View Full Version : Interesting? kicking stat where rookies are concerned

4th and Long
09-12-2004, 07:30 AM

Chiefs turn over kicking to kids

The Kansas City Chiefs made opponents wary on special teams last season as returner Dante Hall scored twice each on kickoffs and punts in the regular season, then ran back a kickoff 92 yards for a playoff touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts.

Now it's the Chiefs who are fearful with a kicker and punter/holder who have no NFL experience. Kicker Lawrence Tynes supplanted former Ben Davis High School star Morten Andersen. Punter Steve Cheek was acquired from Houston and beat out Fort Wayne, Ind., native Jason Baker.

"I'm scared to death," said Chiefs president Carl Peterson. "I'm not going to be able to sleep at night until these guys prove themselves."

Tynes failed in two previous camps to unseat Andersen, who at age 44 was inconsistent on field goals beyond 35 yards and couldn't match the rookie's kickoffs to the 5-yard line. Tynes, who kicked one year in NFL Europe and two in the Canadian Football League, made 5-of-6 field goals in the preseason with a long of 48 yards. His only miss, from 47 yards, struck an upright.

Cheek played two seasons in NFL Europe and had failed to win a job in camps with the New York Giants, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Houston. He averaged 45.8 yards with a 41.7-yard net in four preseason punts against Dallas.

There is a positive precedent for having a rookie kicker and punter. The only other time it happened in the 45-year NFL and AFL history of the Dallas Texans/Chiefs franchise was when third-round pick Eddie Wilson was punter and 17th-round choice Tommy Brooker the kicker for the Texans in 1962. The Texans won the AFL title on a Brooker field goal.