the course of the year. They tried to settle the position by signing Stephen Gostkowski last year, but the longtime Patriot was just 18-of-26 on field goals during the 2020 campaign.

Leaving that many points on the field isn’t the most prudent approach, which is why head coach Mike Vrabel faced a question about possibly drafting a kicker during a Q-and-A with fans on Thursday.

“If there’s a kicker available that we like. . . . We have got to make more kicks. . . . We feel like we are going to have to address that position and see what Stephen is going to do,” Vrabel said, via the team’s website. “His contract is up, [we’ll see] what he wants to do. But we’re going to have to have guys in here that have competition and we want to find somebody that is going to make them.”

The Titans haven’t been the only team with a problem finding a reliable kicker, but they’ve had bigger issues than most of their peers over the last two seasons and shoring up that spot would fill a big hole heading into next season.

8 responses to “Mike Vrabel: We have to make more kicks

  1. Their kickers were bad, but their defence was worse.
    That this wasn’t addressed in the conversation other than talk about signing a declining JJ Watt, doesn’t suggest that those Titans fans or the organization recognize why they’re losing winnable games.

  2. Bl00dwerK says:
    February 19, 2021 at 7:28 am
    How hard can it be to find a solid kicker? Are other teams having this problem?

    ——————

    That’s like asking how hard it is to find a solid quarterback. Which, teams are in fact having that problem. As it turns out, booting a football through uprights 18.5’ apart from 40+ yards away is incredibly difficult and not many people can do it professionally at a high level

  3. I believe the kicker contracts for first time pros should all be done with incentive heavy contracts. The only way to get paid is by making it through the uprights. It adds pressure to the kicker but hey, it’s a pressure position and the guys that believe in themselves will get paid and the guys that don’t will not and take a walk. I know that with incentive they will put in the time to sharpen their game and not take things for granted.

  4. 6 for 6 against the Vikings in a one-point win, 12 for 20 the rest of the year. That’s par for the course for us Viking fans.

  5. hellooooooooooobrooklyn says:
    February 19, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Bl00dwerK says:
    February 19, 2021 at 7:28 am
    How hard can it be to find a solid kicker? Are other teams having this problem?

    ——————

    That’s like asking how hard it is to find a solid quarterback. Which, teams are in fact having that problem. As it turns out, booting a football through uprights 18.5’ apart from 40+ yards away is incredibly difficult and not many people can do it professionally at a high level

    _____________________________________

    Kicking can’t be as difficult as playing QB. You don’t even have to spend time learning plays. From what I hear, they spend more time playing golf than football. There are so many college teams, each one with a kicker… I just find it hard to believe, out of all those college kickers, there aren’t at least 32 good one.

  6. “I just find it hard to believe, out of all those college kickers, there aren’t at least 32 good one.”

    _____________________________________

    The same thing could be said about QBs since there is always a team who’s starting guys like Nathan Peterman. It’s hard to develop players when there’s no NFL game experience to be had unless you’re the starter.

    The biggest problem for kickers and QBs is the mental aspect. Going into a game cold and facing a rush and a whole snap and holding process, if one part is off kilter it can mess the whole thing up. Let alone a pressure filled game winning kick. And there’s no way to give game experience to a kicker or game winning kick practice because teams usually only carry one kicker on their roster so there’s no route for development aside from winning the starting job and being thrown into the fire to sink or swim like Aguayo for example. Just kicking in college wasn’t enough for him to make it in the pros for whatever reason and that happens to a lot of kickers.

    Even Adam Viniateri was almost cut and had his career end because of how bad he was and a couple years later he was ending super bowls. So you have to find a guy who can come in and have the mental and physical fortitude to make it as a kicker without any true way to develop unless they end up being a lucky kicker that earns a practice squad spot. Or if someone carries two kickers on the roster which is rarer than a practice squad spot since backup kicker isn’t usually a high priority.

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