Dottino: Giants Are Getting Their Kicks
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By Paul Dottino
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Two kickers or not two kickers – that is the question.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin insisted field goal accuracy is a kicker’s most important job. So why then did he bring in kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd – who is entering his fifth NFL season have never attempted a regular season NFL field goal – to fill in for the injured Lawrence Tynes in Monday’s preseason game against Chicago?
Lloyd said he hit all seven of his field goal attempts in Tuesday’s tryout (reportedly against Shayne Graham and John Kasay). Lloyd was sharp at Wednesday’s practice and the ball exploded off his foot, although one of his field goal attempts was a low liner which would have been blocked in a game.
Graham’s got an 86 career field goal percentage and Kasay is at 82 percent. Lloyd’s only pro field goal stat line reads 16 of 23 for Frankfurt of NFL Europe in 2007 – and that includes 2 of 7 in the 40s and 2 of 3 in the 50s (with a long of 53). Field goal accuracy is the kicker’s most important function, right?
Simply put, these numbers do not add up to Lloyd’s arrival unless there’s a chance the Giants are at least contemplating the retention of two kickers on their roster: Tynes (81 percent) as the placekicker and Lloyd as the kickoff specialist.
Lloyd said he was asked to boot four kickoffs in his tryout and his worst landed seven yards deep into the end zone, albeit inside the fieldhouse. Yes, that’s SEVEN yards deep on his WORST kickoff. The guy has a cannon and explained that he approaches every kickoff with the thinking that he’s got to hit the ball as far as he can.
Brad Daluiso is the only kicker in Giants’ history who could compete with Lloyd’s leg strength (career average of 67 yards per kickoff) and even then, Daluiso in his prime would fall a bit short of this guy.
Coughlin noted that he’s seen plenty of returners taking the ball out of the end zone during the preseason. But that’s likely because teams are trying out their return game. They won’t nearly be as eager to run out a ball kicked seven yards deep once the regular season starts and that would be a big help to the Giants’ lackluster coverage unit.
NOTES: Justin Tuck (sore Achilles) had to leave practice but said the injury was minor. Jason Pierre-Paul (back) and Darius Reynaud (hamstring) didn’t work and Sage Rosenfels (strep throat) was sent to the hospital.
Should the Giants keep both kickers? Make your case in the comments below…