Lay Off the Damn Kickers

| September 28th, 2009

Being an asshole in post-game press conferences is to the NFL what alcoholism and baldness are to the rest of us: genetically inherited traits.  Jim Mora publicly admonished kicker Olindo Mare in the wake of the Seahawk loss, essentially pinning the entire loss on his kicker.  Today he rescinded that criticism (in a too-little-too-late gesture) and Tom Jackson piled on by raving about the lack of work kickers put in during the week. 

You know what?  Shut up.  Everybody. 

If organizations don’t need kickers to kick, let one of the other neanderthals do the work.  Until that happens, they’re part of your team and part of the game.  And often they’ll have a more direct impact on the outcomes of games than players on the bottom half of a roster.  I’d much rather have a great Robbie Gould than a great nickel corner, wouldn’t you?  Ask the Patriots how many Super Bowls they won because of their kicker.  Ask the Giants how much Larry Tynes meant to their championship run.  Kickers shouldn’t run their mouth or act like morons on the field, I understand that.  But I don’t need a head coach who has only won three more games than he’s lost running his mouth either.

And really, Jim Mora?  You don’t criticize the two defenders who missed tackling Devin Hester on the game-winning touchdown?  You don’t blame a ridiculously moronic throw by Seneca Wallace into the arms of Lance Briggs on the game’s most important play?  No.  Of course you don’t.  Because kickers are the easy target.  Kicking field goals is the only identifiably solitary action in the sport.  It’s one man, a ball and a giant yellow thing.  Mora thinks he’s being a tough coach but he’s really being a counter-productive bully. Comments like his actually add pressure to the act by further isolating the individual from his teammates. 

If you don’t want to deal with field goal kickers, score touchdowns.  Simple as that.  Score touchdowns and you’ll never need the kicker to kick.  Or is that deficiency the kicker’s fault too?