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Atlanta Falcons Anxious About Unsteady Kicking Game

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Matt Bryant is a veteran NFL kicker. He’s made big kicks in big moments, experienced what it’s like to kick under extreme pressure, and while we’re at it, had his fair share of failures, which if nothing else has tested the 35-year old throughout his career.

Bryant was solid, not spectacular for the Falcons last year. He converted all 10 of his extra points, and was true on seven of his 10 field goal attempts. Not bad, but not exactly money in the bank either. So, the Falcons were hoping to see Bryant perform consistently this preseason and that’s not at all been the case. Bryant has three misses – including one PAT – this preseason, and head coach Mike Smith is concerned:

“That’s one of many concerns I have,‘’ coach Mike Smith said Tuesday. "You’ve got to kick the ball between the uprights, especially on extra points. When you’re kicking a 50-yarder, it’s a little bit different situation. But we’ve got to make extra points.’’

In the article, Bryant mentions that he stupidly changed his pre-kick routine ever so slightly, and that he’s upset with himself for doing so knowing that kickers rely almost exclusively on the routine and approach they’ve established for themselves. Whatever the case may be, Bryant better sort out the problem sooner rather than later.

“When a kicker makes a mistake, everybody in the stadium knows about it,‘’ Smith said. "When an offensive lineman or defensive lineman makes a mistake, you have to have a trained eye to really know who made the mistake. But special teams are not like offense and defense. When you’re out there on special teams, you’ve got one snap. … You don’t get a second chance.’’

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.