Jet thriving after having to kick on golf course throughout pandemic

Sam Ficken frolicked this offseason making an attempt to maintain his kicks out of the sand traps.

The Jets kicker needed to get inventive as soon as COVID-19 restrictions went into place. He was not permitted to kick on the highschool area close to his mother and father’ farm in Valparaiso, Ind. So, Ficken received permission from an area golf course to apply his kicks on their fairways.

“The groundskeeper would come out and mow the garden, and I’d be kicking down the golf green, making an attempt to maneuver as a lot as I may and never tear up the grass,” Ficken recalled this week with a chuckle.

The golf course technique has been efficient for Ficken. He’s 8-for-8 on area purpose tries this season, one of many few vivid spots for the 0-4 Jets. He made 5 area targets final week towards the Broncos.

After going 19-for-27 on area purpose makes an attempt final season, Brett Maher was introduced in to compete for the job this season. The 27-year-old is in his second season with the Jets. The crew picked him up in Week 2 final 12 months after going by three different kickers within the preseason and Week 1. He stabilized the kicker spot, however did miss eight area targets, going 19-for-27 on his tries. A better look, although, exhibits three of these misses got here from past 50 yards and just one was from contained in the 40. With no preseason video games, the stress was on the kickers to make their kicks in apply. Ficken got here by.

Sam Ficken
Sam FickenGetty Pictures

Nonetheless, the Jets signed Brett Maher in January to compete with Ficken, who mentioned he anticipated the crew to herald competitors.

“After the season I had final 12 months, I knew, look, it’s as much as me,” Ficken mentioned. “If I make my kicks, they’re most likely going to maintain me. If I don’t, they’ll most likely do away with me. That’s the character of this enterprise.”

“I believe it elevated the stress in apply slightly bit,” Ficken mentioned. “Clearly, everybody focuses on the preseason video games in a traditional 12 months, which generally is a good or a nasty factor relying on how these video games go.”

Ficken gained the job out of coaching camp over Maher and has been dependable for the Jets to this point.

“I believe he’s had an impressive 12 months to date,” particular groups coordinator Brant Boyer mentioned. “Hopefully he continues, which I believe he’ll. I believe one factor that will get misplaced is final 12 months he took six or seven extra kicks over 45-plus yards than anyone within the league. I believe he prepares like a professional, involves work day-after-day, is available in early, stays late, does a pleasant job of making ready and caring for his physique. I believe the world of him. He’s received loads of leg and he’s constant. I believe he’s finished a very nice job to date and stay up for him persevering with to take action.”

The Jets activated RB Le’Veon Bell off of IR, a transfer that was anticipated. Bell has missed the previous three video games with a hamstring harm. In addition they signed OL Jimmy Murray to the lively roster off the apply squad and elevated QB Mike White and CB Lamar Jackson off the apply squad. White might be Joe Flacco’s backup. To clear the 2 roster spots, the crew launched LB Alec Ogletree and WR Josh Malone.

Two Jets had been fined for infractions from final week’s loss to the Broncos. DT Quinnen Williams was fined $25,000 for 2 separate infractions. He was fined $15,000 for roughing Broncos QB Brett Rypien and $10,000 for pointless roughness for his facemask penalty on Rypien. NT Steve McLendon was fined $15,000 for roughing Rypien close to the top of the sport.

Source link