Suh nailed down the spot by kicking 33- and 39-yard extra points Tuesday; he missed a 39-yarder. Should the Dolphins’ Andrew Franks be rendered unable to perform his duties, it looks as if Suh would be the next man up. “Yeah, I mean, I don’t think we have another choice,” came the endorsement from Coach Adam Gase.
Pity the poor football.
Suh has even kicked in a game. In 2010, when he was with the Detroit Lions, he missed a critical extra-point attempt in an overtime loss to the New York Jets when he was called upon to replace the team’s injured kicker. “Ndamukong is our backup field goal kicker; he’s done it in practice,” Jim Schwartz, then the Lions coach, told reporters. “You guys have been to practice before and seen him do it. We have a lot of confidence that he could kick it. It put him in a difficult situation because he went out without any warmups. I probably should have called a timeout and given him time to get ready.”
So his kicking ability isn’t exactly a secret. “Everybody knew he could kick,” said Jordan Phillips (via the Miami Herald). “I think he’s our second-team kicker. I don’t know. The man can kick.”
William Hayes added (via the Sun-Sentinel): “I think he told me he used to play soccer when he was younger, so nothing will surprise me what you can do when you’re that big of a freak.”
NFL history offers some compelling evidence for “freak” kickers; here’s a look at a few of the most famous.
There was Lou “The Toe” Groza, the Cleveland Browns’ Hall of Fame kicker and offensive lineman who had 1,608 career points over a 21-year career and was named to the NFL’s 75th anniversary all-time team. But he was a mere wisp of a man at 240 pounds.
Tom Dempsey of the New Orleans Saints weighed in at 255 and set the NFL record for the longest field goal (63 yards) in 1970. His record was controversial, though, because of the special shoe he wore because he was born without half the foot he kicked with.
And let us not forget Sebastian Janikowski, the Oakland Raiders’ 265-pound, left-footed kicker. A first-round draft pick (17th overall) by the Raiders in 2000, he has amassed 1,574 points, including a 63-yard field goal that tied Dempsey’s record in 2011. (Matt Prater, then the Denver Broncos’ kicker, set the NFL record of 64 yards in 2013, but he is a mere 200-pounder.)
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